Virtual Children’s Institute a Hit Among Attendees

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Nearly 400 independent booksellers came together on July 15-16 for the American Booksellers Association’s 8th annual Children’s Institute, which was hosted virtually this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Booksellers are invited to visit BookWeb’s Education Resources now to review video recordings of several of the events, including the keynote with Isaac Fitzgerald; a conversation between Kwame Alexander and Jerry Craft; a presentation of the Indies Introduce authors; and education sessions on store voice and profitability as well as representation of Black girls in middle grade and young adult sci-fi and fantasy titles. Next week, videos of the Rep Picks presentations will be added.

This week’s issue of Bookselling This Week also includes recaps of several sessions.

While booksellers were unable to meet in person, attendees raved about the event and the individual sessions. Here are a few of the highlights:

Screenshot of Hopin during Children's Institute: "Thanks for Attending Children's Institute"

Ci8 was hosted on Hopin, a virtual events platform, and booksellers flooded the chat area to talk with one another.

Author Isaac Fitzgerald and ASL Interpreter Brian Truitt

Keynote presenter Isaac Fitzgerald read aloud his book, How to Be a Pirate, with the help of American Sign Language interpreter Brian Truitt.

Four booksellers and an ALS interpreter on a virtual call to discuss store voice, online sales, and profitability

Booksellers were very happy to learn about how to leverage their store personality to drive online sales.

Booksellers who took part in the Indies Introduce program and the authors whose books were selected in a virtual chat

The Summer/Fall 2020 Indies Introduce authors joined booksellers to talk about their debuts.

Booksellers participating in a "virtual hang" at Children's Institute

At the end of the first day, booksellers gathered in various online rooms for the Virtual Hangouts.

Kwame Alexander and Jerry Craft in virtual conversation

Bestselling authors Kwame Alexander and Jerry Craft talked about their 2012 meeting at Hue-Man Bookstore, their experiences of being among only five Black people to have won the Newbery Medal, and their upcoming works.

A publisher sales rep presenting the title "Something to Say" during Children's Institute

Publisher sales reps joined Ci8 to share their favorite upcoming titles.

Animals making appearances in video chats at Children's Institute

Many pets made appearances during Ci8, including cats, dogs, and birds.