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Talking Trends with Barnes & Noble Buyers

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Talking Trends with Barnes& Noble Buyers


by Robin Bartlett


This year, for the first
time, PMA University attendees will have a chance to listen to—and talk
with—Barnes & Noble buyers who handle five broad categories: fiction,
children’s books, business books, religion books, and books on diet, health,
fitness, and self-improvement. Marcella Smith, director, Small Press and Vendor
Relations, and the relevant buyer at B&N will present courses that analyze
current trends in each category.


When I interviewed her recently,
Marcella explained that each course will start with her 15-minute overview of
what Barnes & Noble, Inc.—including barnesandnoble.com—is doing
in the market: where they are, where they are going, and general trends in
bookselling. Then the Barnes and Noble category buyer will talk for 15 minutes
about trends in his or her specific category, focusing partly on which subjects
are working and which ones are not. After these two brief presentations,
attendees and speakers will have an open discussion.


As Marcella pointed out, these
classes represent a marvelous educational opportunity both for PMA members who
are publishing in these categories and for the category buyers. Here’s a chance
to learn from and discuss trends with others who are active in the same area,
ask questions of professional booksellers, and share your experiences and


“The aim is not to get into the
nuts and bolts of how to do business with Barnes & Noble,” Marcella noted,
“but rather to examine editorial and publishing trends and explore concepts,
project ideas, and productive areas for investment.” In other words,
discussions will focus on what types of projects can be most productive and
viable for your publishing business.


At the Nitty-Gritty Level


For those of you who want to know
more about the nuts and bolts of working with the chains, wholesalers, and
online retailers, PMA University offers classes that include:


·      3E. Meet the Online Retailers,
2:00–3:30 pm, May 30

·      4G. Q&A with BookSense,
Ingram, Baker & Taylor, and Regional Wholesalers, 4–5:30 <span
, May 30

·      5G. Q&A with Barnes &
Noble, Borders, and the Indies, 8:30–10:00 am, May 31


And if you’ve ever wondered how to
organize an in-store event, you won’t want to miss the additional class
Marcella Smith will be giving with publicist Alice Acheson—8A. Successful
Store Events, 2:00–3:30 pm,
May 31.


What’s the bottom line? You need
to take a long, hard look at publishing with passion, planning, and
profitability by attending the 2007 PMA University. It’s one of the best
investments you can make in your publishing future. We look forward to seeing
you in New York May 29–31.


Robin Bartlett is the
educational chair for PMA.




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