February 26, 2020
Notes from the Advisory Council

Amazon and the Devaluing of Art
By Tom Roberge , Riffraff Bookstore + Bar (Providence, RI)
Earlier this year, I was contacted by Representative David Cicilline's office in connection to the research that a House subcommittee he chairs — on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law — has been conducting about the impact that tech giants like Facebook, Google, and Amazon have on small businesses. As co-owner of a brick-and-mortar bookstore, they reached out to me to talk about Amazon, of course. They began with a rather broad question that I've been mulling over since: How does Amazon affect your business most? 

My first impulse, like many booksellers', was to discuss predatory pricing and all of the ways that corporate behemoths like Amazon are able to offer their customers the discounts they do and have for all of these years. And while it's certainly true that some of the people who walk through our front doors are turned off by the notion of paying full price for a new book, it's not really possible to measure how many sales we lose for that precise reason, compared to, for example, our decision to stock our shelves with books that are rarely the ones found on bestseller lists. It's also impossible to know how many readers in my area have simply stopped visiting bookstores altogether due to Amazon's mere existence.

In the course of my conversation with Cicilline's staff, I fell into a discussion about something that affects not just bookstores but our culture at large: the devaluing of art. Amazon, by virtue of their decades-long crusade to offer consumers the cheapest version of whatever product they want, including books and movies, have altered — lowered — the cost that consumers of these products expect to pay. There are very real financial consequences to this shift in expected cost, but there's also something gravely injurious to our culture at large. Amazon has effectively convinced a large segment of the population that art — whether it's a copy of a novel that the author spent a decade writing and revising, or a movie made on a shoestring budget — is not something that we as people who appreciate and consume it in any of its various forms should ever need to compensate the artists for. 

Considering the potential damage this could have on our culture, on the diversity and breadth of art our society creates and shares, I'd say that this is how Amazon affects not just my business most, but how it affects everyone. And this is something we need to continue to fight back against. 
Items of Importance

March 27: Deadline to register for Spring Forum (including April All About the Books)
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 ( ).
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.
TidePool Press to open TidePool Bookshop
Independent publisher  TidePool Press announced it will open TidePool BookShop — a 1,600-square-foot independent bookstore — in Worcester, MA this March. Owners Huck and Jo Truesdell shared that the store will sell books that represent several publishers, genres, and age groups. Author talks, children's story hours, as well wine-and-cheese-gatherings are already on the docket, with more events to come. For now, congratulations Jo and Huck!
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.
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!
Save the Date! Binc Fundraiser on May 9
An Unlikely Story in Plainville, MA will host a Binc Fundraiser on Saturday, May 9. Details, ticketing information, and participating authors/illustrators will soon be announced.
For now, please save the date!
Register for Spring Forum Education
Bookseller Bootcamp & Owner/Manager HR Intensive
Wednesday, April 8:
9:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Join us for a morning of education taught by NEIBA booksellers and publisher partners! This program is designed to give frontline booksellers a 360-view of the book industry so they can emerge informed, engaged, and hopeful about our business. We’ll cover the publishing process from start to finish, the ABA and what it does, and what the deal is with Book Expo, Winter Institute, and regional association Fall Conferences. We’ll move on to how bookstores work from the inside out: from finances to strategy to inventory management to community engagement. Then, it’s time to skill-build: including merchandising and handselling basics,  mastering Edelweiss, how to get all the ARCs (and build your reputation as a reader by reviewing them), and how to perfect the art of professional communication (otherwise known as, “Help, I have to have a tough conversation with my boss!”) Finally, we’ll focus on personal finance: strategies for making the most of the bookseller salary, which tools to use to wrestle your debt to the ground, the logistics of the side-hustle, and how to use Binc as a resource. 
Wednesday, April 8:
9:30 AM – 12:00 PM
sponsored by Baker & Taylor Publisher Services

Join fellow store owners and managers for a session led by a Human Resources professional and designed to provide a playbook for how to handle HR situations, from the everyday to the sticky-wicket difficult.  How can we stop talking about wanting to hire for diversity and actually do it? How do we write engaging job descriptions that help manage employee expectations up front? In this session, you’ll be provided with specific scripts to which you can refer for every part of the hiring  and  termination process (and training on how best to use them), learn how to referee employee disputes in an enlightened way, and master the art of the effective performance review.  We’ll cover it all and leave plenty of time for group brainstorming and ask-the-expert questioning about the specific HR issues we all face each day. 
Booksellers: Don't Miss Out on Binc Scholarships!
Scholarship to Attend the Denver Publishing Institute:
Binc in collaboration with  Sourcebooks   and the  Denver Publishing Institute  sponsor a scholarship for booksellers interested in learning more about the publishing side of the industry. Applications for the scholarship — worth up to $7000 — to attend the Denver Publishing Institute will be accepted through February 26th, 2020. This scholarship includes tuition, meal plan, housing, and up to $2000 to cover travel and lost wages. For more information, please visit Binc's website.

