Fall Conference

45th Annual Fall Conference

September 25 – 27, 2018

Rhode Island Convention Center Ballroom, Providence RI








Authors at the Show

Bookseller Scholarships

Tuesday September 25

Conference Educational Sessions are sponsored by Ingram Book Company and Penguin Random House 

10:00 am – 5:30 pm
Registration Open

9:00 am – 5:00 pm

An IndieCommerce specialist will be available to talk to both users and non-users of IndieCommerce and IndieLite and you can reserve your spot for the meeting. Walk-ins are welcome too. The link for the sign-up form is :

11:00 am – Noon
Keynote Speaker

Valerie Jarrett, Finding My Voice, Viking

12:15 – 2:15 pm
Publishers Pick-Nic

The Rotunda
Advanced ticket required

Please join us for the two-hour, speed-dating style, sales and marketing boxed lunch. Publisher’s and wholesaler’s reps introduce us to the best of the fall and winter lists with a focus on regional titles and their personal picks. Essential for buyers and frontline booksellers. Please note that this year’s event will feature wedding-style assigned seating at the tables so that our rep partners have the chance to present to the widest range of booksellers possible. Please look for your name and table number on the sign as you enter the Rotunda.

Educational Programs

Unlocking the Marketing Power of Social Media with Sarah Benoit

Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook are not magical portals for connecting with customers. It takes knowing who your customers are, what they want, and where they hang out online to make social media work for your store. Join Sarah Benoit, director of training and lead instructor for JB Media Institute, to learn how to amplify your business by understanding the role of social media in your marketing efforts and how to build relationships with customers by communicating with these tools. Used correctly, social media turns into advocate who runs around the world talking about how awesome you are. Who doesn’t want that?

NECBA Picks: The Windows & Mirrors Project

Every child deserves to see themselves in the books they read. NECBA’s Windows & Mirrors Committee proudly presents a selection of their favorite books from 2018. Highlighting titles from toddler to young adult, they will unveil and present books representing the best in children’s books and diversity, and lead a discussion about steps you can take in your stores to handsell diverse titles effectively and sensitively. This session is particularly recommended for general NEIBA bookstores and booksellers who would like to learn about noteworthy children’s titles to know and stock this holiday season. Handouts provided.

4:00 – 5:15
How to be Smarter about Inventory Management

Inventory management is something we all wish would just sort of handle itself, but it takes work. And, like anything we want to be better at, from yoga poses to running that 5k, it takes consistent practice to perfect. Join buyers from large and small stores, along with a publisher rep, to learn how mastering the many moving parts of today’s inventory toolkit—including using analytics for frontlist ordering, the consistent ordering of backlist direct from publishers, and strategic wholesaler deployment–can help any store’s bottom line.

Selling Outside Your Comfort Zone

Having category specialists on staff is a gift—those folks who know everything about a single section and can be relied on to put the perfect book into a customer’s hands every time. But what happens on their day off? Or during a busy holiday Saturday when they’re three-people deep at the information desk? Having a go-to, cross-sectional strategy for staff education can make the best use of everyone’s time when you need it most. Join category-specialist booksellers and an omnibus publisher rep to learn how to train your staff to sell the whole store, make section-specific cheat-sheets, and—as an added bonus—to stock their go-to backlist recommendations (with some hot Fall 2018 frontlist thrown in for good measure).

Maximizing Pre-Order Campaigns

Pre-orders are becoming an increasingly important way in which books are sold and marketed in 2018, and indie bookstores can and should take part in this growing business. Heavily influenced by television and social media, the months before a title’s publication are critical, and pre-orders are a growing component of a book’s ultimate sales. By working with publishers to take full advantage of pre-order opportunities, indie bookstores can avoid lost sales, lost PR, and lost market share. In this session, ABA will discuss ways that stores can successfully promote and sell pre-orders to become an integral partner to publishers and authors. Learn about new methods developed and tested by a task force of indie stores–including processes and protocols for stores using various POS systems–that all stores can use to maximize pre-orders through marketing, tracking, and reporting. The session will include bookseller participation from the pre-order task force.

Author Reception

Katherine Arden, Small Spaces, Penguin Young Readers
Dan Barry, This Land, Black Dog & Leventhal
Marie Benedict, The Only Woman in the Room, Sourcebooks Landmark
Lisa Brennan-Jobs, Small Fry, Grove Atlantic
Christopher Castellani, Leading Men, Viking
S.A. Chakraborty, The Kingdom of Copper, Harper Voyager
Yangsze Choo, The Night Tiger, Flatiron
Anika Aldamuy Denise , Planting Stories, HarperCollins
Sara Farizan, Here to Stay, Algonquin Young Readers
Kit Frick, See All The Stars, Simon & Schuster Children’s
Lisa Gardner, Never Tell, Dutton
Bassey Ikpi, I’m Telling the Truth, But I’m Lying, Harper Perennial
Shelley Jackson, Riddance, Catapult
Martha Hall Kelly, Lost Rose, Random House
Grace Lin, When You Grow Up To Vote, Roaring Brook Press
Tochi Oneybuchi, Crown of Thunder, Penguin Young Readers
Sy Montgomery, How to Be a Good Creature, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Rob Sanders, Stonewall, Random House Books for Young Readers
Whitney Scharer, The Age Of Light, Little, Brown and Company
B.A. Shapiro, Collector’s Apprentice, Algonquin Books
Grace Talusan, The Body Papers, Restless Books
Susan Verde, I Am Human, Abrams Books for Young Readers
Yara Zgheib, The Girls at 17 Swann Street, St. Martin’s Press

