March 4, 2020
Notes from the Advisory Council

Health Insurance: A Plea
By Emily Russo , Print: A Bookstore (Portland, ME)
In the early hours of Monday, February 3rd, my son woke me up, terrified. For the past several days, Henry (our 7-year-old) had been fighting a bad case of the flu. We’d already been to the ER once where they told us he’d tested positive for Influenza A and that his asthma was exacerbated. We were given an asthma action plan and were sent home to recuperate. Less than 36 hours later, Henry woke us up in a fit of terror. “Mama, give me my inhaler.” We’d already given him his inhaler an hour earlier; he wasn’t due for another dose for 3 hours. “Honey, we can’t give it to you yet, we just gave it to you — baby you have to wait a little longer,” I said. “Give it to me NOW, mama. I don’t want to die.” My husband noticed his right cheek was starting to swell. “Dear god,” we thought, “mumps?” even though he’s been fully vaccinated. We were scared enough that I got dressed, put Henry in the car, and drove back to the ER while my husband stayed at home with our eldest daughter, still sound asleep.

Within 45 minutes of arriving, I was told that my son’s lung had ruptured. His chest was so constricted from the asthma that during a coughing fit, he tore his lung. Air was leaking into his body cavity, causing his neck and cheeks to swell as the air tried to find a way to escape. I was visited by a team of doctors, more than a dozen, who told me what the next steps were, the intervention that was needed. I signed more consent forms that I can possibly remember and I waited. Then Henry’s oxygen levels nose-dived, more doctors flooded in, and I was physically removed from the room and separated from my son. I sat in an empty room, completely alone, and cried.

I’m going to stop here to say that Henry is just fine. They successfully inserted a chest tube and re-inflated his lung and I was back by his side within an hour. We spent two nights in the pediatric ICU and an additional 3 nights in the recovery wing. 

I wanted to write the above, not to be overly dramatic, but illustrate a point. Through all of this, through the very worst week of my life, never once did I have to stop and think “how am I going to pay for all of this?” If my husband didn’t have a well-compensated job in tech with excellent health insurance, we’d be bankrupt. If I wasn’t the daughter of a famous author, we would be bankrupt. For so many of my colleagues in this industry, this would have been catastrophic, financially ruinous. And that really, really scares me, because while we don’t have to pay this amount: five nights in the hospital came to over $36,000.00.  

My son didn’t ask for this; no one asks for this. No one wants to be sick. No one wants an emergency and when you have one, the only thing that matters is getting better or saving a life, and make no mistake about it: this was life or death for my kid.

I know many of us are hoping that single-payer health care/Medicare for All is just down the road, but I don’t think we can wait that long and we certainly can’t bank on the election going the way most of us want it to. Many of you have already spoken up at the ABA town halls about the need for health insurance, but here’s my plea: I’m begging you to keep banging that drum — HARD. Talk to everyone: the ABA, your publishing reps, your legislators — because none of this is okay. I don’t have the answers. I wish I did. But I can’t imagine going through everything I went through (which has lasting effects let me tell you — there’s some lingering PTSD that I’m still managing and will be for some time) with the added worry that I could lose my job/business, my house, my very foundation.

The status quo isn’t sufficient any longer. BINC , an absolute godsend of an organization, shouldn’t be our only health insurance policy. How many booksellers have left the industry because of this? What would our small business landscape look like if our insurance weren’t tied to employment? For equity, for sanity, we have a massive problem and it needs solving. 

Who’s with me?
Items of Importance

March 27: Deadline to register for Spring Forum (including April All About the Books)
Greetings from the Children's Buyer Summit!
Day 2 of the Children's Buyers Summit is already underway in Rhinebeck, NY, but for now we wanted to share photos from our first day together: pictured here — camaraderie, collaboration, and a cocktail party for good measure (thanks for hosting, Oblong Books & Music !) Keep an eye on our social media for photos from today. And be sure to check out our events calendar for all our 2020 programming. We hope to see you at an event soon!
Authors Announced for April's All About the Books
NEIBA's traditional April All About the Books is the kickoff event for our new Spring Forum ! Join 10 authors from across New England for presentations, a boxed lunch, and an ABA Town Hall on Tuesday, April 7 from 10:30 AM - 3:30 PM in Portland, ME.

