Asheville, North Carolina – renowned for its arts community and often cited as one of the happiest places in the US – welcomes five hundred booksellers and a record number of publishers and their authors early next week for the 10th anniversary of the American Booksellers Association’s Winter Institute. More than 80 writers will participate in evening author receptions, and John Green will look back on ten years of Looking For Alaska in a keynote.
“At a time when indies are enjoying a resurgence of print book sales, this event is stronger than ever,” says Jim Milliot, Publishers Weekly editorial director. “Over the years, the Winter Institute has proven to be an important launch pad for a number of bestselling titles.”
As Milliot tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally, the ABA Winter Institute catches the “zeitgeist” on independent bookselling with educational programs that run from “What You Need to Know About Crowdfunding” and “Creating a Local Business Alliance to Benefit Your Business and Your Community” to “Campaigning for Diversity—Expanding Your Inventory and Customer Base.”
As much as authors appreciate the concentrated exposure to booksellers, many — including John Green — also value the influence of indie bookstores on their own work. “Green appreciates independent booksellers, not only because they lifted him from obscurity to literary stardom but also because he has benefited from their expertise in selling him on a great book he otherwise wouldn’t have picked up,” notes Milliot.
Every Friday, CCC’s “Beyond the Book” speaks with the editors and reporters of “Publishers Weekly” for an early look at the news that publishers, editors, authors, agents and librarians will be talking about when they return to work on Monday.