Booksellers Talk Up Children’s Institute Ahead of Sixth Annual Event

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Children's Institute logoBooksellers gearing up for the upcoming ABC Children’s Institute (Ci6), which will be held June 19–21 at the Sheraton New Orleans in New Orleans, Louisiana, are talking about what they love about the event, which is entering its sixth year, from the education to networking opportunities and more.

“Your children’s department is the monetary mainstay in your shop,” said Valerie Koehler of Blue Willow Bookshop in Houston. “Your booksellers (who may be your future managers) should attend Children’s Institute to learn more about the business of selling books. The extra is that they will have enlightening conversations with colleagues that will transform your store. Sign them up today! I always leave with ideas for myself and my team.”

From Bellingham, Washington, Village Books Events Coordinator Claire McElroy-Chesson echoed Koehler’s sentiments. “I have attended for the past three years and it has proven invaluable for our children’s programming at the store,” she said. “The sessions on kids’ events and marketing are just super, and it is by far my favorite conference of the year.”

Booksellers can register now for the upcoming Children’s Institute, which features:

  • Educational sessions on planning and executing book festivals, taking your social media to the next level, reaching underserved communities, launching pop-up shops to boost sales, and more, plus a bonus chalkboard lettering workshop and literary walking tour
  • Keynote speeches from Chelsea Clinton, Angie Thomas, Temple Grandin, and Mallika Chopra, plus special presentations from NPD Book, Indies Introduce authors and small press publishers, and editor Phoebe Yeh in conversation with Cheryl Willis Hudson and Wade Hudson at the “We Rise, We Resist” featured talk
  • Networking events, such as the Author Reception, Bookseller/Publisher Focus Groups, Bookseller-to-Bookseller discussion groups, Rep Picks Speed Dating, Meet the Presses, and Small Press Office Hours
  • The always-popular Galley Room, Consultation Station, and IndieCommerce One-on-Ones
  • And parties, including a welcome reception with a backlist book character costume party, the Young Professionals Afterparty, Scholastic Meet & Treat Afterparty, and Post-Institute Trivia Party

Angie Tally, the children’s department manager at Country Bookshop in Southern Pines, North Carolina, has attended Children’s Institute since 2014 in San Antonio and said she feels the event is singularly the most valuable conference of the year.

“The insider’s preview of fall books and the children-specific education sessions have proven incredibly valuable to our small store in central North Carolina,” said Tally. “Far from major cities, we are often at a disadvantage when it comes to being in the loop of A-list author tours, and I enjoy the opportunity at Children’s Institute to casually make contact with marketing and publicity people from both major publishers and the wonderful smaller publishing houses.”

Michelle Shaver, the children’s manager at Carmichael’s and Carmichael’s Kids in Louisville, Kentucky, said, “Nothing lights the fire of inspiration like peers sharing ideas! I went to Children’s Institute for the first time two years ago and found the experience invaluable in terms of generating new programming ideas and creating connections within the bookselling community.”

Booksellers who would like to attend the sixth ABC Children’s Institute should register now. The conference fee is $119 per bookseller, with a maximum of five registrants per ABA member business. The Ci6 hotel room block at the Sheraton New Orleans is now filled. Registrants in need of a hotel room should complete the waitlist form. Those on the waitlist will be notified on a first-come, first-served basis if rooms become available. Questions can be directed to ABA’s Jill Perlstein.

The deadline to apply to win a publisher-sponsored scholarship, which will cover the conference fee, the cost of airfare or ground transportation up to $400, and three hotel nights, is March 30. Scholarships are open to booksellers from ABA member stores that did not have a Children’s Institute scholarship winner in 2016 or 2017.

Questions about the institute should be directed to ABC Group Manager Gen de Botton. Booksellers are encouraged to review the agenda for the institute and contact de Botton if they have expertise on any of the topics offered.

Booksellers may cancel their Children’s Institute registration at any time by e-mailing cancellation@bookweb.org. Cancellations received prior to April 30 are eligible for a full refund of registration fees; cancellations received on or after April 30 are not eligible for refund.