Friday, October 12, 2012 - 04
One of my most favorite moments at the fabulous NEIBA Fall Conference
was listening to the literary banter between Dennie Lehane and Junot
Diaz at the author breakfast. Despite the profusion of swearwords, they
both seemed amazed by one another and the fact that they were int he
same room together. The positive buzz began with John Sargent's plenary
talk, direct and to the point; a hopeful and positive point.
Bookselllers and publishers packed the room, making for standing room
only to listen to John, our independent hero.
The buzz continued
throughout the afternoon and into an evening of authors, all fabulous
and friendly. The rotunda served well with long tall windows looking
out onto the lights of Providence. Dinners were eaten in the numerous
wonderful restaurants that are sprinkled throughout Providence,
Gracie's, The Dorrance, Local 212 and many others.
Lisa Genova and James Dashner blew everyone away at the sold out
breakfast with their comments, all making it very clear who were their
strongest allies in the book world, the indies. They all told us why
indies matter to them. "Isn't that the shit, bro" came out of Diaz's
mouth more than once.
One of the smartest moves NEIBA made this
year was opening the trade show floor in the middle of the Conference,
bracketed by this author breakfast and the NECBA children's dinner.
The floor buzzed with booksellers right up until 5 pm, with some stores
bringing multiple front line booksellers. Canvasing the tables I found
that publishers and sales reps were happy and busy talking about their
books. Above the Treeline was there with a full schedule of
appointments. Jen from ABT said she was just swamped. The ABA booth
was full of people wanting to know about the Kobo eReader deal and how
to get them into their stores. More was learned about this venture
Friday morning when Joy and Neil gave their presentation to another
packed and standing room only audience. Peppered with numerous
questions, the feeling was prominent that this move was a positive one
for ABA, Kobo and most importantly, the indies.
All in all, the
NEIBA Fall Conference was a grand success. Booksellers left Friday
afternoon after the Awards Luncheon and President's Award with bags full
of books, a smile on their face and a liitle baggy around the eyes from
all the socializing with other booksellers. Energized, excited about
the fall books and ready to enter the holiday season with a refreshed
vigor for independent bookselling. Kudos to all and "isn't that the