The week after we are closed for inventory, I will be heading out to Kentucky for the ABA Winter Institute
ABA stands for the American Booksellers Association and the bookshop is a member of this larger group of booksellers. They often put on educational workshops, which this is, that aid bookshops in becoming more efficient and better at what they do. The boss has often told me that without the opportunities she had to learn from the ABA, she wouldn't be as successful as she is today. She learned a lot about the book business through the ABA, so it is exciting for me to be able to go to one of their educational programs.
I'm quite excited, since I will be hopefully learning a lot and be able to use what I learn when I return to the bookshop. There will also be the opportunity to meet authors and hear reps speak about what are the important books, from the publishers they represent, in the months to come. These conferences are really vital for booksellers to be able to network with other booksellers and also speak one on one with members of the publishing industry. When Sandy, Jo and I went to NEIBA (New England Independent Booksellers Association) I was able to talk to so many of the representatives for the publishers and also I was able to meet Ha Jin, who happens to be one of my favorite authors. I had just finished reading his new book, A Free Life, a month or so prior to going and it was such a joy to actually meet him.