Wednesday September 26


7:30 am – 5:30 pm
Registration Open

8:30 am – 10:00 am
Children’s Author Breakfast

The Rotunda

Sponsored by Bookazine
Advance tickets required

Jerry Craft, New Kid, HarperCollins
Monica Hesse, The War Outside, Little, Brown and Company
David Ezra Stein, Interrupting Chicken and the Elephant of Surprise, Candlewick


10:00 am – 4:30 pm
Trade Show Exhibits Open

10:00 – 4:00 pm
Author Signings at Exhibitor Tables



An IndieCommerce specialist will be available to talk to both users and non-users of IndieCommerce and IndieLite and you can reserve your spot for the meeting. Walk-ins are welcome too. The link for the sign-up form is : http://bookweb.org/indiecommerce-one-one-appointments-neiba-2018-fall-conference


4:30 pm
Trade Show Exhibit Closes


6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Awards Dinner

Biltmore Hotel, Grand Ballroom

Sponsored by Baker & Taylor
Advance tickets required

New England Book Awards:
Fiction – Celeste Ng, Little Fires Everywhere, Penguin
Non-Fiction – John Hodgman, Vacationland, Penguin
Children’s (Birth-11) – Jessica Kensky, Patrick Downes, illust. Scott Magoon, Rescue and Jessica, Candlewick
Young Adult – Holly Black, The Cruel Prince, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

President’s Award
Saul Gilman Award – Kate Sullivan, Random House Children’s Books
Independent Spirit Award


9:00 pm – 11:30 pm
1,000 Books To Read Before You Die Trivia Night
Sponsored by Workman

Fleming’s Steakhouse, Omni Hotel


Thursday September 27


7:30 am – 1:30 pm
Registration Open

8:30 am – 10:00 am
Author Breakfast

The Rotunda

Sponsored by HarperCollins
Advance tickets required

Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, Friday Black, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Jarrett J. Krosoczka, Hey, Kiddo, Scholastic
Walter Mosley, John Woman, Atlantic Monthly Press
Adriana Trigiani, Tony’s Wife, Harper


Educational Programs

10:15 am – 11:15 am
Bookstores and Political Activism in the Current Climate

As a center for the exchange of ideas in every community, bookstores can serve as the perfect place for fostering political discussion and activism. But in this divided and divisive age, how do we stay true to book retail’s legacy as a hub for discourse and still make all customers feel welcome? How do we express our own political beliefs—through things like events or creative displays—while making it understood to the communities we serve that there’s a place for all viewpoints within our four walls? Join activist booksellers and an ABA moderator for a lively discussion on what works, what doesn’t, and how we can all be better prepared for how to position our stores during this nutty time (and beyond).

Creative Event Marketing:
Thinking outside the box to book the events you want, and increase attendance at the events you have

For many stores, events are the backbone of the business plan. But like nearly every piece of that plan, a store’s orientation toward events needs constant innovation. Are you striking out with publishers, from the Edelweiss grid to the offices of the publicist? Are you underwhelmed by the attendance when you do hold an event? Why are stores your size in other places seemingly hitting it out of the park with events and you’re still struggling? Join NEIBA President Laura Cummings moderating a panel of innovative bookstores from stores large and small, urban and rural, to talk event creativity—from reading series’ to in-conversation-with events, from putting a dollar value on the entertainment you’re providing, to the big existential question: to bundle, or not to bundle. Our panel is here to help you work with what you have to get what you want out of your events.

The Secrets of Storytime with Megan Dowd Lambert

Want to start a storytime at your store? Or incorporate fresh ideas into your existing program? This session will offer you the tools you need to create engaging, welcoming storytimes. Join noted scholar, author, and storytime pioneer Megan Dowd Lambert, and a panel of booksellers who are currently winning at their own storytime sessions, to learn how the Whole Book Approach and sensory storytimes can make your events more inclusive for the children in your community. We’ll also discuss strategies for organizing and promoting your storytimes, choosing titles, and incorporating music and movement.

Swipe Right for Romance:
Creative Strategies for Selling this Hot Category with author and activist Sarah MacLean

The Romance genre has shed its lightweight past and claimed a rightful place at the nexus of gender and cultural studies. Today’s writers have taken the category to an edgier, more inclusive place that has expanded the audience. Also: it’s really, really fun to read (and sell). Join author and activist Sarah MacLean, alongside a panel of booksellers who have built successful Romance sections, to learn why this category is seeing a renaissance at retail, who comprises the customer base, and how your store can get in on the action.


11:15 am – 12:15 pm
Annual Meeting


12:30 pm – 2:00 pm
Author Lunch

The Rotunda

Sponsored by W.W. Norton
Advance tickets required

Andre Dubus III,  Gone So Long, WW Norton


NEIBA has reserved a block of rooms at two Providence hotels: The Omni at One Exchange Street, Providence, RI 02903 (800) 843-6664. Room rates at the Omni are $199 per night. The Providence Biltmore at 11 Dorrance Street, Providence RI 02903. (401) 421-0700. The room rates at the Biltmore are $183 per night. Rates reflect single, double or junior suite occupancy, plus tax. Hourly and overnight parking is available at both hotels at their published rates.

Omni Reservations – 9/26 SOLD OUT

Biltmore Reservations

You must reference NEIBA when making your reservation to receive the group rate!

All reservations must be guaranteed with a one-night room deposit by remitting a check or a major credit card number and expiration date. If a reservation is cancelled, one night’s room and tax will be forfeited.

Deadline for room reservations is Tuesday September 4, 2018