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Bookseller of Year is featured speaker at book show in Atlanta


Gayle Shanks, named Bookseller of the Year 2007, will be featured at sessions for booksellers at March 23-25 trade show at Georgia World Congress Center.

ATLANTA, Ga. – March 15, 2007 – The headliners at the educational session being presented for Southern booksellers in conjunction with the Spring Book Show at Atlanta’s World Congress Center on March 23-25 is the co-owner of an independent bookstore in Arizona that’s been in business for 33 years, at a time when hundreds of small bookstores have gone under.

She’s Gayle Shanks of Tempe, Ariz., who with her husband Bob and a third party, owns the 33-year-old Changing Hands Bookstore.

Trade publication Publishers Weekly just named Changing Hands as the 15th annual Bookseller of the Year.

“The enthusiasm, energy and creativity of the people of Changing Hands Bookstore is what makes me look forward to each visit,” said Random House’s district sales manager Ron Smith. “I couldn’t be more pleased that they won. These people serve as examples of what booksellers should aspire to become.”

While many independent bookstore operators have been driven out of business by competition from bookstore chains and big-box discount stores moving into their market, Changing Hands has prospered and grown.

Authors love the store and its staff. “I’ve toured all over and I’ve seen a lot of bookstores, and Changing Hands excels at catering to both readers and authors,” said author Christopher Moore. “I know I’ll be well represented when I show up for an event there.”

When Lisa Tucker moderated a Book Expo America panel on reinventing author tours, one of the first speakers she picked was Cindy Dach, the marketing director for Changing Hands. “Cindy created the First Fiction Tour, an innovative approach that gave first-time authors a chance to attract readers by relocating events to exciting and unusual venues,” said Tucker.

Shanks, a member of the board of the American Booksellers Association (ABA), will share her remarkable success story – and some of the trade secrets that helped her along the way – at a seminar for bookstore owners and sellers.

Shanks and husband Bob Sommer started out in 1974 with a 500-square-foot used bookstore in Tempe, Ariz. Today, the store has12,000 square feet and carries new and used books and lots of gift items.

Shanks will speak at a March 23 box lunch seminar in which she will focus on incorporating both used books and remainders into a store, while “Making Your Store More Profitable With Gift Items” will be the topic of her March 24 program.

Shanks will also participate in the popular Resource Roundtable Breakfast, held from 8:00-10:00 a.m. on March 24. Seasoned Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) bookseller presenters participating in the roundtable will include Sally Brewster of Park Road Books, Karin Wilson of Page & Palette Bookstore, Kelly Justice of The Fountain Bookstore, Janet Bollum of The Muse Bookshop, Elizabeth Grant-Gibson and Pat Grant of Windows – a bookshop, Nicki Leone of SIBA and Shanks and Sommer of Changing Hands.

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Further information: Spring Book Show, 3517 Neal Drive, Knoxville, TN 37918


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