Registration Opens for Winter Institute 2014

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Registration for the American Booksellers Association’s ninth annual Winter Institute (Wi9), to be held on January 21 - 24, 2014, at The Westin Seattle in Seattle, Washington, is now open.

Winter Institute 2014’s three days of education, which is made possible by the generous support of Ingram Content Group, covers a wide range of topics, from events, B2B sales, cash flow, and tween and teen advisory boards to word-of-mouth marketing, social media, frequent buyer programs, and planning for natural disasters, among others.

The Winter Institute’s tradition of outstanding plenary speakers continues in 2014 with bestselling authors Dan Heath (Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work, Crown Business, co-written with Chip Heath); Ray Oldenburg (The Great Good Place, De Capo); and members of the Seattle 7 Writers, a nonprofit collective of Pacific Northwest authors whose mission is to foster and support a passion for the written word. Among the session presenters will be branding and identity consultants Brains on Fire’s Geno Church, co-author of The Passion Conversation: Understanding, Sparking, and Sustaining Word of Mouth Marketing (Wiley), and Whitney Keyes, author of Propel: Five Ways to Amp-Up Your Marketing and Accelerate Business (Career Press).

The institute will kick off on Tuesday evening, January 21, with an opening reception, sponsored Shelf Awareness, at The Elliott Bay Book Company.

Thanks to the support of publishers large and small, the Winter Institute schedule again features Reps Picks lunches, Bookseller/Publisher Focus Groups, the Small Press Breakfast, the Galley Room, and special events, including the ever-popular Author Reception. Also returning is the Consultation Station, which provides booksellers with the opportunity to meet with representatives of ABA’s affiliated business solution partners, POS vendors, and others.

New for Winter Institute 2014 are full- and half-day Seattle-area bookstore tours and two Advanced Learning sessions for booksellers meeting certain criteria. During the registration process, booksellers must sign up for the store tours and/or indicate their interest in the Advanced Learning sessions, which will be filled with on a first-come, first-served basis.

Also new this year, there are several volunteer opportunities for booksellers at Wi9. Those who are interested in learning more should check the appropriate box on the registration form.

“We are very excited about Winter Institute 2014,” said ABA Content Officer Dan Cullen, “and we are extremely grateful to the many people and sponsors who have played a role in creating the programming and shaping the event — from the booksellers who have offered insight and advice regarding panels and sessions, to the event speakers and the sponsoring publishers, and to Shelf Awareness, which is helping us welcome indie booksellers to Seattle. And we remain especially grateful to Ingram for their continued, strong support of independent bookseller education and professional development. We’re eagerly looking forward to sharing the unique energy and spirit of the Winter Institute with members again.

“Past Winter Institutes have sold out quickly, so we encourage booksellers who want to attend to register as soon as possible. Once our limit of 500 booksellers is reached, we will start adding names to a waiting list.”

The Winter Institute is open exclusively to Regular and Provisional ABA members and invited guests. Registration is capped at 500 booksellers and is first-come, first-served, with a maximum of three registrants per member business. The 2014 Winter Institute conference fee is $79.99 per person and is nonrefundable. There is an additional charge for the full and half-day bookstore tours, which will take place on Tuesday, January 21, prior to the Winter Institute’s opening reception.

Booksellers who are in Seattle before the start of Wi9 can also visit the Seattle Gift Show free of charge. The wholesale trade show for professional buyers of gift merchandise and home furnishings runs from January 18 – 21 at the Washington State Convention Center.

For prospective booksellers, Donna Paz Kaufman and Mark Kaufman of Paz & Associates Bookstore Training Group will be leading a one-day seminar, “How to Succeed at Retail Bookselling,” on January 21. Space is limited and registration is first-come, first-served. The cost of $100 includes lunch and two coffee breaks. All workshop participants can also register for the full Winter Institute.

The 2014 host hotel is the Westin Seattle, located at 1900 5th Avenue in Seattle. Winter Institute attendees are responsible for making their own hotel reservations. Attendee registration for the Institute does not guarantee a hotel room. Booksellers are advised  to make their reservations as soon as possible since the block may sell out. The ABA group rate of $129 for singles and doubles will be available for the nights of January 16 through January 28, 2014.

Thanks to the Winter Institute’s sponsors, 50 scholarships will be awarded to booksellers to attend Wi9. Scholarship winners will be selected from all ABA bookstore members, including Wi9 registrants and non-registrants. Booksellers who drop off a business card at the ABA booth at any of the regional trade shows will earn an extra entry in the scholarships awards process. Scholarship winners from the past three years are not eligible for Wi9 scholarships. Scholarships will cover the Wi9 conference fee, up to four nights plus tax at the Westin Seattle at the special ABA rate, and transportation costs up to $400. Winners will be announced in mid-November.

For up-to-the minute details, including the full schedule and session descriptions, and to register, visit Also watch for updates in Bookselling This Week and on the ABA Facebook page and follow the hashtag #Wi9.