We had a tremendous and productive time in New York for BookExpo 2018.
We got to see so many wonderful book industry friends. Booksellers, authors, publishers, agents and more. We even got to meet our friends from HumbleBundle who recently partnered with Chronicle Book for a bundle to support Binc!
This was our first year hosting Drinks With Binc on-site during BookExpo and it was incredible! Thanks to our friends at BookExpo and Baker and Taylor and the Javits Center we had a great view.
But the view was nothing compared to seeing a comprehensive slice of the book industry brought together by a common cause: protecting the bookseller’s safety net!
We had a great time at our in-person board meeting in early May. The Binc board has more than 360 years of combined book industry experience and most of their amazing work for the Foundation is done remotely. When the opportunity for them to work face-to-face presents itself, incredible things happen.
Before the official meeting, board members visited Ann Arbor bookstores and met with some local book industry supporters for Drinks with Binc.
The in-person meeting featured a brief overview of how the board helped Binc and booksellers through an unprecedented year in 2017. Board members were crucial in fundraising and awareness efforts following a relentless series of natural disasters.
In addition to discussing how the bookseller’s safety net performed in 2017, the board looked to the future of the foundation in 2018 and beyond.
One of the events our board is most excited about is the return of the Bank on Booksellers auction later this year. Bank on Booksellers is a great way to celebrate authors and illustrators while also helping protect booksellers from strife following emergencies. The week-long auction will provide booklovers the chance to win piggy banks decorated by some of the biggest celebrities in the book industry (and some from beyond!)
Another development that has our board eager for 2018 is our continuing awareness efforts in the world of comic bookselling. We’ve seen an outpouring of support and outreach efforts from comic industry leaders like Lion Forge Comics and Diamond Comic Distributors, which will go a long way toward ensuring comic book guys and gals from across the US will be able to find relief when the unexpected strikes.
Board members and staff are also looking forward announcing the launch of the Carla Gray Memorial Scholarship for Emerging Bookseller-Activists. Several of our board members had the pleasure of working with Carla. The memorial scholarship provides an opportunity for someone with fewer than five years of bookselling experience to attend a key industry trade show and to create a community outreach project at their store.
Remember last year’s Shop Local Live Local campaign, where AdventureKEEN supported booksellers across the country by donating all of their profits from the month of June to Binc? We do! Because of AdventureKEEN’s donation, we were able to help four booksellers through one of the most trying years in the foundation’s history.
After the rousing success of Shop Local Live Local, AdventureKEEN is once again stepping up to help booksellers thrive. For 2018, AdventureKEEN is taking the Shop Local Live Local spirit and spreading it across the year with SHOP LOCAL LIVE LOCAL ALL YEAR LONG. This new campaign means AdventureKEEN is offering a three percent rebate to stores and a matching three percent donation to Binc based on 2018 purchases of all AdventureKEEN titles via PGW/IPS
One of the best parts about this offer is that AdventureKEEN is willing to count all sales from the beginning of 2018, but only for those store that sign up for the program before March 31, which is why we are taking to our humble blog in the hopes of getting the word out before it is too late.
If you’re not familiar with AdventureKEEN’s offerings, they make a great addition to your Local Interest section. AdventureKEEN provides region and state-specific titles to help people get the most out of the outdoors in their community, from hiking, stargazing and birdwatching guides to books to inspire a love of nature in young readers. Shop Local Live Local began with the idea of encouraging people to foster a deeper connection to their community through their local bookstore as well as their local parks, trails and backyards: we’re so excited to see it expand to a year-round mission.
Winter Institute 13 was a whirlwind of friends, knowledge and so much fun! Shelf Awareness put together a great summary of the whole event here, but we wanted to share the event from your safety net’s perspective!
One of the first highlights of our adventure was a dinner we hosted at the Majestic Grille. We were absolutely humbled to be in the room with dozens of friends from across the book industry. Our supporters and scholarship recipients were able to connect over their favorite books and a great meal.
“The dinner represented all faces of the book industry coming together to celebrate their foundation,” said Kit Steinaway, program director. “Without their support, we couldn’t have helped a record number of booksellers in 2017.”