10:30 AM – 12:30 PM Author Presentations
Jessica Anthony, author of  Enter the Aardvark  (Little, Brown & Co.)
James Bird, author of  The Brave  (Feiweil & Friends)
Bill Clegg, author of  The End of the Day  (Gallery/Scout Press)
Charlotte Dennett, author of  The Crash of Flight 3804  (Chelsea Green Publishing)
Jane Eklund, author of  The Story So Far  (Bauhan)
Ellen Meerpol, author of  Her Sister’s Tattoo  (Red Hen Press)
Robert J. Mrazek, author of  The Indomitable Florence Finch  (Hachette Books)
Sarah Prager, author of  Rainbow Revolutionaries  (HarperCollins)
Kate Russo, author of  Super Host  (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
Phuc Tran, author of  Sigh, Gone  (St. Martin’s Press)

12:30 PM - 1:30 PM  Boxed Lunch with Authors

2:00 – 3:30 PM   ABA Town Hall
Poster Revealed for 2020 Children's Book Week
This year’s poster is designed by Carin Berger, an award-winning designer and illustrator. The 2020 poster features this year’s Children’s Book Week slogan,  Read. Dream. Share.  which focuses on sharing the love of reading on a community level.

For hi-res images please download
them from  the Dropbox here .

Interested in receiving copies of the poster to display and give to kids? Bookstores, schools, and libraries can  sign up here  to become official event locations for Children’s Book Week! Email  with questions.
RSVP to Scholastic's Spring Forum Prom
Bring a book date, pose at the photo booth,
and meet author Leah Johnson!
Break out the cummerbunds and corsages: the theme for NEIBA's Spring Forum reception is prom! This event comes courtesy of Scholastic and will celebrate their upcoming title You Should See Me in a Crown . Author Leah Johnson will be in attendance to meet and mingle with booksellers. Attendees are encouraged to bring a book as their date for a swap table. Snacks and beverages will be provided, as will a dance floor and photo booth. Prom attire appreciated, but not required. This event is FREE to Spring Forum attendees, but  RSVPs are appreciated . To sign up for other Spring Forum events, click here.

We're in the process of building an epic playlist and slideshow for this event. Please submit your song requests and prom photos — the more dated, the better —
to Ali Schmelzle ( ).
All Welcome for a Rep Night at An Unlikely Story
On Monday, March 30 from 6 - 8 PM, six publisher reps from various publishing houses (Macmillan, Penguin Random House, Chronicle, and Workman) will gather at An Unlikely Story to share the upcoming season's most exciting titles, paying particular attention to suggestions for Moms, Dads, Grads, and Summer Reading.

Get free galleys and other bookish swag to win friends and influence people! Pizza and salad will be provided. Get there early to greet friends and grab a slice (or two), as reps will start promptly at 6 PM.

Join Jennifer Weiner for Lunch at the Spring Forum
Looking forward to Spring Forum education on Wednesday, April 8? We are! As a special treat, booksellers who purchase tickets to the Bookseller Bootcamp   or Owner/Manager HR Intensive   will also be invited to an author luncheon with Jennifer Weiner to celebrate her new book, Big Summer (out from Atria in May). Afterwards, we'll break into roundtables. To sign up for education and other Spring Forum events, click here.
Submit for Binc's Spring Forum Scholarship
NEIBA is pleased to announce that one Spring Forum scholarship is available to NEIBA member booksellers,  courtesy of Binc . The scholarship has a value of $300 to be used for a night’s stay at the hotel, tickets to each event, and travel costs. We would especially like to hear from booksellers at our smaller and mid-size stores who haven’t been able to attend many NEIBA events. The recipient of this scholarship will be determined by the NEIBA Board of Directors.  The deadline for applications is Friday, March 6.   To submit yourself for consideration, complete this Google Form.
Northshire seeks Children's Department Staff
Northshire Bookstore is seeking someone to work in our Children's Department. The ideal applicant would have a love for kids books and an ability to share their enthusiasm with our customers. Qualifications include children's book knowledge, experience in retail, familiarity with computers, flexibility and reliability. Come join the Northshire family! Please submit an application online at
Trident Booksellers & Café seeks Bookstore Manager
Trident Booksellers & Café in Boston, MA is looking for an enthusiastic bookstore manager to work in a leadership role at the store. In this position, you’ll be responsible for managing our  bookseller s , including hiring, training, and scheduling. You’ll be overseeing the receiving, selling, and returns of inventory. In addition, you will coordinate and promote our offsite event sales. Most of all, we expect someone to be creative and excited about driving our book sales, and engaging with our customers and community. We are looking for someone who will come to us with fresh ideas and a willingness to help push our business forward.
Bookselling experience is a must, as well as strong customer service skills and a familiarity with independent bookstore culture. This is a full time position, so applicants must have weekend, evening, and holiday availability. If interested, please send your resume and cover letter to
To add a listing to the newsletter 
and website , e-mail
New England Book Awards to Expand
Changes Include 3 New Categories and 2 New Awards
NEIBA is pleased to share that the 2020 New England Book Awards will include three new categories: Picture Books, Middle Grade (both formerly included in the Children's award), and Poetry.

