A couple of Tuesdays ago, Wendy and I walked into the Book Cellar, an independent bookstore in Chicago, just a few minutes before it closed at six PM. (Wendy knows all too well that the store closes a little early on Tuesdays, since she’d tried to pick up her copy of Mockingjay there the week before!) But this time, when the doors were locked, we got to stay inside and attend the GLIBA meeting.
GLIBA—the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association—holds regular meetings around the region at local bookstores. The primary goal of these “Indie Nights” is for booksellers to network with other booksellers from their area. It is also a chance for the association to share news and for the booksellers to discuss issues in a more informal basis. Publishers and sales reps also attend Indie Night on occasion, too.
That night, at the August 31st meeting, Wendy and I represented Albert Whitman, and one of our sales reps from Abraham & Associates, John Mesjak, was there, too. The rest of the crowd was made up of booksellers—folks from independent stores all over Chicago and the suburbs (we’re planning field trips out to all of them, so you’ll hear more about them here soon).
Since GLIBA’s annual trade show in Dearborn, Michigan is coming up, there was plenty of talk about the show. Everyone went over logistics—schedule, author events, ride sharing opportunities—but there was plenty of discussion about why many of us were going. For booksellers, the trade show is a great opportunity for networking, education sessions, face time with publishers, and, of course, lots of galleys and ARCs to bring back! And what do publishers get from the show? Lots of one-on-one with bookstores off the beaten path, as well as exposure for local and regional authors. (Wendy’s attending part of the show as an author, and she’ll report back on her experience in a few weeks.)
The meeting was a great way to put faces to the bookstore names, and to better understand how independent booksellers do business.
Many thanks to the Book Cellar for locking us in the store hosting! (And for the cupcakes, too!)