Recently the Independent Booksellers Association held their regional trade shows--a place to learn to be better booksellers and bookstores, find out what all is new in the industry and the season, and get a chance to talk to oodles of authors and publishers. Think of them as a sort of bookseller candy store! Each region's schedule was packed full of book signings and author appearances and other cool events, but we thought we'd pick a few out to give you an idea of just how diverse and interesting they all were.
Starting the Mountains and Plains (Tattered Cover's region), the biggest sensation was a screening of Paperback Dreams, a documentary about independent bookstores that will be airing on PBS this fall. It really jazzed a lot of folks up, so don't be surprised to see a lot of indy bookstores making displays and events to go along with it. Another huge hit was a new messenger bag put out by MPIBA that has "Reading is Sexy" emblazoned on it.
The MPIBA keynote speaker was Frank Wilczek, Nobel prize winning physicist and author of Lightness of Being: Mass, Ether and the Unification of Forces which is getting a lot of buzz for finally being able to clearly explain to the general public revolutionary ideas about space and matter you used to need a lab coat and large chunks of the alphabet after your name to understand. A children's author breakfast featured J. Otto Seibold, (Vunce Upon a Time) and Rick Riordan, (39 Clues: The Maze of Bones). Another popular event featured authors Chuck Klosterman (Downtown Owl), John Hodgman (More Information Than You Require) and Laura Pederson (Buffalo Gal).
The New Atlantic region's Children's Breakfast featured authors T.A. Barron, Jay Asher (Thirteen Reasons Why), Loren Long (Drummer Boy) and Cameron Tuttle (Paisley Hanover Acts Out). Other authors involved in show events included this month'The s IndyBest headlinerJoyce Hinnefeld (In Hovering Flight), Louis Bayard (The Black Tower), Michael Wexler (The Seems), Alafair Burke (Angel's Tip), and Cecelia Galante (The Patron Saint of Butterflies) among many, many others.
The Pacific Northwest show had Garth Stein (The Art of Racing in the Rain) as a keynote speaker (lucky dogs). The show also featured David Wolman (Righting the Mother Tongue), Susan Jane Gilman (Undress Me In The Temple of Heaven), Juan Eslava Galan (The Mule), Stephanie Kallos (Sing Them Home), Benjamin Mee (We Bought a Zoo), Bob Staake (The Donut Chef) Kim Barnes (A Country Called Home), Chelsea Cain (Sweetheart), and John Bemelmans Marciano (Madeline And The Cats of Rome) among many others.
Last but not least, the New England show had a workshop near and dear to our heart: Do I Really Need a Blog? Social Media 101 for the Independent Bookseller put on by Random House sales reps and Uberbloggers (check out their BooksOnTheNightstand blog, it's actually in multimedia!) Michael Kindness and Ann Kingman. Children's authors Laurie Halse Anderson (Chains), Jeanne Birdsall (The Penderwicks of Gardam Street) and Norton Juster (Sourpuss and Sweetie Pie) were featured at a breakfast. Other authors involved in the events were Wally Lamb (The Hour I First Believed), Dennis Lehane (The Given Day), Kathleen Norris (Acedia and Me), Elise Broach (Masterpiece), Julia Glass (I See You Everywhere) and Stewart O'Nan (Songs for the Missing) among many others.