Our primary focus during trade shows is talking face-to-face with booksellers at our consultation station – it’s our strongest awareness tool. However, there was still plenty of time to attend some education sessions featuring booksellers and experts from across the book industry and beyond.
Our Director of Development attended “Exploring Innovative Business Models & Funding Options,” where she learned how the creativity that goes into making a bookstore a reality never ceases to amaze. The session discussed crowdfunding, using pop-ups to test markets and gain credibility, and the advantages and challenges of non-profit versus for-profit business models.
“Book people are passionate about finding ways to get books into the hands of people in their communities and they will do whatever it takes to accomplish their goal,” she said.
In addition to attending some great information sessions, we were honored to have executive director Pam French included on a panel of professionals discussing how booksellers can best prepare for an emergency. During the panel, booksellers and store owners shared examples of their experiences and reinforced the need that advanced planning helped in their response efforts.
“Both of the store owners on the panel, John Cavalier and Valerie Koehler spoke from experience,” Pam said. “After the flooding in John’s neighborhood, he became involved with his local planning commission and is working to identify and update flood zones and emergency response proceeds.”
The emergency preparedness panel also featured a bevy of information from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
“The FEMA representative provided and overview of how FEMA works and a list of online tools that can be used for emergency prep,” Pam said. “One useful tip I learned is FEMA has an app that can be customized to any zip code and provide a lot of helpful information including a list of local emergency shelters.”
We were so honored to be named the designated charity of Winter Institute by the ABA. Their recognition elevated awareness of how Binc can help booksellers through emergencies and made it possible for an incredible fundraising event. The first ever Winter Institute game of Binc Heads-or-Tails was exciting, fun and brought everyone together to illustrate just how committed the book industry is to taking care of our people. The best part was raising enough money to help at least four booksellers!
“The energy in the room was amazing,” Kit said. “One of the few things that could entice a bookseller to get out of a signing line (for a few minutes, anyway) for their favorite author.”
The 2017 fall trade show season has come to an end. Trade Show season is a crucial time for the Binc team since our most effective tool for awareness is talking to booksellers directly. It was great to see so many friends from all across the book industry, from IBAs to the ABA and everyone in between.
We’ve been incredibly busy helping booksellers after hurricanes, wildfires and through all of the other emergencies we’ve helped with for more than 20 years. Even so, we wanted to take a minute to share some of our favorite memories from the 2017 Trade show season
Our Program Director, Kit Steinaway, said her favorite memory came from early in the season, at the SIBA gathering:
“My favorite memory from this year’s trade show season was the sight of so many booksellers having fun together playing a rousing game of Heads-Or-Tails. We spend a lot of time helping booksellers through their most dire moments, to see so many of my favorite people just having a great time was amazing.”
Director of Development Kathy Bartson’s favorite part of travelling to trade shows is the warm reception Binc receives from all of the Independent Bookseller Associations, and how their support helps Binc help more booksellers.
“We wouldn’t be where we are today without the support of the IBAs. The good will they have put out for us for all these years is paying off because booksellers are learning they can turn to us for help.”
Joan Noricks recently joined the Binc team as Office Coordinator. She and fellow newbie Adam Gac joined Kit for the Heartland Fall Forum. She was wowed (and a little exhausted) by the experience.
“I knew we were going to be meeting a lot of wonderful booksellers, but who knew I was in for personal capacity building? The programming was amazing, especially listening to so many authors and wanting to read all their work – not to mention strengthening my upper body carrying all those various tote bags of books.”
Communications Coordinator Adam Gac had this to say:
“THIS IS AMAZING. I can’t wait to get back to the office to make a blog post about how incredible it is to spend time with so many brilliant booksellers.”
The northern California show kicked off while many of the wildfires were still burning, Executive Director Pam French was there, talking with booksellers about the needs of their communities.
“Being with book people and in particular witnessing their resiliency and compassion for each other was inspiring. This is why Binc exists, to help booksellers help each other when the unthinkable happens.”
We can’t wait to see everyone again next year. (And at Winter Institute!)