Booksellers are invited to register for a number of special events taking place throughout the four days of programming at the American Booksellers Association’s 2018 Winter Institute, which will be held January 22–25, 2018, at the Sheraton Hotel and Memphis Cook Convention Center in downtown Memphis, Tennessee.
ABA is offering two Advanced Education Sessions for store owners and managers attending Wi13, which are designed for in-depth exploration among peers about management and operational concerns. Space is limited at each session; registration is first-come, first served and limited to two booksellers per ABA member company. Assignments will be e-mailed prior to the start of Winter Institute.
This year’s Advance Education Sessions are:
- Do Less, Then Obsess: Recognizing Your Store’s Strengths and Making the Most of Them: Morten Hansen, a professor of management at the University of California, will lead an interactive workshop on how bookstores and booksellers might find more success by identifying the work that their bookstore does best and then effectively obsessing about it. Hansen will share his “Seven Work Smarter Practices” and provide an opportunity for booksellers to identify ways to apply them to their daily business lives. This session will be held on Tuesday, January 23, from 10:40 a.m. to 11:40 a.m. and again from 2:10 p.m. to 3:10 p.m.
- Succession Planning: Exiting a much-loved business can be difficult to think about, but it is important to have a plan in place and to consider all succession options. Chuck Robinson, the former owner of Washington’s Village Books and current owner of business and nonprofit consulting firm Chuck Robinson Associates, will lead the conversation along with another business professional who is experienced in succession planning. The session will be held on Wednesday, January 24, from 9:20 a.m. to 10:20 a.m.
Booksellers can also sign up for several special education sessions being held on January 22, ahead of the Winter Institute opening reception:
- Principles of Bookstore Finance Seminar: A six-hour, 101-level seminar that will cover the fundamentals of budgeting, cash flow, business financing, bookkeeping, and financial statements. This session, to be led by ABA Chief Financial Officer Robyn DesHotel and Books Inc. Director of Operations Andy Perham, will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on January 22.
- Used Bookstore Forum: This three-hour session will look at the art of selling used and rare books, from pricing, trade policies, and inventory acquisition to events, displays, sales, and more. This session, to be led by Shane Gottwals of Gottwals Books and the Walls of Books franchise, will take place from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on January 22.
- IndieCommerce Institute: The IndieCommerce Institute is a two-part, interactive, classroom-style workshop for users of ABA’s IndieCommerce platform. The morning seminar, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on January 22, will look at optimizing checkout pages for higher sales conversions as well as strategies for e-mail subscription, marketing, and promotional campaigns; the afternoon seminar, from 1:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., will cover Google Analytics and Drupal Views. Booksellers can register for one or both seminars.
- Paz Workshop, “Introduction to Retail Bookselling”: A one-day crash course on the essentials of opening a new bookstore or buying an existing one. The workshop, to take place from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on January 22, will be facilitated by Donna Paz Kaufman and Mark Kaufman of the Paz & Associates Bookstore Training Group.
ABA has also coordinated two tours that will take place on January 22. The full-day Yoknapatawpha County/Square Books guided bus tour will take booksellers to Oxford, Mississippi, to visit Rowan Oak, the home of William Faulkner, and Square Books. The full-day Mississippi Delta/Turnrow Books tour will highlight significant historic Civil Rights and Delta blues sites between Memphis and Greenwood, Mississippi, and include a visit to Greenwood’s Turnrow Book Co. Tour registration is nearly at capacity. Wi13 attendees who are interested in joining the tour should e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to the tours coordinated by ABA, Ingram Content Group is offering booksellers the option to arrive in Nashville on January 21 to visit its La Vergne, Tennessee, offices and take a tour of Lightning Source and the wholesale warehouse the next day; a bus will deliver booksellers to Memphis in time for the Winter Institute opening reception on January 22. Learn more and register for the Ingram Content Group tour here.
The 13th annual Winter Institute is fully subscribed. Registrants whose plans have changed are asked to notify the American Booksellers Association as soon as possible so booksellers on the event waitlist can take their places. Booksellers on the waitlist will be notified on a first-come, first-served basis if cancellations are received. Booksellers who are no longer planning to attend the institute are asked to e-mail email@example.com to cancel their event registration or to be removed from the event waitlist.
The institute is made possible by support from lead sponsor Ingram Content Group and from publishers large and small. Questions about Winter Institute can be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org.