What a fabulous NEIBA Fall Conference in Providence last week.

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.

Lehane, Diaz, 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 shit, bro!"
Friday, October 12, 2012 - 4:00am