Today Elizabeth and I leave the ABA’s sixth Winter Institute, known as WI6, in Washington, D.C. Five hundred booksellers will gather for three days of educational sessions, lunches and author receptions. Really, what could be better… oh, lots of great galleys.
I am looking forward to WI6 for many reasons. The main reason is to see my bookselling friends again. WI6 is six months after the annual book trade show, BEA, and because its focus is only on bookseller education, there is no show floor. Therefore, there’s not that mad scramble to see as much as possible. Plus, this show, I’m not hobbled by health issues, so I can actually walk around.
My goal this week is to learn, from my colleagues and the educational session facilitators. The sessions that I’m particularly excited about are the ones that deal with how to survive in these changing times. I will be happily attending the following sessions, some of this might involve cloning myself, but there is much to learn (descriptions taken from WI6 program):
– The New Reality: Alternative Business Models for Independent Bookstore A business model based on book sales alone is growing more challenging each year, but a few creative ideas can make a difference. This panel will feature booksellers who have embraced new business models that expand the bookstore business beyond the book.
– How To Create New Business Models Through Strategic Thinking
From selling children’s clothes and creating stores within stores to offering local delivery, indie booksellers are using their ingenuity and their roots in the community to create new and interesting ways to sustain their book sales. The process involves recognizing opportunity and using strategic thinking. This session will walk you through the strategic thinking process and leave you with the tools to plan new ventures.
– Buying And Selling Non-Book Roundtable In this roundtable you will discover new tactics, share some of your own, and enjoy a conversation with your colleagues about sidelines.
– What Really Drives Choice In The Children’s Book Market? The 2010 ABC & Bowker PubTrack Survey How do consumers value children’s books, and what makes them choose one over another? In fall 2010, Bowker PubTrack and the Association of Booksellers for Children set out to understand these questions in collaboration with children’s publishers. Focusing on purchasing for three core groups, and covering everything from how much input children have in buying decisions, to trends in digital book content, these key findings present the first-ever real data about what is driving today’s children’s book market.
– Event Planners Roundtable If you are an event planner, this roundtable is where you want to be! Come join your colleagues in a discussion that will cover many aspects of planning events.
And, as great as these look, there are more I’d like to attend, but that would involve altering the space-time continuum, so I’ll be happy with what I can glean from the ones I can actually be a part of. The thing that I just adore about Winter Institute are the chance encounters with other booksellers where we problem-solve. I learn so much from my colleagues, it amazes and makes me happy every time.
Next week, I’ll have a recap of all the educational sessions and highlights of what I learned.