“What a great show! I loved the venue, the hotel, the food was fantastic, and the education was invaluable. The best part was connecting with colleagues and meeting booksellers from another region.”
"Bookish magic's in the air here.”
“Having both MIBA and GLIBA represented adds to the energy and expertise. There just seemed to be so much more excitement in the air, from the authors to the publishers and sales reps. Great job. Thanks for all you did to put it together!”
“I love meeting other booksellers and finding out from them how to solve common problems”
Hundreds of Bookselllers, Thousands of Books, One Great Community
The 2015 Heartland Fall Forum just wrapped and by all accounts was yet another success. Independent bookselling is alive and well in the Midwest, and for the fourth year in a row this joint show between MIBA and GLIBA has served as both a confirmation of that fact as well as the impetus behind it. We hope you join us next year at The Depot in Minneapolis from October 5-7.
2015 Heartland Fall Forum Recap
The 2015 Heartland Fall Forum will took place from October 9-11 at The Westin Lombard Yorktown Center in Lombard, Illinois. With nearly 300 booksellers in attendance, as well as almost 200 members of the publishing community and just under 100 participating authors, the 2015 Heartland Fall Forum was deemed an unequivocal success by nearly all involved.
Friday, October 9 2015
The show began for some attendees with a tour of the offices of nearby publishers Sourcebooks, followed by a jaunt to local Anderson's Bookshop. At 6:30 on Friday night, the official festivities began with the Book Awards Dinner, celebrating the winners of the Midwest Booksellers Choice Awards and the Great Lakes, Great Reads Awards, as well as the semi-annual Voice of the Heartland award, given this year to legendary rep Ted Heinecken.
Jennifer Geraedts of Beagle and Wolf Books & Bindery in Park Rapids MN introduced MIBA's Booksellers Choice Award recipients Michael Perry (winner in YA for The Scavengers) and Julie Schumacher (winner in fiction for Dear Committee Members). Unable to attend were Ted Kooser (poetry, Splitting an Order), Pamela Smith Hill (nonfiction, Pioneer Girl), and Joyce Sidman (children's picture book, Winter Bees).
Deb Leonard of GLIBA introduced Great Lakes, Great Reads winners David Arnold (YA, Mosquitoland), Loren Long (children's picture book, Otis and the Tractor), and Emily St. John Mandel (fiction, Station Eleven).
As the Book Awards ceremony concluded, our opening reception kicked off in the corridor. Hosted by the ABA and Book Expo America (a conference that will take place in Chicago in 2016), the opening reception gave booksellers, publishers, and authors a chance to catch up, meet for the first time, and share the excitement that always fills the Heartland Fall Forum. A few lucky raffle entrants also came away with free nights at the host hotel for BEA 2016 in Chicago.
Saturday, October 10 2105
Day Two of the show is always the busiest day of the show, with multiple education offerings on the slate. This year we compounded the options by adding rep sessions to occur simultaneously with the education sessions. With four rounds of three education sessions each, plus a rep picks session option, attendees had plenty to choose from. Highlights included the always popular "Buzz" sessions, in which booksellers present on the books they're most excited about in the upcoming season, as well as more nuts and bolts sessions such as the ABA's "Economics of Publishing" session, "How to Book Author Events," and "Independent Bookstore Day: Year 2," which was fortunate to have the founder of IBD and executive director of the Northern California Independent Bookstore Association Hut Landon on hand to discuss what went right in the event's first year and ways we can improve it.
Be sure to visit MIBA's resources page for education materials derived from these sessions, including Hut's powerpoint presentation.
In the middle of all this was the always-popular Moveable Feast, in which forty authors get a chance to meet a handful of authors, and attendees get a chance to go home with a signed copy of every participating author. This year's event will forever be remembered by the knockout speeches given by keynote authors Michelle Hoover and Pat Schmatz, as well as a brief introductory keynote by C. Alexander London. In all, participating authors included:
Watch a video of the keynote speeches by Pat Schmatz and Michelle Hoover below.
That evening's Adult Author Dinner saw similarly inspiring words by keynotes Jacquelyn Mitchard, Kimberla Lawson Roby, Ethan Canin, and Jonis Agee. After dinner, the piece de resistance of the Heartland Fall Forum took place: Quiz Bowl, where regularly polite and restrained booksellers turn into their fiercest, most competitive, and most suprisingly entertaining alter-egos. (You know who you are.)
Sunday, October 11 2015
Sunday morning's Children's Author Breakfast also saw its keynote speakers bring the house down. David Baldacci, Andrea Davis Pinkney, and last-minute stand in Bruce Coville (Judy Schachner was stranded in Oregon after some inclement weather prevented her from flying) fired up the audience for our all-day trade show.
The show floor featured 66 exhibiting companies, including 9 publishers and sidelines companies that had never taken part in the show before. The BINC-sponsored silent auction received record-setting contributions to the bookseller-aiding charity, and multiple veteran exhibitors claimed that is was the best show they'd attended in terms of onsite orders.
The final event was our Author Signing Reception, featuring 16 authors, each of which signed copies of their books for booksellers to take home. The ballroom was filled with a golden glow of evening and attendees ate and drank and were merry as they reflected on a wonderful weekend. In all, participating authors included:
We're hard at work planning next year's Hearltand Fall Forum at The Depot in Minneapolis, to be held October 5-7. See you there!
Read Publisher's Weekly's recap of the 2015 Heartland Fall Forum here.
“I love the energy and excitement of all the attendees and exhibitors. It is a positive experience and it makes me proud to be in an industry that people still believe in with their heart.”
“As a brand new bookstore, the forum was saturated with valuable information. I walked away feeling like we had been in business for months instead of just two weeks!”
“I always look forward to Heartland! I love to see the new books and have a chance to talk with some of the authors and the people associated with the publishers.“