Titles submitted for the New England Book Awards must be either about New England, set in New England, or by an author residing in New England. Titles can be a hardcover, a paperback original, or reissue published between September 1, 2019 and August 31, 2020. 

Submissions for the New England Book Awards are now open.  To submit titles, please complete this Google Form. The deadline for submissions is Friday, June 5.

NEIBA members are free to submit as many titles as they'd like. Non-NEIBA members will be charged a fee of $25 per title. Galleys or physical copies of titles are not required to submit.
Silver Unicorn Named Retailer of the Year
In a tweet last week , the Silver Unicorn Bookstore of Acton, MA revealed they'd been named the 2020 Retailer of the Year by the Middlesex West Boston Chamber of Commerce: "This is a really big deal for us. We want to thank the awards committee and board of directors for the honor, and congratulate all of our fellow honorees!!" Congratulations, all!
Submit to the 2020 NECBA Windows & Mirrors List
Since 2015, the New England Children’s Bookselling Advisory Council has curated an annual list of diverse and inclusive titles that they feel best represent the concept of  Windows & Mirrors. The NECBA Windows and Mirrors list aims to highlight diverse titles that might otherwise be overlooked, and provide bookstores throughout the region with a resource that will help them easily reach for titles that showcase a breadth of human experience beyond our societal defaults.” In this way, we hope to serve all the young readers who visit our stores, providing windows and mirrors through books that will expand and enrich their worlds.

All NEIBA members and publishers may submit titles for reading by the committee. These titles may be any new edition of a book published within the calendar year (January 1, 2020 - December 31, 2020). Titles do no need to be written by a New England author or set in New England. All submitted titles will be read by two or more members of the committee with consideration for quality of writing and representation. The final list will be presented at the 2020 NEIBA Fall Conference.
We Want YOU for NEIBA Organizational Roles
Now accepting submissions for the Board,
the Advisory Council, and NECBA!
Have you served on NEIBA's Advisory Council and are interested in a spot on the Board? Are you looking to lend your voice to NEIBA's Advisory Council or the Children's Bookselling Advisory Council (NECBA) for the first time? If so, we would like you to submit yourself and your colleagues for these positions. To do so, please complete this Google Form. All submissions are anonymous unless you choose to share your contact information. We look forward to hearing from you!
Voting on Proposed ABA Bylaws Changes Begins
The American Booksellers Association’s Board of Directors met earlier this year to discuss proposed changes to two sections of Article IV of the association’s Bylaws. The current bylaws text is available online. This information was also distributed at the Town Hall meeting at Winter Institute on January 23. ABA member booksellers are asked to  vote on these proposed changes via this voting form on .
Food for Thought
A round-up of pieces across publications
Social Media Spotlight
Wellesley Books (Wellesley, MA)
@wellesleybooks:  March is YOUTH ART MONTH! We are celebrating all month long with art from local schools. This fabulous art from students of  @tenacrecountrydayschool  will be on display through Sunday 3/8.
Best Sellers   
for the week ended
Sunday, March 1, 2020

Based on reporting from the independent booksellers of
NEIBA and IndieBound 

1. American Dirt
Jeanine Cummins, Flatiron Books, $27.99, 9781250209764
2. Apeirogon New!
Colum McCann, Random House, $28, 9781400069606
3. Where the Crawdads Sing
Delia Owens, Putnam, $26, 9780735219090
4. A Long Petal of the Sea
Isabel Allende, Ballantine, $28, 9781984820150
5. Weather
Jenny Offill, Knopf, $23.95, 9780385351102
6. The Dutch House
Ann Patchett, Harper, $27.99, 9780062963673
7. On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous
Ocean Vuong, Penguin Press, $26, 9780525562023
8. Such a Fun Age
Kiley Reid, Putnam, $26, 9780525541905
9. The Silent Patient
Alex Michaelides, Celadon Books, $26.99, 9781250301697
10. The Starless Sea
Erin Morgenstern, Doubleday, $28.95, 9780385541213
11. Dear Edward
Ann Napolitano, The Dial Press, $27, 9781984854780
12. The Giver of Stars
Jojo Moyes, Pamela Dorman Books, $28, 9780399562488
13. Nothing to See Here
Kevin Wilson, Ecco, $26.99, 9780062913463
14. Olive, Again
Elizabeth Strout, Random House, $27, 9780812996548
15. Saint X New!
Alexis Schaitkin, Celadon Books, $26.99, 9781250219596

