VCi 2022 Program



Schedule subject to change.

Wednesday, July 13, 2022  

10:00 am to 10:00 pm

Find the link to access the Virtual Galley Room, sponsored by PartnerShip®, filled with ARCs of upcoming titles from Children’s Institute sponsors. Learn more about our publisher sponsors and business partners.

11:00 am to 12:00 pm

Activist and author Karen Walrond (The Lightmaker's Manifesto) opens Children’s Institute with a keynote conversation with ABA Director of Education Kim Hooyboer on how booksellers can maintain their spark while continuing to work for change in their communities and the world at large. By identifying tools and practices that can help booksellers define and refine their missions without succumbing to burnout, Walrond's opening keynote is sure to kindle conversations that will resonate through the entirety of Ci10.

12:00 pm to 1:00 pm

Join your colleagues to discuss key takeaways from Karen Walrond’s keynote and apply the tools she provided to your personal and professional missions.

1:00 pm to 2:00 pm

Book fairs come in all shapes and sizes. If well planned, they can be a profitable undertaking for a bookstore. In this session, booksellers with profitable book fair models will discuss different store models and how bookstores with established relationships with local school districts can analyze and optimize profitability.

Dr Faith Harper, licensed professional counselor and author will discuss mental health and self-care in the current world.

Learn the ins and outs of TikTok to gain a better understanding of TikTok lingo, how to record and produce video, as well as basic to intermediate editing tools that will help bookstores attract customers a drive sales.

3:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Booksellers are a well of knowledge, and that knowledge has value that can be monetized. In this discussion, booksellers share how they’ve profited off of charging for book clubs, storytimes, events, and library curation/consultation fees. Discussion will also include the impact on business when bookstores begin to cash in on their brilliance.

Whether you are part of an author’s major tour circuit, live in a flyover state, are just beginning to think about in-store or hybrid events, or want to broaden your repertoire, authorless events are an avenue that can bring customers into your store, create loyalty, and build your brand. In this session, panelists will share their experiences and successes with authorless events like teacher’s nights, writing workshops, and camps as alternate revenue streams and community builders.

Booksellers are critical to a bookstore’s success. So how do bookstore owners and managers better support and retain employees? In this idea exchange for owners and managers, attendees will share best practices around improving morale, accommodating employees’ needs, and fostering a good working environment.

Conducting a store inventory isn’t the most exciting part of bookselling, but it can be critical to keeping your accounting books accurate, monitoring theft, and analyzing space, turns, and profitability. It also offers an opportunity to look at your shelves with fresh eyes, see what titles have fallen through the cracks and are out of stock, and what titles aren’t moving. In this idea exchange, attendees will share systems they have in place that make for a robust process and make inventory seamless — including before, during, and after the process.

4:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Join Native authors Cynthia Leitich Smith, Traci Sorell, and Danielle Greendeer in a conversation about how reader awareness and shifts in publishing have affected the way they create new stories with native characters at the center, and share stories of the past.

5:00 pm to 6:00 am

Community partnerships are an untapped source of income for many stores. They can have a profound impact on a store’s bottom line as well as the soul of the store and its community. A panel of booksellers who work closely with community partners will share how to make initial contact, what format a partnership can take, and how to manage expectations without taking on too much. Attendees will have an opportunity for open discussion and to ask each other questions on community partnerships.

Understanding financial benchmarks within your children’s bookstore or children’s departments can help you maximize space, optimize non-book gifts and sidelines, improve profitability, and more. This session is for children’s-only bookstores or general bookstores with a children’s department. Attendees will also learn more about ABACUS — how to participate, how to use this important tool for your business, and why it’s so important for children’s bookstores to be counted in this data.

In this session, bookstores with experience with the media will share how to to make your store media ready, including creating an About Us section that will attract press, how to build a media kit, which components are key, and how to select the assets to share to highlight your bookstore’s individuality in the press.

6:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Charlie Jane Anders (Victories Greater Than Death and Dreams Bigger Than Heartbreak) gives a rousing closing keynote that examines bookstores as portals to other realms and speaks to the importance of putting the right book in the right reader's hand at the right time.

7:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Close out VCi10 with a virtual happy hour hosted by the Regionals! After a full day of education programming, this is your opportunity to come together for casual conversation led by booksellers from your regional association's Board of Directors. Check in with colleagues, meet new booksellers in your area, and share your biggest takeaways from the virtual show!

About ABA

The American Booksellers Association, a national not-for-profit trade organization, works with booksellers and industry partners to ensure the success and profitability of independently owned book retailers, and to assist in expanding the community of the book.

Independent bookstores act as community anchors; they serve a unique role in promoting the open exchange of ideas, enriching the cultural life of communities, and creating economically vibrant neighborhoods.


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