I went to my first Heartland Fall Forum this year, and it was fantastic! For those who don’t know, HFF is an annual gathering for independent booksellers from across the Midwest. This year it was in Cleveland, home of Jack Frost Donuts, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards, and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
I had too many wonderful conversations and didn’t take nearly enough pictures, so here are just a few highlights.
Difficult customers workshop
The main reason I was at HFF was to copresent a workshop on dealing with difficult customers with Clancey D’Isa of Seminary Co-op Bookstore in Chicago. It went really well! I’m hopeful that everyone who came picked up some useful tips for handling difficult customer interactions and staying safe in their stores.
The tradeshow floor
Belt Publishing hosted a happy hour on the mezzanine above the tradeshow floor, so I got to capture it while it was empty, a rarity!
My photos don’t begin to capture how amazing Loganberry’s space is---there’s even a book bindery on site!
One of the first books that caught my eye when I walked in was this one, from fellow SNC faculty member Pablo Cartaya!
Speaking of SNC friends . . .
I ran into Andrew and Erin Pineda of 27th Letter Books in Detroit. I sat on Andrew’s thesis defense committee at SNC, so it was a real treat to see him, and to meet Erin in person! They’re in the running for a $50K business grant from Hatch Detroit---you can vote for them until Oct. 10, when they’ll announce the winner!
The (sorta) big book haul
I was committed to not shipping any books home, and I only brought one suitcase. You’d think this would’ve limited the number of books and galleys I brought home, but noooo.
To be fair, though, my haul is downright dainty next to other folks---check out what bookseller extraordinaire Sarah Krammen of Dragonfly Books brought back! (not pictured: the amazing skirt Sarah sewed just before HFF, which included front pockets that were deep enough to hold multiple paperbacks!)
Here’s hoping I’ll get to go again next year! #HFFrocks