Thursday, July 7, 2011

ALA Wrap-Up

Today's post is from Annick's production manager, Heather Davies, who attended ALA this year along with sales and rights manager Gayna Theophilus.

From June 24–27, Annick attended the American Library Association’s Annual Conference in New Orleans. The Louisiana heat was something else for this Canadian, but New Orleans is beautiful and couldn’t have been more welcoming.

Many of the scheduled seminars were very popular, with standing-room-only crowds. Despite arriving 20 minutes early, I couldn’t even get in the door for “Ebooks: Has Their Time Come?” Having learned my lesson, I arrived half an hour early for “Picture Books Go Digital” which was very interesting and sparked a lot of participation from the audience.

Visitors checking out Annick Press books at ALA

With attendance figures topping 20,000, booth traffic was steady. Visitors to our booth were engaged and interested and, on the whole, quite familiar with many of our titles. Many, many reviewers and committee members came by to make sure they were on our mailing list and getting our books.

There were lots of positive comments about Chanda’s Secrets, and lots of excitement upon hearing about the movie, Life, Above All, which comes out this month. Many people who loved Fatty Legs were very excited about the sequel, A Stranger at Home. The 50 Questions series got plenty of attention, as did the Jobs in History titles. And clearly, the Chicken, Pig, Cow books are well-loved.

I'll wrap up with my two favorite comments:
One visitor to her companion in the next booth: “Hey, they’re Canadian!”
Me: “Is that good or bad?”
Visitor: “It’s great – Canadian publishers have much better quality!”

And:
New Orleans native: “You’re here with the librarians?”
Me: “Yes.”
New Orleans native: “Oh! We love the librarians!” (ALA was the first major conference in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.)

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