March 1 – March 8, 2007 Edition

New Atlantic Bookseller

Conference Participants

to Become “Sales Reps”

WESTBURY, NY/3/1/2007–The New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association has replaced its fall trade show with a booksellers sales conference, scheduled October 14-15 in Baltimore, MD. The conference will focus on having booksellers become extensions of the sales team for new books being released in stores for fall, an aggressive move that, if success, may have other associations follow.

NAIBA has changed the focus and format of the traditional fall tradeshow to a Bookseller Sales Conference, moving away from soliciting orders to selling better what booksellers have already acquired.

The NAIBA is asking publishers to make specific changes for the new NAIBA Bookseller Sales Conference:

Emphasize education and enthusiasm about the titles Emphasize the Picks of the Lists Emphasize special markets available to us to sell a book Identify specific markets that may be interested in a particular title and identify new programs and special techniques for reaching those audiences.

To support this new structure, NAIBA is:

Expanding the Pick of the Lists program sessions for major houses and independent rep groups; Limiting the number of sales tables for each publisher so the focus is on picks of the lists; Continuing our strong educational programs and author events on Sunday, October 14 for booksellers; Devoting Monday, October 15 to meetings on the sales floor; Featuring authors at events who are on publishers’ pick of the lists.

In 2006, 175,000 new books were published in the English language, the NIABA notes on its website. Based on that sheer number the question that publishers (and booksellers) ask is how do they position their volumes in such a crowded marketplace?

“Publishers have traditionally rallied their troops through the sales conference. Their employees are gathered, the editors come in, and there is frank and open discussion about what titles were acquired, why they were acquired, marketing plans for that title, and the general sharing of enthusiasm for the title. Effectively what publishers are doing is educating their sales force,” the NAIBA says.

“What NAIBA booksellers are asking is the same – educate us. We are a publisher’s frontline sales force. We need to know why you acquired a title, why you are publishing a title, and share your enthusiasm for that title. We want to understand the marketing support you are going to provide and, thus so prepared, we can sell more, and deeper into each selling season.”

Sales representatives will offer their picks of the list and will unveil marketing plans for those picks. The conference will also provide information about authors appearing in the region and will present co-op and event information to the attendees. Publishers have been coached on what specific information to provide booksellers, including lists of authors, tour schedules, reviews, store newsletters and additional information.

In addition, NAIBA will encourage booksellers to create their own version of events the association has developed for the conference. One popular idea is for an author’s feast, where booksellers get together with authors at a local restaurant.

The NAIBA has also launched the NAIBAhood Network, where experienced booksellers answer other booksellers’ questions about subjects such as co-op advertising programs, events, reading groups, local alliances and more.

For more information about the new selling approach, contact Eileen Dengler, NAIBA Executive Director,