If you happen to be trolling the Minneapolis skyways next week and bump into a tourist with her nose in a book it could by a stray attendee or escape exhibitor from the American Booksellers Association conference. Hundreds of members of ABA will be in town January 27-30 for the annual “bacchanal” (their word) known as the ABA Winter Institute. The truth is, the 1000+ attendees won’t have a lot of time to enjoy the skyways, construction on the Mall, the Mary Tyler Moore statue or the weather – they’ll be busy at action center at the Hyatt Regency. Their loss.
Local ports of call for the visitors include a welcome reception at the Open Book, a visit to the Kerlan Collection at the University of Minnesota, and an event at the Mill City Museum. There are scores of exhibits, countless programs, and authors of past, current and future renown.
One session that caught my eye was a program on “Indie Next List Authors” featuring Kate DiCamillo, Alice Hoffman, Joshilyn Jackson, Ann Patchettt, Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney and Ben Winters. Another was a talk about about the ABA partnership with Shelf Awareness that provides indies with a new monthly e-newsletter for customers. In a community that prides ourselves on incubating emerging writers, this has special interest.
Among the featured talks at the conference is one entitled “Partnering to create a dynamic city”, a brief history of the Open Book. (http://bookweb.org/news/minneapolis-arts-and-business-leaders-share-insights-creating-thriving-literary-community-35515)
Lots more about the wide range of programs and social events that will keep the booksellers busy during their brief stay can be found here: http://www.bookweb.org/wi2017/winter-institute
Let’s hope the guests find time to visit some of the Minnesota’s excellent indies while they’re in the land of independent booksellers and the independent readers who frequent – and support — them!
Minneapolis bookstore suggestions for ABA visitors: https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/159dae4d5df2bff9
Roxane Gay has pulled her next book, How to Be Heard (TED Books, 2018), from Simon & Schuster in protest over Milo Yiannopoulous’s controversial $250,000 book deal with the publisher. “I can’t in good conscience let them publish it while they also publish Milo. So I told my agent over the weekend to pull the project,” she told Buzzfeed News.
Gay will present the opening keynote this Saturday at Winter Institute 12 in Minneapolis. Her talk will focus on how people can proactively address the need for more diversity of both representation and thought in the book industry and beyond.
In a letter to authors, S&S president and CEO Carolyn Reidy addressed the controversy, noting that “we do not support or condone, nor will we publish, hate speech. Not from our authors. Not in our books. Not at our imprints. Not from our employees and not in our workplace.” Gay, however, tweeted that her decision stands.
The app contains a full schedule, a list of attending authors, maps of the hotel and Minneapolis and more. The ABA will use the app also for late-breaking news and schedule changes.
By the way, the list of attending authors is also available here.