1. The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz New!
Erik Larson, Crown, $32, 9780385348713
2. The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse
Charlie Mackesy, HarperOne, $22.99, 9780062976581
3. A Very Stable Genius
Philip Rucker, Carol Leonnig, Penguin Press, $30, 9781984877499
4. The Man in the Red Coat New!
Julian Barnes, Knopf, $26.95, 9780525658771
5. Talking to Strangers
Malcolm Gladwell, Little Brown, $30, 9780316478526
6. The Body
Bill Bryson, Doubleday, $30, 9780385539302
7. Until the End of Time: Mind, Matter, and Our Search for Meaning in an Evolving Universe New!
Brian Greene, Knopf, $30, 9781524731670
8. Brother & Sister: A Memoir New!
Diane Keaton, Knopf, $25.95, 9780451494504
9. Dark Towers: Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump, and an Epic Trail of Destruction New!
David Enrich, Custom House, $29.99, 9780062878816
10. The Hope of Glory: Reflections on the Last Words of Jesus from the Cross New!
Jon Meacham, Convergent Books, $22, 9780593236666
11. Educated
Tara Westover, Random House, $28, 9780399590504
12. How to Be an Antiracist New!
Ibram X. Kendi, One World, $27, 9780525509288
13. Nature's Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation that Starts in Your Yard New!
Douglas W. Tallamy, Timber Press, $29.95, 9781604699005
14. Food Fix: How to Save Our Health, Our Economy, Our Communities, and Our Planet--One Bite at a Time New!
Mark Hyman, MD, Little, Brown Spark, $28, 9780316453172
15. Why We're Polarized
Ezra Klein, Avid Reader Press/S&S, $28, 9781476700328

1. The Overstory
Richard Powers, Norton, $18.95, 9780393356687
2. Little Fires Everywhere
Celeste Ng, Penguin, $17, 9780735224315
3. Normal People New!
Sally Rooney, Hogarth, $17, 9781984822185
4. The Tattooist of Auschwitz
Heather Morris, Harper, $16.99, 9780062797155
5. Unsheltered
Barbara Kingsolver, Harper Perennial, $17.99, 9780062684738
6. A Gentleman in Moscow
Amor Towles, Penguin, $17, 9780143110439
7. Girl, Woman, Other
Bernardine Evaristo, Grove Press/Black Cat, $17, 9780802156983
8. Olive Kitteridge
Elizabeth Strout, Random House, $17, 9780812971835
9. Lost Children Archive
Valeria Luiselli, Vintage, $16.95, 9780525436461
10. The Stationery Shop
Marjan Kamali, Gallery Books, $16, 9781982107499
11. Summer of '69 New!
Elin Hilderbrand, Back Bay, $16.99, 9780316420006
12. The Woman in the Window
A.J. Finn, Morrow, $16.99, 9780062678423
13. Before We Were Yours New!
Lisa Wingate, Ballantine, $17, 9780425284704
14. Daisy Jones & The Six
Taylor Jenkins Reid, Ballantine, $17, 9781524798642
15. The New Girl New!
Daniel Silva, Harper, $17.99, 9780062834959

1. Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland New!
Patrick Radden Keefe, Anchor, $16.95, 9780307279286
2. No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference
Greta Thunberg, Penguin, $10, 9780143133568
3. Sapiens
Yuval Noah Harari, Harper Perennial, $24.99, 9780062316110
4. Just Mercy
Bryan Stevenson, Spiegel & Grau, $17, 9780593133934
5. Born a Crime
Trevor Noah, Spiegel & Grau, $18, 9780399588198
6. White Fragility
Robin DiAngelo, Beacon Press, $16, 9780807047415
7. Inheritance
Dani Shapiro, Anchor, $16.95, 9780525434030
8. Midnight in Chernobyl
Adam Higginbotham, S&S, $19, 9781501134630
9. Bad Blood
John Carreyrou, Vintage, $16.95, 9780525431992
10. Braiding Sweetgrass
Robin Wall Kimmerer, Milkweed Editions, $18, 9781571313560
11. The Source of Self-Regard
Toni Morrison, Vintage, $16.95, 9780525562795
12. The Library Book
Susan Orlean, S&S, $16.99, 9781476740195
13. Healing After Loss New!
Martha W. Hickman, Morrow, $15.99, 9780380773381
14. Being Mortal New!
Atul Gawande, Picador, $17, 9781250076229
15. The Body Keeps the Score New!
Bessel van der Kolk, Penguin, $19, 9780143127741

