The Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), www.ibpa-online.org, announced earlier this month that Barnes & Noble, Inc. CEO James Daunt will deliver the opening keynote at IBPA Publishing University 2021, scheduled as a virtual event on the Attendify platform April 7-10, 2021. Daunt was previously scheduled to headline IBPA’s 2020 conference, which was cancelled in March 2020 due to gathering restrictions related to COVID-19.
Barnes & Noble has struggled in the Pacific Northwest and elsewhere. The Seattle Barnes & Noble downtown store closed in January, leaving the downtown core without a general bookstore for the first time in decades. During an interview in a September 20, 2019 Publishers Weekly article, Daunt emphasized a “local first” philosophy will help restore the chain to retail health. That comment resonated with many independent publishers and writers, according to IBPA.
Daunt stated that any forthcoming makeover of B&N will be done by empowering store managers and other booksellers to create stores that meet the needs of their local communities.
“I couldn’t be more thrilled that Mr. Daunt has again agreed to join the incredibly passionate membership at IBPA Publishing University this April,” said IBPA CEO Angela Bole. “As an industry, we need Barnes & Noble to remain a healthy part of the supply chain. If it can also be a force for better connecting indie publishers to their local market, all the better.”
Daunt, named B&N CEO in August 2019, also serves as Managing Director of Waterstones, the largest retail bookseller in the United Kingdom. He currently oversees 612 Barnes & Noble stores in the United States, and 293 Waterstones locations across the U.K., Ireland, The Netherlands and Belgium.
The full conference schedule is available at https://www.publishinguniversity.org/schedule. Readers of Book Publishers Northwest News can receive a 15% registration discount when they apply Promo Code PubU-Affiliates at check out. Additional registration information is available at https://www.publishinguniversity.org/register.