Booksellers interested in meeting representatives from the American Booksellers for Free Expression (ABFE), Media Coalition, and 2020 Vision USA are invited to visit Booth 2862 on the trade show floor at this year’s BookExpo.
Director of ABFE, Advocacy, and Public Policy Dave Grogan and ABA’s new Advocacy and Public Policy Coordinator Maria Peroni will be present at BookExpo 2018 to represent the American Booksellers for Free Expression, the First Amendment advocacy arm of ABA that functions as the bookseller’s voice in the fight for free speech.
This will be many booksellers’ first opportunity to meet Grogan since his promotion to the position in February, after former ABFE Director Chris Finan left to lead the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC). Booksellers who would like to speak to Grogan about any specific advocacy issue should e-mail him to set up an appointment.
Media Coalition Executive Director David Horowitz will also be at the booth. Media Coalition is a free speech organization that works to protect the First Amendment right to produce and distribute books, magazines, recordings, home video, and video games and defends the American public’s First Amendment right to access the broadest possible range of information, opinion, and entertainment.
Also present at the booth will be Denise Foster, president of 2020 Vision USA, a company that manufactures eco-friendly, sustainable, aesthetically pleasing, and fashion-forward reading glasses currently sold by many independent bookstores. A portion of the profits from 2020’s reading glasses goes to support ABFE; 2020 also donates to other charitable organizations that support conservation and free speech, said Foster.
Foster, who designs the glasses, said the company, founded 20 years ago by her father, Phil Meyer, was ABFE’s first affiliate and has been donating to the organization (previously known as the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression) and attending BookExpo since 2008.
“I would say that about 95 percent of our business is dedicated to indie bookstores; we have sales reps around the country that deal with indies. It’s just been a terrific marriage all around for us,” Foster told Bookselling This Week. “Bookstores are lovely places and the people who work at and own them are a certain breed that I just feel close to. We also feel it’s very important to fight censorship, although we haven’t raised our prices to accommodate our donating to ABFE.”
Foster added, “Our business with independent bookstores has been growing nationally and internationally; every year it gets better and better. We’re so happy to be affiliated with ABFE, and I think we have built a tremendous personal relationship with many indie bookstores around the country. It’s really been word-of-mouth that has been the key for us.”
Foster said 2020 will be offering indie booksellers a discount on their reading glasses as well as free displays to use in their stores. Booksellers who visit the booth at BookExpo will have the chance to learn more about the discounts on offer and check out Foster’s latest designs. Right now, booksellers can visit the 2020 Vision USA website to see some of the current styles available for purchase.
BookExpo will be held from Wednesday, May 30, to Friday, June 1, at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City. Booth 2862 will be open during regular trade show hours on Thursday, May 31, from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and on Friday, June 1, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Booksellers can register for free badges to BookExpo by providing their ABA member ID number during the registration process. More information about ABA’s programming at BookExpo can be found on BookWeb.org.