Higher Education Scholarships:
The 2020 scholarship program supports booksellers and comic retailers’ dependents, spouses, and partners in pursuing their higher education goals. Binc will again this year award seven (7) $3,500 scholarships to the dependents of booksellers or comic retailers and one (1) Karl Pohrt Tribute Scholarship award of $5,000 will be granted to an owner or employee of a physical bookstore who has overcome a learning adversity or is a non­traditional student. Scholarship applications for our Higher Education scholarship program will be accepted through March 11th, 2020. For more information, please visit Binc's website.
Food for Thought
A round-up of pieces across publications
Social Media Spotlight
The Vermont Book Shop (Middlebury, VT)
@vtbookshop: Good morning bookstore, good morning books,
good morning light streaming in, nice and bright.
Best Sellers   
for the week ended
Sunday February 23, 2020

Based on reporting from the independent booksellers of
NEIBA and IndieBound 

1. American Dirt
Jeanine Cummins, Flatiron Books, $27.99, 9781250209764
2. A Long Petal of the Sea
Isabel Allende, Ballantine, $28, 9781984820150
3. The Dutch House
Ann Patchett, Harper, $27.99, 9780062963673
4. Weather
Jenny Offill, Knopf, $23.95, 9780385351102
5. Where the Crawdads Sing
Delia Owens, Putnam, $26, 9780735219090
6. Such a Fun Age
Kiley Reid, Putnam, $26, 9780525541905
7. Olive, Again
Elizabeth Strout, Random House, $27, 9780812996548
8. The Starless Sea
Erin Morgenstern, Doubleday, $28.95, 9780385541213
9. The Giver of Stars
Jojo Moyes, Pamela Dorman Books, $28, 9780399562488
10. On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous
Ocean Vuong, Penguin Press, $26, 9780525562023
11. The Water Dancer
Ta-Nehisi Coates, One World, $28, 9780399590597
12. The Silent Patient
Alex Michaelides, Celadon Books, $26.99, 9781250301697
13. Nothing to See Here
Kevin Wilson, Ecco, $26.99, 9780062913463
14. Exhalation: Stories New!
Ted Chiang, Knopf, $25.95, 9781101947883
15. Long Bright River
Liz Moore, Riverhead Books, $26, 9780525540670

1. The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse
Charlie Mackesy, HarperOne, $22.99, 9780062976581
2. A Very Stable Genius
Philip Rucker, Carol Leonnig, Penguin Press, $30, 9781984877499
3. Dark Towers: Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump, and an Epic Trail of Destruction New!
David Enrich, Custom House, $29.99, 9780062878816
4. The Body
Bill Bryson, Doubleday, $30, 9780385539302
5. The Man in the Red Coat New!
Julian Barnes, Knopf, $26.95, 9780525658771
6. Why We're Polarized
Ezra Klein, Avid Reader Press/S&S, $28, 9781476700328
7. Educated
Tara Westover, Random House, $28, 9780399590504
8. Until the End of Time: Mind, Matter, and Our Search for Meaning in an Evolving Universe New!
Brian Greene, Knopf, $30, 9781524731670
9. You Never Forget Your First: A Biography of George Washington New!
Alexis Coe, Viking, $27, 9780735224100
10. Talking to Strangers
Malcolm Gladwell, Little Brown, $30, 9780316478526
11. Say Nothing
Patrick Radden Keefe, Doubleday, $28.95, 9780385521314
12. Un-Trumping America: A Plan to Make America a Democracy Again New!
Dan Pfeiffer, Twelve, $28, 9781538733554
13. Maybe You Should Talk to Someone New!
Lori Gottlieb, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $28, 9781328662057
14. Tightrope New!
Nicholas D. Kristof, Sheryl WuDunn, Knopf, $27.95, 9780525655084
15. Catch and Kill New!
Ronan Farrow, Little Brown, $30, 9780316486637

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. Unsheltered
Barbara Kingsolver, Harper Perennial, $17.99, 9780062684738
5. A Gentleman in Moscow
Amor Towles, Penguin, $17, 9780143110439
6. The Tattooist of Auschwitz
Heather Morris, Harper, $16.99, 9780062797155
7. Daisy Jones & The Six
Taylor Jenkins Reid, Ballantine, $17, 9781524798642
8. Olive Kitteridge
Elizabeth Strout, Random House, $17, 9780812971835
9. The Stationery Shop
Marjan Kamali, Gallery Books, $16, 9781982107499
10. The Woman in the Window
A.J. Finn, Morrow, $16.99, 9780062678423
11. Girl, Woman, Other
Bernardine Evaristo, Grove Press/Black Cat, $17, 9780802156983
12. The Great Alone
Kristin Hannah, St. Martin's Griffin, $17.99, 9781250229533
13. Summer of '69 New!
Elin Hilderbrand, Back Bay, $16.99, 9780316420006
14. Before We Were Yours New!
Lisa Wingate, Ballantine, $17, 9780425284704
15. Ghosted
Rosie Walsh, Penguin, $16, 9780525522799

