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PUBWEST 2021 CONFERENCE

JOIN PUBWEST'S VIRTUAL CONFERENCE ON FEB 2-4, 2021

Agenda details below!

Sponsorship opportunities are still available.


Tuesday, February 2

8:30 - 10:00AM

Welcome & Keynote
A Conversation with Jelani Memory, CEO and Co-Founder of A Kids Book About

A new player in the book market is getting noticed — Oprah is a fan! We talk to Jelani Memory about how and why he got into publishing, his successes, and his take on the future of the industry. With time for your questions!

10:30 - 11:00AM

Coffee Break Social Hour
Need a pick me up? Grab a cup of tea or coffee and spend time getting to know other attendees all from the comfort of your home or office.

12:00 - 1:00PM

New Strategies, Tools, and Tips to Promote Books and Authors ... NOW.
A conversation with and for authors, book publicists and marketers, featuring Melanie Deziel, Marisa Atkinson, Former PRH Integrated Marketing Team. Moderated by Helena Brantley

Tired of hearing about how book publicity and marketing is different, has changed, not effective? Ready for a conversation with specifics about what authors, publicity and marketing teams are actually doing to promote books...now? What’s working? What’s not? Join our conversation that will include short case studies about new and proven tactics, tools, strategies and technologies in author and book promotion. If we meet the objectives of this panel, publicity and marketing teams will leave with new ideas, tips, tools and strategies to consider and test for yourself.

—concurrent with—

Couples Therapy 1, Booksellers and Publishers:
We Love Each Other but there are Challenges and Conflicts
Featuring Publisher Brad Farmer of Gibbs Smith and others.

If there ever were a match made in heaven, it's the one between booksellers and book publishers. And yet ... as both struggle to survive in a retail-challenged landscape, conflicts are inevitable. Booksellers say they need more publisher support to make it, and smaller publishers say they can't possibly make the concessions that the Big Five can. This honest, informed conversation will work to break down misconceptions and shore up what is, deep down, a beautiful marriage.

1:30 - 2:30PM

Speed Dating with Exhibitors
Meet and greet with the people and companies who help you be a success. Sign up in advance and PubWest will set up time and virtual space for you to connect.

—concurrent with—

Design & Printing Roundtable
Free-ranging conversation about everything related to book design, layout, printing, paper, overseas production, and more!

Where is book design headed? How are designers and production managers addressing environmental best practices? What's the best way to cope with supply-chain issues as the pandemic continues? Should we be printing more in the US regardless of cost? If not, which countries are stepping up, printing-wise? Consider these and other questions in a moderated conversation with fellow travelers in the worlds of book design and production.

4:00 - 5:00PM

PubWest Book Design Awards
PubWest Book Design Awards recognize superior design and outstanding production quality of books throughout North America. Today we announce the winners of the 43rd annual awards!

Wednesday, February 3

8:00 - 9:00AM

Why Trade Reviews and Trade Publications Still Matter
Featuring Cevin Bryerman Publisher/Executive Vice President, Publishers Weekly and others.

What is the purpose of trade media? What is the value of a trade book review? Who writes those trade reviews? How are the key book publishing trades similar and different? What do trade media outlets, book publishers and authors miss about their role in the digital publishing landscape? What should we know about each other, as we all navigate our way in a post-Covid publishing world?

—concurrent with—

Couples Therapy 2, Libraries and Publishers, What is the New Normal with Libraries: How can we make it work?

How has 2020 shaped the relationship between libraries, librarians, and publishers? What do we predict for 2021? Ultimately librarians and publishers want the same thing for their customers — to read and develop a love of books. How can publishers and librarians work together both within their communities and at a larger scale to benefit our audiences and each other during this current transformation of the book industry.

9:30 - 10:30AM

Speed Dating with Exhibitors
Meet and greet with the people and companies who help you be a success. Sign up in advance and PubWest will set up time and virtual space for you to connect.

—concurrent with—

Editorial & Acquisitions Roundtable
Open to all editorial staff

If you work in editorial, here's your chance to learn and get inspired in conversation with your peers, on topics ranging from acquisitions in times of uncertainty to the eternal challenge of finding good freelancers.

12:00 - 1:00PM

Niche Topics/Small Group Roundtables

1:30 - 2:30PM

Jack D. Rittenhouse Award
The Rittenhouse Award is given annually in memory of Jack D. Rittenhouse, the West’s legendary bookman. It was established in 1990 as a way to thank and honor those who have made an important contribution to the community of the book in the west.

This year's award is given posthumously to Drs. Julian and Raye Richardson, founders of Marcus Books, the oldest Black bookstore in the United States (San Francisco, 1960). Award to be accepted by their daughter Blanche.

4:00 - 5:00PM

Networking Happy Hour
Move your laptop to a comfy chair, grab a glass or wine or hot tea, and join a friendly, breakout-room chat session with fellow travelers in publishing.

Thursday, February 4

8:00 - 9:00AM

Speed Dating with Exhibitors
Meet and greet with the people and companies who help you be a success. Sign up in advance and PubWest will set up time and virtual space for you to connect.

—concurrent with—

Amazon Boot Camp: All the free ways you can drive sales at the biggest retailer in the world
Featuring IPGs Amazon Experts Lara Alexander, Kelly Peterson, and Rachel Townsend

Are you looking to improve your titles' sales and search-ability on Amazon? Tune in to get insightful best practices along with all the latest proven tips and tricks.This session will cover:

  • Accurate, clean, (linked if applicable) metadata and series data
  • Eye-catching copy
  • Organic keywords
  • Subject classifications, Browse nodes and TSKs
  • Product Page Enhancements (Search Inside the Book, interior images, Amazon A+ and Video)
  • Author profile w/ image, bio, links
  • Retailer-specific Ebook files 

9:30 - 10:30AM

Deep Dive Social Media: How to Use It to Sell and Promote Books
With Michelle Halket, Publisher of Central Avenue and Andrea Baird, Marketing Director for Chicago Review Press and Triumph Books

Social media has fundamentally changed the way we publish and market books and the recent pandemic has sped up this change in ways that are here to stay. Discover your next bestselling author online. Prioritize finding your company voice and creating consistent content. Make the most of your author’s social platform. Develop a social media strategy that’s adaptable to the changing publishing landscape and work with influencers to drive sales.

  • Using social media for business development
  • What Tik Tok can do for you
  • Finding your company voice and delivering consistent content
  • The importance of author platforms in pandemic times
  • Social media strategy and adaptability including influencers and social live events
  • Honing in on the best social channels for your audiences

—concurrent with—

Couples Therapy 3, Working with your Distributor, How have we adapted

12:00 - 1:00PM

State of the Industry
Small and medium-sized publishers discuss the current realities and future of publishing after COVID.

1:30 - 2:30PM

Closing Session and Hall of Fame Award
PubWest President Emeritus Bill Fessler talks with Mike Shatzkin, the Founder & CEO of The Idea Logical Company, about his thoughts on publishing today and in the future.

Bill will ask his questions — and take yours — in this session that invites you to look to tomorrow with an industry visionary. We will follow this lively discussion with the presentation of the PubWest Hall of Fame Award that acknowledges a volunteer for their contributions to making our organization strong!

3:00 - 4:00PM

Networking Afternoon Break
Spend some time with your fellow attendees, grab a snack, and have a chat in the virtual world.

—concurrent with—

Head of House Roundtable
Free-wheeling conversation and idea sharing with publishing heads of house.

Join your fellow heads of house — whether it's a house of 1 or 100 — to share ideas, challenges, inspirations, solutions, and more. Open to publishing heads of house only, please.


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