From the WireNewsPublishers Weekly

PNBA Membership, Tradeshow Attendance Numbers Both Trend Up

The Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association (PNBA) experienced a positive upturn in both their membership numbers and tradeshow attendance, as reported by Nathalie op de Beeck in this recent article. PNBA’s Fall Tradeshow featured an exhibition hall, a membership meeting, and events to honor authors and their latest publications. The tradeshow also recognized Soul Jar: Thirty-One Fantastical Tales by Disabled Authors, edited by Annie Carl, as the PNBA BuzzBook of the year. The article highlights the increase in PNBA membership and attendance, as well as the organization’s new fee structure for Book Awards nominations. With the holiday catalog expected to be a significant revenue generator, PNBA remains optimistic about its future prospects.

PNBA Membership, Tradeshow Attendance Numbers Both Trend Up

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PNBA Membership

Membership on the Rise

The Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association (PNBA) is experiencing a significant increase in membership. According to PNBA board president Lane Jacobson, the organization is now at its highest level of membership since 2010. This growth can be attributed to the efforts of PNBA’s staff, who have reviewed the membership database, reached out to stores with lapsed memberships, and connected with new startups. The rise in membership brings both an infusion of energy and a responsibility to listen to the varying priorities of different bookstores. PNBA’s executive director, Brian Juenemann, emphasized the importance of the membership, referring to it as the organization’s “lifeblood” and “fresh fuel.”

Tradeshow Attendance Numbers

Rising Attendance Numbers and Exhibitors

PNBA’s Fall Tradeshow has seen a notable increase in attendance numbers and exhibitors. While the final tallies are yet to be announced, the organization is optimistic about surpassing pre-pandemic attendance figures. This rise in participation signifies a positive shift towards normalcy in the industry. Despite facing a slight financial deficit in 2022, PNBA remains hopeful about its holiday catalog, which is known to be its biggest revenue generator. This increase in tradeshow attendance and exhibitors is a promising sign for the book industry in the Pacific Northwest.

PNBA Membership, Tradeshow Attendance Numbers Both Trend Up

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PNBA Book Awards Nominations

New Fee Structure to Reduce Submissions

To streamline the PNBA Book Awards process and reduce the number of submissions, PNBA has implemented a new fee structure. Previously, nominations were free, resulting in an overwhelming number of submissions that made judging a time-consuming task. To address this issue, PNBA introduced nominal fees for nominations. PNBA member organizations are now required to pay $50 per nomination, while non-members must pay $75. This fee structure has successfully decreased the number of submissions by approximately 30%. It also serves as a valuable income stream for the organization, helping to cover the expenses associated with the awards program.

Fall Tradeshow Events

Exhibition Hall

The highlight of PNBA’s Fall Tradeshow is the exhibition hall. This space provides booksellers with an opportunity to connect with publishers’ representatives and other vendors. With uninterrupted trade floor hours from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., booksellers have ample time to explore the exhibits and engage in meaningful conversations. The exhibition hall serves as a hub for discovering new titles, establishing business relationships, and staying updated with the latest trends in the book industry.

Membership Meeting

In conjunction with the Fall Tradeshow, PNBA holds a membership meeting to address important organizational matters. During this meeting, PNBA’s board president, Lane Jacobson, shares updates and insights with the attendees. This year’s meeting is particularly significant, as it marks the highest level of membership since 2010. The increase in membership signifies a growing interest in PNBA and highlights the organization’s importance in supporting the book industry in the Pacific Northwest.

Interludes Celebrating Authors

PNBA’s Fall Tradeshow also includes interludes celebrating authors and their latest publications. These interludes provide a platform for authors to showcase their work and engage with the audience. One of the notable events during these interludes is the presentation of the PNBA BuzzBook of the Year. This year, the honor goes to “Soul Jar: Thirty-One Fantastical Tales” edited by Annie Carl. The book, published by Forest Avenue Press, features disabled authors and has garnered significant recognition within the literary community.

PNBA Membership, Tradeshow Attendance Numbers Both Trend Up

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PNBA BuzzBook of the Year

Soul Jar: Thirty-One Fantastical Tales by Disabled Authors

The PNBA BuzzBook of the Year is “Soul Jar: Thirty-One Fantastical Tales” edited by Annie Carl. This collection of stories published by Forest Avenue Press showcases the talents of disabled authors. Annie Carl, the owner of the accessibility-focused Neverending Bookshop in Edmonds, Wash., has curated an extraordinary compilation that challenges traditional notions of storytelling. “Soul Jar” includes a foreword by acclaimed author Nicola Griffith, further solidifying its place as an exceptional work in the literary landscape.

Authors Over Easy Breakfast

Presentations by Memoirist and Other Novelists

The Authors Over Easy breakfast is a highlight of PNBA’s Fall Tradeshow. This event brings together established and emerging authors to share their experiences and insights with the attendees. One of this year’s featured presenters is Maeve DuVally, a memoirist whose book “Maeve Rising: Coming Out Trans in Corporate America” has garnered significant acclaim. DuVally will discuss her journey of recovery from alcohol addiction and coming out as transgender while working in media relations at Goldman Sachs. The breakfast will also feature presentations by other novelists, including Laurie Frankel, Rachel Khong, and Don Winslow, who will be releasing new books in 2024. Garth Stein, acclaimed author of “The Art of Racing in the Rain,” will provide a humorous perspective on his latest work, “The Cloven: Book Two,” which explores the world of genetically modified goat people.

ACL Usability Table

ACLU Community Engagement Director Fielded Questions

As part of PNBA’s Fall Tradeshow, the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon (ACLU) was invited to set up a usability table. Jackie Yerby, the ACLU’s community engagement director, was present to field questions from booksellers concerned about social justice and the freedom to read. This interactive session provided booksellers with the opportunity to engage in meaningful discussions about the intersection of literature, activism, and civil liberties. The presence of the ACLU at the tradeshow highlights the importance of promoting inclusivity and advocating for the freedom of expression within the book industry.

Book Industry Charitable Foundation

Discussion on Grant Approvals and Fundraising

Judey Kalchick, the program manager for the Book Industry Charitable Foundation (BINC), joined PNBA’s Fall Tradeshow to discuss grant approvals and fundraising efforts. BINC plays a crucial role in supporting booksellers in times of financial need. Kalchick shared that BINC has approved and paid 206 grants so far in 2023, with an average grant amount of $2,200. This represents an increase compared to the previous year’s average grant of $1,730. Kalchick expressed gratitude for the support received through monthly donations, customer “roundup at the registers,” and other contributions, emphasizing the importance of ongoing fundraising efforts to sustain BINC’s mission of assisting booksellers in need.

Sweet & Greet Event

Cocktail Hour and Conversation with Authors

To conclude PNBA’s Fall Tradeshow, attendees were treated to the Sweet & Greet event. This cocktail hour provided a relaxed and intimate setting for booksellers and authors to engage in conversations and exchange ideas. Sixteen authors, representing various genres and writing styles, visited tables to introduce themselves and their latest books. The Sweet & Greet event served as a “literary digestif,” allowing participants to reflect on the day’s experiences and celebrate the camaraderie that defines the book industry community.