Binc participates in CI5

The fifth American Booksellers Association ABC Children’s Institute provided Binc with the opportunity to connect with booksellers, publishers, store owners and authors.

The event featured a number of excellent panels and keynote speakers, including: Ilsa Govan, Jason Reynolds and Rachel Ignotofsky. Binc Board member and Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association Executive Director Deb Leonard provided a great summary in her organization’s most recent newsletter.

CI5 was an awesome experience- honestly, I was awestruck many times.  The authors were wonderful, the education was helpful and informative, but this year everything else was blown away by the speakers. 

The opening keynote was Ilsa Govan, author of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Strategies for facilitating Conversations on Race by Rowman & Littlefield.  With just a few short exercises, Ms Govan showed us how to illustrate some innate biases that we all have.   Her program showed ways to talk about race, culture and gender in non-confrontational ways.  It was a knock out!

Jason Reynolds has been a winner of the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent; the Coretta Scott King Honor Book, Walter Dean Myers Award, winner of the Time Book of the Year and of the Kirkus Award, not to mention being a National Book Award Finalist. Jason is always highly entertaining, as well-as thought-provoking, and he was at his best here. If you ever have doubts about what a difference books can make in a child’s life, watch this program.

A conversation between Phillip and Erin Stead and their editor highlighted the journey from a scribbled note found buried in Mark Twain’s Files to the amazing The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine coming in September from Doubleday. The painstaking process of creating an illustrated book from a few notes from America’s best known author was daunting, but after hearing the Steads relate their efforts to bring this story to life, I am sure this will be a publishing event not to be forgotten.

Marley Dias is a 13-year-old black girl who was frustrated by not finding a single story in her school’s library that featured young black girls doing ordinary or even exciting things. Not one featuring a brainiac black girl astronaut with her trailblazing space poodle; not one with a fierce black girl fashion designer with her frisky Rottweiler on a rhinestone leash; not one about a black girl forensic anthropologist wither her inquisitive collie.  So, she decided that she would collect books with black girls as the main character. Not just a few books, but 1000 books! And she would give them away to places they were needed most. Marley started her campaign, and #1000BlackGirlBooks was born.  Marley was a featured speaker at White House United State of Women Summit, named “Coolest kid in America” by Ebony Magazine, selected by Teen Vogue as among the “10 amazing Black women who are changing the game”, and on and on.  Her book Marley Dias Gets it Done is coming from Scholastic this fall. This young lady should be on your radar!

The closing keynote speaker was Rachel Ignotofsky, author of Women in Science by Ten Speed Press. It was a fascinating talk about combining illustration and science literacy.  One of the most interesting details was that as she began the research for this book, Ms Ignotofsky expected that the reason there weren’t many well-known female scientists is because there weren’t many women who had opportunities to do become scientists.  To her (and our) great surprise, she found that there were hundreds in almost every discipline!  It was shocking, but not surprising that many, many women had achieved great success in many scientific endeavors, but that, because they were women, they had never been recognized. She intends to continue her search for unsung women with a book on Women in Sports coming this fall from Ten Speed.

Binc Scholarship recipient Kimberly Cake, of Enchanted Passage in Sutton Massachusetts was among the panelists included in a discussion on making a store more accessible for patrons and staff with disabilities. You can read more about it in Shelf Awareness.

Binc scholarship winner Kimberly Cake discusses creating an inclusive environment for patrons and staff with disabilities.

Binc scholarship winner Kimberly Cake discusses creating an inclusive environment for patrons and staff with disabilities.

Cake wasn’t the only Binc scholarship winner to make some waves in Portland. Sue Roegge of Chapter2Books participated in the question-and-answer portion of the presentation by Marley Dias on the need for diversity in school libraries and her #1000BlackGirlBooks campaign.

Sue Roegge, of Chapter2Books, asks a question during a presentation by Marley Dias. (Binc photo/Adam Gac)

Sue Roegge, of Chapter2Books, asks a question during a presentation by Marley Dias. (Binc photo/Adam Gac)

Between panels and keynote speakers, CI participants stopped by the Binc Foundation consultation station. Representatives from bookstores, other nonprofits, publishers and more visited with Executive Director Pam French to talk about the importance of our safety net for booksellers.

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“As a first-time attendee, the energy and enthusiasm at Children’s Institute were inspiring!” French said. “I loved everything from the keynote presentations to the author reception to meeting booksellers and authors. This was the perfect place to let booksellers know about Binc and how the Foundation can help out when life doesn’t go as planned.”

The event was a sink-or-swim test for new Communication Coordinator Adam Gac, who was promptly overwhelmed by the incredible positivity of the children’s book industry professionals.

“Everyone was so excited to be there and to grow together. Even though I’m still new to the job, long-time Binc supporters and former grant recipients made me feel like I was part of the family,” Gac said.