1. The Last Wish
Andrzej Sapkowski, Orbit, $8.99, 9780316029186
2. Dune
Frank Herbert, Ace, $10.99, 9780441172719
3. Elevation New!
Stephen King, Scribner, $9.99, 9781982102326
4. The Autobiography of Malcolm X New!
Malcom X, Ballantine, $7.99, 9780345350688
5. The Goldfinch New!
Donna Tartt, Little Brown, $10.99, 9780316055420
6. Little Women New!
Louisa May Alcott, Signet, $6.99, 9780593198025
7. The Name of the Wind
Patrick Rothfuss, DAW, $9.99, 9780756404741
8. Outlander New!
Diana Gabaldon, Dell, $9.99, 9780553393699
9. Good Omens
Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, Morrow, $9.99, 9780062836977
10. Doctor Sleep New!
Stephen King, Pocket, $10.99, 9781982138868

1. Goodnight Moon
Margaret Wise Brown, Clement Hurd (Illus.), Harper, $8.99, 9780694003617
2. Make Way for Ducklings
Robert McCloskey, Puffin, $7.99, 9780140564341
3. Blueberries for Sal New!
Robert McCloskey, Puffin, $7.99, 9780140501698
4. The Snowy Day
Ezra Jack Keats, Viking Books for Young Readers, $19.99, 9780670012701
5. Barnyard Dance! New!
Sandra Boynton, Workman, $6.95, 9781563054426
6. Pat the Bunny New!
Dorothy Kunhardt, Golden Books, $9.99, 9780307120007
7. Good Night, Gorilla New!
Peggy Rathmann, Putnam, $7.99, 9780399230035
8. The Very Hungry Caterpillar New!
Eric Carle, Putnam, $10.99, 9780399226908
9. The Shortest Day New!
Susan Cooper, Carson Ellis (Illus.), Candlewick, $17.99, 9780763686987
10. The Good Egg Presents: The Great Eggscape! New!
Jory John, Pete Oswald (Illus.), Harper, $10.99, 9780062975676

1. New Kid
Jerry Craft, Harper, $12.99, 9780062691194
2. Guts
Raina Telgemeier, Graphix, $12.99, 9780545852500
3. InvestiGators New!
John Patrick Green, First Second, $9.99, 9781250219954
4. Little Women
Louisa May Alcott, Puffin, $8.99, 9780142408766
5. A Home for Goddesses and Dogs New!
Leslie Connor, Katherine Tegen Books, $16.99, 9780062796783
6. Sisters
Raina Telgemeier, Graphix, $10.99, 9780545540605
7. Best Friends
Shannon Hale, LeUyen Pham (Illus.), First Second, $12.99, 9781250317469
8. Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid: Rowley Jefferson's Journal New!
Jeff Kinney, Abrams, $13.99, 9781419740275
9. Dog Man Guide to Creating Comics in 3-D New!
Kate Howard, Dav Pilkey (Illus.), Scholastic, $10.99, 9781338568844
10. Karen's Witch
Ann M. Martin, Katy Farina (Illus.), Graphix, $10.99, 9781338315196

1. Dog Man: Fetch-22
Dav Pilkey, Graphix, $12.99, 9781338323214
2. Hilo Book 6: All the Pieces Fit
Judd Winick, Random House Books for Young Readers, $13.99, 9780525644064
3. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Wrecking Ball
Jeff Kinney, Abrams, $14.99, 9781419739033
4. Sofia Valdez, Future Prez (The Questioneers)
Andrea Beaty, David Roberts (Illus.), Abrams, $18.99, 9781419737046
5. Dog Man: A Tale of Two Kitties
Dav Pilkey, Graphix, $9.99, 9780545935210
6. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets New!
J.K.Rowling, Scholastic, $10.99, 9780439064873
7. Dog Man: For Whom the Ball Rolls
Dav Pilkey, Graphix, $12.99, 9781338236590
8. Mac Undercover (Mac B., Kid Spy, #1) New!
Mac Barnett, Mike Lowery (Illus.), Orchard Books, $12.99, 9781338143591
9. The Dragonet Prophecy (Wings of Fire, Book One) New!
Tui T. Sutherland, Scholastic, $6.99, 9780545349239
10. An Elephant & Piggie Biggie! (An Elephant and Piggie Book) New!
Mo Willems, Disney/Hyperion, $16.99, 9781484799673