ABC Children’s Group Works to Strengthen Programming

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Since the merger of the Association of Booksellers for Children into the American Booksellers Association in fall 2010, the resulting ABC Children’s Group at ABA has been bustling with activity that will continue and enhance programming for children’s booksellers and other book industry professionals. This includes everything from expanded children’s bookseller-centric education at ABA’s Day of Education at BEA and an array of popular special events to the monthly ABC newsletter and the Best Books for Children catalog.

Bookstores that were members of ABC at the time of the merger are automatically enrolled in the ABC Children’s Group when they renew their ABA membership. All other bookstores may opt to join the new ABC Children’s Group when they renew their ABA membership dues. Bookstore membership in the ABC Children’s Group is free for the first year – the $50 fee to join the group has been waived. Former ABC bookstore members that are not yet ABA members may join ABA for $85 for their first year of membership, and the Children’s Group fee will be waived for the first year.

ABC Children’s Group benefits for booksellers include:

  • A free “Snack Nap Read” poster upon joining

  • Participation in the ABC listserv

  • The ABC newsletter

  • 250 free ABC Best Books for Children catalogs – a consumer circular featuring front and backlist titles – and the ability to order custom imprinted catalogs in larger quantities

  • Discounted tickets to the ABC Children’s Group Silent Auction and Reception at BookExpo America

  • Children’s bookselling-focused educational programming at BEA and ABA’s Winter Institute

Plans are also in the works to expand online professional development materials initiated by ABC.

Authors, publishers, and industry friends are invited to join the ABC Children’s Group at ABA as subscribers for just $50 a year. Subscribers have access to the ABC listserv, the ABC newsletter, and the ABC mailing list upon request.

Highlights of the ABC Children’s Group at ABA to date

  • Last month, ABA oversaw voting for the E.B. White Read-Aloud Awards, which were previously administered by ABC. Hundreds of booksellers cast ballots to choose this year’s winners.

A look at what’s ahead

  • The New Voices Committee has convened under the direction of Cathy Berner of Blue Willow Books in Houston, Texas. The committee plans to create lists of the 10 top debut authors of 2011 in both Middle Reader and YA, which will be printed and distributed by ABA.

  • At next month’s Book Expo America, ABC’s most popular and beloved event – The ABC Silent Auction – has been transformed to benefit the newly created American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE) Fund for Free Speech in Children’s Books. The May 25 evening event will be chaired by bestselling author Laurie Halse Anderson, whose YA novel Speak is frequently banned from schools and libraries. Bookseller members of the ABC Children’s Group can purchase tickets in advance at the discounted rate of $69, compared to $89 for all other industry professionals. If tickets are still available at BEA, the rate will be $79 for bookseller members of the ABC Group and $99 for all others. (Learn more.)

  • BEA will also feature other favorite events for children’s booksellers co-sponsored by the ABC Children’s Group at ABA and the Children’s Book Council:

    • Speed Dating With Children’s Authors and Illustrators will give booksellers the opportunity to chat with up-and-coming authors and illustrators of children’s books, as they make their way around the room. The Tuesday, May 24, event is free, but space is limited and will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. (Learn more.)

    • Tea With Children’s Authors. Booksellers and librarians can now reserve a spot for the Tea With Children’s Authors, to be held on Wednesday afternoon, May 25, at BEA. Tickets for the event are $15 each. Space is limited and will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. (Learn more.)

    Booksellers who haven’t renewed their ABA membership are encouraged to do so now. If you weren’t an ABC member, remember to opt in to the ABC Children’s Group at ABA. The $50 fee to join the ABC Children’s Group is waived for all store members in 2011.

    For authors, publishers, and industry friends, the yearly fee of $50 is still in effect.

    Click here to join the ABC Children’s Group at ABA. Questions should be addressed to ABA Member Relationship Manager and ABC Liaison Kaitlin Pitcher.