Registration for the American Booksellers Association's Winter Institute (Wi6), which began last week, is off to an unprecedented start. The sixth annual educational event – sponsored by Ingram Content Group – is already more than 25 percent booked to capacity. The January 19 – 21 program in Washington, D.C., is open exclusively to ABA bookstore and provisional members and is capped at 500 participants. Since past Winter Institutes have been sell-outs, ABA is encouraging members to register as early as possible.
Wi6’s three-day schedule features more than 30 education sessions for booksellers at all levels of experience, as well as special events. The opening day focus will be on advocacy and current trends in policy related to small business in America. Following morning education sessions on Wednesday, January 19, booksellers who choose to participate will join fellow indie booksellers on a trip to Capitol Hill to meet with their elected officials. The day will end with a reception at the Library of Congress, co-sponsored by The Center for the Book.
The next two full days of educational programming will cover an array of topics, including marketing using PR and social medial, working with reps near and far, understanding the drivers of the children’s book market, adding a café to your bookstore, creating new business models, and much more.
Continuing a popular Winter Institute tradition, there will be an opening reception at Politics & Prose Bookstore on the night of January 18. Other Wi6 special events include the always-popular author reception, rep picks sessions, a free galley room, and a closing reception featuring authors from small presses.
The Winter Institute is free for ABA bookstore and provisional members; there is a $60 non-refundable meal fee to offset some of the food costs. (Attendees will be served three breakfasts and three lunches in addition to light refreshments at nightly receptions.) Wi6 registration is being filled on a first-come, first-served basis. The deadline is December 15. (Register now.)
ABA has reserved a block of rooms at Wi6's host hotel, the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Virginia, for Tuesday, January 18, through Saturday, January 22, 2011. The special room rate of $119 a night for ABA bookseller and provisional members and participating publisher sponsors will only be available until January 5, 2011, or until the group block is sold out, whichever comes first. Registration is via the Crystal Gateway Marriott's dedicated Wi6 reservations page.
Questions regarding Wi6 hotel reservations should be addressed directly to the hotel at (800) 266-9432. To cancel a reservation prior to January 5, contact the hotel directly; on January 5 or later, e-mail Wi6@bookweb.org. Importantly, Reagan National Airport is the best airport to fly into for easy access to the Crystal Gateway Marriott. The hotel provides free shuttle service to and from Reagan National, and it is only one Metro stop from the airport.
ABA Publisher Partners are sponsoring more than 20 Wi6 bookseller scholarships. Scholarship winners will be selected from among all ABA bookstore members. Booksellers who drop off a business card at the ABA booth at any of the regional trade shows can earn an extra entry in the scholarship awards process. Scholarships include up to four nights hotel accommodations at the Crystal Gateway Marriott, and airfare up to $350. Previous scholarship winners are not eligible. Winners will be announced no later than November 15.
Questions regarding the Winter Institute can be addressed to Wi6@bookweb.org.