'Round the Regionals

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Although the regional booksellers associations are all busily preparing for their fall trade shows (a complete schedule is available at news.bookweb.org/read/3635), this week a number of them contacted BTW to report news of other events.

GLBA Creates Consumer Website

The Great Lakes Booksellers Association (GLBA) recently announced the creation of a consumer website, www.books-n-authors.com, to promote book and author events in the Great Lakes region. According to GLBA, consumers can use the site, which is in beta-testing, to find out where and when their favorite authors are appearing in the GLBA region. It also provides other tools so that consumers can buy a signed copy from the store that is hosting the author's visit, even if they can't make the trip to see the author in person.

In addition to the author appearance information, the site includes a link to the Heartland Independent Bestseller list and a list of the winners of the Great Lakes Book Awards. It also includes a list of independent bookstores in the region.

MBA Launches New Website, Announces Recipients of 2005 Choice Awards

On August 1, the Midwest Booksellers Association (MBA) launched its new website, www.midwestbooksellers.org/, which includes both a public area and an area for MBA members only. The site includes a Bookstore Locator; the Heartland and Book Sense Bestseller Lists; information about MBA, its trade show and catalog; and much more.

This week, MBA also announced the winners and honorable mention recipients of the first Midwest Booksellers' Choice Awards.

The winners are:

  • Fiction: Gilead: A Novel by Marilynne Robinson (FSG)
  • Nonfiction: What's the Matter With Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America by Thomas Frank (Holt)
  • Poetry: Delights and Shadows by Ted Kooser (Copper Canyon)
  • Children's Picture Book: Kitten's First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes (Greenwillow)
  • Children's Literature: Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett, illustrated by Brett Helquist (Scholastic)

More information about the awards, including the honor recipients, can be found on the MBA site.

NAIBA Holds First Trunk Show

The New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association (NAIBA) held its inaugural Trunk Show on Tuesday, July 26, in Syracuse, New York. According to NAIBA Executive Director Eileen Dengler, 80 people, including 40 booksellers from 25 independent bookstores, attended the event, which featured formal catalog presentations from six houses (Random House, HarperCollins, Holtzbrinck, Penguin Group, Time Warner Book Group, and John Wiley). The presentations were conducted similar to in-store frontlist appointments, with booksellers and publishers prepared to discuss the titles best suited for the stores in attendance.

A variety of publishers, wholesalers, and independent rep groups (16 in total) were also on hand at meeting tables in a common meeting space. These companies made appointments and conducted sales calls with the booksellers in attendance.

Bookstore Tourism Rides Again in SCBA Region

Building upon the success of Southern California Booksellers Association's (SCBA) "I Feel the Need to Read: An Independent Bookstore Tour for Booksellers," the regional will hold its first Independent Bookstore Tour for consumers this summer. Participants will travel by chartered bus from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 27, to several stores in the San Diego area -- Mysterious Galaxy, Bay Books, Book Works, Warwick's, and Yellow Book Road.

SCBA Executive Director Jennifer Bigelow said that both SCBA Bookstore Tours grew out of the "Bookstore Tourism" (www.BookstoreTourism.com) concept developed by Larry Portzline, a writer for the Pennsylvania State Senate and an adjunct college instructor. Bookstore Tourism is a national grassroots effort to promote and support independent bookstores by marketing them as tourist destinations.

The tour begins with coffee, pastries, and an author discussion with Liza Palmer, (Conversations With the Fat Girl, 5 Spot) at Mysterious Galaxy and will wend through San Diego, visiting and exploring the various bookstores. Lunch will be served at the Coronado Historical Museum's Tent City Restaurant, where Christopher Reich, author of The Patriots Club (Delacorte), will speak. The day concludes with a reception with San Diego authors Alan Russell and Ken Kuhlken at Mysterious Galaxy.

The participating bookstores are advertising the tour on websites, signage, and fliers. About 25 percent of the tickets are already sold, said Bigelow, who added that if turnout is good for this tour and another Los Angeles tour slated for November, the event will be held quarterly. Another future tour possibility, she said, is a wine-tasting and bookstore tour in the Santa Barbara area with possible stops at Chaucer's Books, the Book Loft, and others.

Booksellers and publishing industry professionals, in addition to consumers, are all welcome to join the tour. Contact Bigelow at jbigelow@scbabooks.org for further information.