* * * Countdown to BookExpo * * * Thursday at BEA Packed With Educational Programming for Booksellers

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ABA is once again offering an all-day educational program for booksellers attending BookExpo America (BEA). Thursday, May 29, at BEA, which runs from May 28 - June 1 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, will feature panels and seminars designed specifically to meet the needs and interests of independent booksellers. The program will run from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. and is open to ABA members and non-members.

The day will start with four in-depth sessions for small and mid-size stores exploring the topics of Budgeting & Monitoring, Technology as a Bookselling Tool, Time Management, and Marketing; and a large-store seminar, "How to Control Payroll Expenses." These sessions run concurrently from 9:00 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

The newly revised Budgeting & Monitoring Workshop, led by ABA CEO Avin Mark Domnitz, will show booksellers how to use a series of Excel worksheets to integrate into their store operations a system of financial controls that allow an owner or manager to predict performance and then measure outcomes against those predictions. Special attention will be paid to factors that the early ABACUS results indicate are the drivers of profitability and success. Advance registration is necessary.

The technology session will offer an in-depth examination -- with live demonstrations -- of a bookstore's technology needs. Topics will include basic computer techniques; bookseller online discussion forums; the electronic ABA Book Buyer's Handbook; reporting to the Book Sense Bestseller List; and the e-commerce solution for independent booksellers, BookSense.com. The session will be moderated by Tom Allen of Stacey's Bookstore in San Francisco and will feature ABA staff members Len Vlahos, Jeff Wexler, and Bill Cunningham.

"Creating Order Out of Chaos -- Staying Afloat in a World of Too Much to Do" is the title of the morning's session on time management. The workshop is designed to give booksellers insights and ideas on time, stress, and priority management; work/life balance; and self-management. David Allen, author of Getting Things Done (Viking Press) and founder of the David Allen Company, a management training and coaching company, will share his ideas on how to get things done through stress-free management practices. There will be ample time to ask questions and share experiences.

The fourth morning session for small and mid-size stores will focus on strategies and tactics that independent booksellers can use to gain a greater share of current customers' business and to attract new customers. Tom Ehrenfeld (The Start-up Garden, McGraw-Hill Companies), Harry Beckwith (What Clients Love: A Field Guide to Growing Your Business, Warner Business Books), and Jack Mitchell (Hug Your Customers, Hyperion) will share effective customer-relations strategies and insights into growing a business gleaned from their work as consultants to a wide range of retail businesses. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and to share their experiences. The session will be moderated by Michael Hoynes, ABA marketing officer.

The seminar "How to Control Payroll Expenses" for owners and managers of large stores will focus on their most pressing challenge to profitability -- hiring and retaining good employees. At this seminar, the owner of Joseph-Beth/Davis-Kidd, Neil Van Uum, and other key store staff will address such questions as writing appropriate ads, interviewing candidates, training new employees, and, most critically, evaluating performance based on objective criteria. There will be opportunities at the seminar for an in-depth discussion of this key issue.

At a new event, the "What Are You Reading Lunch?" from noon - 1:15 p.m., booksellers will have the chance to discuss their favorite titles with colleagues.

The after-lunch program will offer a series of small-group discussions on key challenges in the bookstore. Each session will be repeated three times: 1:30 p.m. - 2:10 p.m.; 2:20 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.; 3:10 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. The scheduled discussions are:

  • New Opportunities From ABA (moderated by ABA staff)
  • A Sampling of the Best Operational Forms Used in Bookstores (moderated by George Kiskaddon of Builders Booksource, Berkeley, California; and Mark Nichols of ABA)
  • How to Delegate … and How to Maximize Staff Productivity (moderated by Neal Coonerty of Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, California)
  • How to Integrate Used Books and Remainders Into Your Store Operations (moderated by Dee and Chuck Robinson, Village Books, Bellingham, Washington)
  • Top 10 Marketing Ideas to Make Your Web Site a Profit Center (with presenters Luanne Kreutzer, St. Helen's Bookshop, St. Helens, Oregon; and Len Vlahos, director of BookSense.com)
  • How to Increase Your Store Security and Minimize Shoplifting

Also on the afternoon schedule is "Books Too Good to Miss," an event co-sponsored by the American Booksellers Association (ABA), Association of Booksellers for Children (ABC), and the Children's Book Council (CBC) Children's Booksellers and Publishers Committee.

From 2:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m, Chris Crutcher, the author of King of the Mild Frontier, Whale Talk, Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, and more, discusses the creative process with his editor, Virginia Duncan of Greenwillow Books.

During the Children's Book Buzz program from 2:30 p.m. - 3:45 p.m., editors and marketing staff from a variety of publishing houses will present new titles in small roundtable sessions. Publishing houses and staff attending are:

  • Candlewick Press: Karen Lotz and Lorraine Tauches
  • Harcourt Trade Publishers: Allyn Johnston and Steve Kasdin
  • HarperCollins Children's Books: Katherine Tegen and Diane Naughton
  • Henry Holt Books for Young Readers: Laura Godwin and Sharon Hancock
  • Hyperion Books for Children: Liza Baker and Angus Killick
  • Little, Brown & Co. Children's Books: Cynthia Eagan and Allison Devlin
  • Peachtree Publishers: Kathy Landwehr and Barbara Witke
  • Scholastic/Blue Sky Press: Bonnie Verburg and Jennifer Pasanen
  • Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers: David Gale and Michelle Montague
  • Walker & Co.: Emily Easton and Beth Eller

At 3:45 p.m. Esmé Raji Codell, author of Sahara Special (Hyperion) and Educating Esmé: Diary of a Teacher's First Year (Algonquin), as well as the forthcoming How to Get Your Child to Love Reading (Algonquin), will discuss children's literature. Codell is an educator and a children's literature specialist.

Registration for the Thursday educational programming is through the BEA Web site at www.BookExpoAmerica.com. The fee for the entire day of programming is $50 for ABA members/$30 for each additional ABA member; $75 for non-ABA members/$50 for each additional non-ABA member.

For complete ABA programming and special event information, click here.