Friday, February 12, 2010

The American Booksellers Association Winter Institute: What is on the edge?

I had the pleasure of attending the ABA's Winter Institute in San Jose, CA this past week, on behalf of Anthology Book Company. Close to 500 independent booksellers, publishers, authors and speakers spent 3 days looking at the state of independent book selling, advances and insights into digital media, trends in reading, economic concerns, and much more. Publishers gave overviews of the newest titles to be released this spring; advance reader copies were available, and many of us packed up boxes of books to send back to our respective bookstores. When your bookseller is informed and has read the newest titles, we are then able to promote and share those titles with you when released. That is a sweet aspect of our job!

I met people from as far away as New Zealand and as close as Fort Collins, CO. There was one constant variable in the assembly: everyone there was passionate about books! It was amazing to see, hear and consider the importance of supporting local businesses, promoting local authors, networking with other local businesses and finding ways to help assure that in this troubled economy. Creative social media has lent a hand in connecting people, via e-newsletters, blogs, Facebook and other sites. There are even Twitter-based book clubs! The bottom line is physical books have been around for centuries, and they "ain't goin' away" anytime soon. If you use a Kindle or other pda, let us know. How can Anthology best serve you, our customers, in making reading a convenient and valued aspect of your life? E-books were all the discussion: we need to be aware and ready to meet the demands of digital books now and in the future.

I encourage your comments.

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