American Library Association Midwinter Conference

Chicago, Illinois - January 30 - February 3, 2015

Foreword Reviews Indie Press Collective

    We are pleased to provide you with a post-show report from the show floor and the Foreword Reviews Indie Press Collective at the American Library Association Midwinter Conference in Chicago, Illinois, which took place January 30–February 3, 2015.
    ALA officials released preliminary numbers showing total attendance of 10,637, including 3,466 exhibitors. Chicago was an excellent choice for the show (except for the unfortunate inclement weather) as the history of ALA has shown an increase in attendance when taking place in the city.
    Exhibitors large and small showcased mostly new titles scheduled for spring release, and several library services companies (mainly technology based) had booths. Author signings, various giveaways, and an assortment of fun book character performances kept the show lively. Screenwriter and actor Jason Segel and Reading Rainbow host LeVar Burton were fascinating speakers at the event, as well as Cece Bell, Françoise Mouly, Jeff Smith, Gene Luen Yang, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and Dr. Cornel West.
    This was the first year Foreword hosted indie press titles at a booth at the Midwinter conference, after many years of attendance. We filled two tables (sporting the Foreword logo on the table cloths) with independent press titles on risers organized by genre. Previous IndieFab Award winners were noted with a bookmark that displayed the shiny IndieFab winner sticker. Each day, we adjusted placement so every title had a chance for “front of table” positioning over the course of the show.
    The booth garnered the attention of librarians as we placed a sign over the magazines at the front of the booth with a paper that read: “This is every librarian’s dirty little secret.” This humorous descriptor of Foreword Reviews’ magazine encouraged many intrigued librarians to stop and spend time at the booth. If the purpose of ALA is to get librarians excited about books, mission accomplished! Librarians from around the country stopped by to peruse your books and pick up an “I <3 Indie Books” sticker.
    The genres that attendees were most interested in were children’s picture books, Young Adult fiction, multicultural books, and books with LGBT characters. Well-designed cover art was also a draw. In addition to librarians looking for books to add to their collections, one librarian expressed an interest in talking to one of our authors about a presentation for patrons and a judge for ALA’s W.Y. Boyd Literary Award for Excellence in Military Fiction inquired about one of our titles.

Shelf Unbound 

2015 Best Indies

December/January 2015

Winter Edition

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