Book Series to Benefit Booksellers

Regional essay logo

Independent booksellers across the country are invited to submit personal essays for a nine-book series of regional paperbacks to be published by Unbridled Books with printing support by McNaughton & Gunn and edited by Carl Lennertz of ExpressEdit.net.

“I am so excited that Unbridled and McNaughton & Gunn see the joy of supporting a vehicle for bookseller authors to be published, as well as supporting a literacy cause.” – Carl Lennertz/ ExpressEdit.net

Ron Rice, editor of My Bookstore, will gather the essays for publication, and Bob Minzesheimer, formerly of USA Today (and now an indie bookseller), will write a foreword for each volume.

The books’ content will mirror the territories of the nine regional associations. One or two titles a year will be published, when a sufficient number of essays is received to produce a complete book. Essays should be about each bookseller’s unique experience in his or her current or home state — life, travels, observations — past or present.  After design and production costs are recouped, remaining profits will go to the Book Industry Charitable (Binc) Foundation. 

“We are thrilled to be the beneficiary of this exciting project. Thank you to everyone involved. This support will allow the Binc Foundation to continue helping booksellers across the nation who experience a personal financial crisis.” Pam French/Binc Foundation

For the series of books, submissions for essays shouldn’t necessarily be about bookstore life specifically, but about personal observations or life experiences a bookseller has had that embody their state and their place in them. A bookseller can write about any state they’ve lived in, not just where they currently reside. Send submissions in soon – everyone is anxious to get book one into your bookstore quickly!

“Greg and I have always admired independent booksellers and we love publishing diverse voices from around the country, so this is a natural for us.” – Fred Ramey/Unbridled Press

If you are a bookseller with a penchant for writing, see how you can submit your essay here.

Questions can be addressed to Carl Lennertz, Ron Rice or Fred Ramey.

How Far We’ve Come

Four Seasons BooksWhile visiting family in West Virginia over the Thanksgiving holiday, we made our way to Shepherdstown, a small college town, and discovered Four Seasons Books. Of course we had to go into the bookshop and explore.  As we were checking out I handed the clerk my business card and was about to explain about Binc, but didn’t get a single word out. The clerk saw the logo and jumped in with “I love what you do!”  And then she went on to tell me all about our scholarship and emergency assistance programs.  This was one of the best Thanksgiving moments I’ve ever had.

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What it Takes to Become a Successful Bookstore Owner

Opening a bookstore is a daunting task, even for someone having broad bookselling and book industry knowledge. Just like our partners at Paz & Associates, Binc is dedicated to helping book people thrive in an industry that can be a challenge.

This post on the Paz & Associates blog from October offers some insight on how to make it as a bookstore owner.

Paz and Associates logoPeople often ask us to describe the kinds of people who are most successful bookstore owners. The answers may be surprising … the ability to master spreadsheets is not top of the list!

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Our IBA Travel Continues at the PNBA Trade Show in Portland

The folks at The Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association put on a busy and vibrant show, chuck full of authors and events. The staff and volunteers were all as helpful as could be and made me feel very welcome. Thanks everyone!

1. Getting great feedback from booksellers about improving our website. Thanks Bruce, from Rediscovered Books!

2. Meeting so many northwest authors and hearing about the wide variety of books they are publishing.

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GLIBA & MIBA Host a Fantastic Heartland Fall Forum Trade Show

Pam and Penny attended the Heartland Fall Forum hosted by GLIBA and MIBA in Chicago over the weekend.  It was a great event full of old and new friends, unforgettable authors and an energetic trade show floor.  Here are the top ten reasons The Heartland Fall Forum exceeded our expectations!

10. Meeting a happy parent of Meghan Roegge, one of our scholarship winners from Chapter 2 Books in Hudson, WI.

9. Hearing author Jim Harrison speak at lunch on Friday!

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Visiting Bookstores

“What I say is, a town isn’t a town without a bookstore. It may call itself a town, but unless it’s got a bookstore it knows it’s not fooling a soul.”  ― Neil GaimanAmerican Gods

I have found this to be true as I have visited stores this summer as part of Binc’s 100 Bookstore Challenge. I also noted that bookstores, like towns have very different personalities. Some are very organized and pristine, with a place for everything and everything in its place, while others are relaxed, very homey and even a bit rumpled. Some have their checkout desk front and center to greet you as you arrive, and others want you to peruse the store before happening upon the desk in the back. One store instructs their employees to help everyone coming in the door immediately, while in the next you are free to wander at you leisure without any interruption. I visited stores that offered seating on nicer furniture than I have in my own living room, and others where patrons are sprawled on the floor.

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Chance Encounter

A few weeks ago, I unexpectedly became a patient in the cardiac unit of an area hospital. After I’d been there a couple of days, there was a knock at my door and two teenagers came in. They asked if I wanted a book or magazine or newspaper to read. I thanked them and held up my iPad and said that I was good for now. They promised to come back the next day. And so they did.

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