Winter Institute conference a welcome opportunity for Kobo scholars and industry leaders alike

The indie angle is Kobo scholar Jenna Todd’s focus as she heads off to represent New Zealand booksellers at the Wi9 conference in Seattle from 21 – 25 January 2014.
pp_jenna_toddJenna, manager of Time Out Books (above), and her fellow Kobo scholar Jared Raines, manager of Paper Plus Northland, were chosen from applications from all over New Zealand by a panel which included representatives of the Embassy of the United States, Kobo and Booksellers New Zealand.

pp_mary_sangsterMary Sangster (left), Chair of the board of Booksellers NZ, is also looking forward to going. ‘For us’, she says, ‘the conference will be about the sharing of ideas and experience on an international level.’ Lincoln Gould, CEO of Booksellers NZ, also attending, is keen to get ‘updated information on new trends and developments in bookselling, and uses of new technologies’.

The programme for the Wi9 conference, which is the American Bookstore Association’s
membership conference, is aimed at educating booksellers and enabling them cope and grow in an industry that is rapidly changing.

This conference will have a larger number of international attendees than previous ones, and there are several talks organised just for the International guests – Jenna is particularly looking forward to the bookseller panel discussion about current trends in the US market.

Jenna also comments ‘The programme is very overwhelming, there are so many things I want see. What stands out to me are the talks about independent bookstores; Ray Oldenburg at the Small & Independent Press Breakfast, and a talk called Independent retail in Seattle: Success Stories. Also, Geno Church is hosting The Passion Conversation: Understanding, Sparking, and Sustaining Word of Mouth Marketing, and Dan Heath’s talk on making decisions- which I think will be relevant to my job at Time Out.
For Mary and Lincoln (right) , the conference will be all about connections with international bookselling associations. Lincoln says: ‘We are looking forward to meeting with booksellers, ABA staff and publishers to work through key issues such as sales tax on across border retail purchases, the changing scene of publishing and the supply chain, and kobo sales and service.’

With each day beginning with yoga, the conference is certain to be stimulating for both body and mind. We look forward to seeing the new ideas that our scholars, who are carrying on after conference with a week in a local independent Seattle bookstore, are able to bring home. We will see these ideas presented in the Booksellers NZ conference on 22 and 23 June 2014.

During the Wi9, keep an eye on the Booksellers NZ twitter stream for live tweets from Lincoln, as well as the Time Out Bookshop’s twitter and facebook accounts – Jenna has promised some photos as well.

by Sarah Forster , Web Editor

If you would like to register early for the Booksellers NZ conference 2014, please contact Cherie Donovan

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