1. No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference
Greta Thunberg, Penguin, $10, 9780143133568
2. Just Mercy
Bryan Stevenson, Spiegel & Grau, $17, 9780593133934
3. Sapiens
Yuval Noah Harari, Harper Perennial, $24.99, 9780062316110
4. Inheritance
Dani Shapiro, Anchor, $16.95, 9780525434030
5. White Fragility
Robin DiAngelo, Beacon Press, $16, 9780807047415
6. Braiding Sweetgrass
Robin Wall Kimmerer, Milkweed Editions, $18, 9781571313560
7. Born a Crime
Trevor Noah, Spiegel & Grau, $18, 9780399588198
8. On Tyranny
Timothy Snyder, Tim Duggan Books, $8.99, 9780804190114
9. Midnight in Chernobyl
Adam Higginbotham, S&S, $19, 9781501134630
10. The Library Book
Susan Orlean, S&S, $16.99, 9781476740195
11. The Source of Self-Regard
Toni Morrison, Vintage, $16.95, 9780525562795
12. Bad Blood
John Carreyrou, Vintage, $16.95, 9780525431992
13. Frederick Douglass
David W. Blight, S&S, $20, 9781416590323
14. To Shake the Sleeping Self New!
Jedidiah Jenkins, Convergent Books, $17, 9781524761400
15. Classic Krakauer
Jon Krakauer, Anchor, $15, 9781984897695

1. The Last Wish
Andrzej Sapkowski, Orbit, $8.99, 9780316029186
2. Dune
Frank Herbert, Ace, $10.99, 9780441172719
3. Neuromancer
William Gibson, Ace, $8.99, 9780441569595
4. Murder on Cape Cod New!
Maddie Day, Kensington, $7.99, 9781496722881
5. Good Omens
Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, Morrow, $9.99, 9780062836977
6. The Diary of a Young Girl New!
Anne Frank, Bantam, $7.99, 9780553577129
7. The Name of the Wind
Patrick Rothfuss, DAW, $9.99, 9780756404741
8. The Goldfinch New!
Donna Tartt, Little Brown, $10.99, 9780316055420
9. The Left Hand of Darkness New!
Ursula K. Le Guin, Ace, $9.99, 9780441478125
10. The Wise Man's Fear New!
Patrick Rothfuss, DAW, $9.99, 9780756407919

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 Very Hungry Caterpillar New!
Eric Carle, Putnam, $10.99, 9780399226908
5. The Snowy Day
Ezra Jack Keats, Viking Books for Young Readers, $19.99, 9780670012701
6. Where the Wild Things Are
Maurice Sendak, Harper, $19.95, 9780060254926
7. The Serious Goose
Jimmy Kimmel, Random House Books for Young Readers, $18.99, 9780525707752
8. Good Night, Gorilla New!
Peggy Rathmann, Putnam, $7.99, 9780399230035
9. The Shortest Day New!
Susan Cooper, Carson Ellis (Illus.), Candlewick, $17.99, 9780763686987
10. Moo, Baa, La La La! New!
Sandra Boynton, S&S, $5.99, 9780671449018

1. Guts
Raina Telgemeier, Graphix, $12.99, 9780545852500
2. New Kid
Jerry Craft, Harper, $12.99, 9780062691194
3. Karen's Witch
Ann M. Martin, Katy Farina (Illus.), Graphix, $10.99, 9781338315196
4. One of Us Is Next
Karen M. McManus, Delacorte Press, $19.99, 9780525707967
5. Little Women
Louisa May Alcott, Puffin, $8.99, 9780142408766
6. Best Friends
Shannon Hale, LeUyen Pham (Illus.), First Second, $12.99, 9781250317469
7. Smile
Raina Telgemeier, Graphix, $10.99, 9780545132060
8. Drama New!
Raina Telgemeier, Graphix, $10.99, 9780545326995
9. Ghosts New!
Raina Telgemeier, Graphix, $10.99, 9780545540629
10. Sisters
Raina Telgemeier, Graphix, $10.99, 9780545540605

1. Dog Man: Fetch-22
Dav Pilkey, Graphix, $12.99, 9781338323214
2. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Wrecking Ball
Jeff Kinney, Abrams, $14.99, 9781419739033
3. Dog Man: For Whom the Ball Rolls
Dav Pilkey, Graphix, $12.99, 9781338236590
4. Hilo Book 6: All the Pieces Fit
Judd Winick, Random House Books for Young Readers, $13.99, 9780525644064
5. Dog Man: Brawl of the Wild New!
Dav Pilkey, Graphix, $9.99, 9781338236576
6. The Bad Guys (The Bad Guys, #1) New!
Aaron Blabey, Scholastic, $5.99, 9780545912402
7. Boy-Crazy Stacey (Baby-Sitters Club Graphic Novel, #7) New!
Ann M. Martin, Gale Galligan (Illus.), Graphix, $10.99, 9781338304510
8. An Elephant & Piggie Biggie Volume 2! (An Elephant and Piggie Book) New!
Mo Willems, Hyperion Books for Children, $16.99, 9781368045704
9. Dog Man: A Tale of Two Kitties
Dav Pilkey, Graphix, $9.99, 9780545935210
10. I Survived The Sinking of the Titanic, 1912 (I Survived Graphic Novel, #1) New!
Lauren Tarshis, Graphix, $10.99, 9781338120912