ABA Conference

Australian Booksellers Association Conference

Book now for the 96th annual ABA conference and trade exhibition is taking place in Sydney on Sunday 21 and 22 June 2020. in conjunction with the ABA conference, the Australian Publishers Association will host the Australian Book Industry ConferenceBookUp on Tuesday 23 June.

Early bird bookings for both events are now open for members and non-members

Program outline


8:00 REGISTRATION – Level 3, Sofitel Sydney Wentworth
Sponsored by Circle Software 
9:00  Welcome – ABA President Jay Lansdown and CEO Robbie Egan 
9:05Keynote: Nic Bottomley – Mr B’s Emporium and President of the Booksellers Association of the UK and Ireland
Nic Bottomley is a bookseller in heritage rich Bath, where Mr B’s Emporium has entrenched itself in the community. Also the current President of the BA, Nic has combined the rigor of his legal background and love of literature and built a bookshop based on extreme customer service and a joyous and opinionated brand of bookselling. His life in books is a fascinating and inspirational story.
9:50 The Nielsen report
Bianca Whiteley will present a snapshot of overseas and local consumer trends and how this data can translate to your shop floor category mix. Bianca will also discuss the results of the ABA’s benchmarking survey.
Sponsored by Nielsen
10:30 Morning tea 
10:50Keynote: Ben Ball – Publishing Director, Scribner
Ben Ball will outline how he sees the future of non-fiction publishing in Australia and how booksellers can get involved in bringing such incredibly important stories to the public.
Sponsored by Simon & Schuster
11:30 Special guest: Jessica Townsend 
11:45Trade exhibition and lunch commences 
15:00 Trade exhibition concludes 
15:00 Indigenous Literacy Foundation presentation 
15:15Author panel
Three dazzling, and very different, writers from Text Publishing’s Christmas 2020 and summer 2021 highlights discuss their new works. Prepare to be entertained, challenged, moved—and seduced
Sponsored by Text Publishing
15:55Afternoon tea 
16:15 Australian Reading Hour
The Australian Reading Hour is a unique cross-industry campaign to promote the benefits of reading. Louise Sherwin Stark, MD of Hachette will talk about the 2020 campaign.
16:25 Member Forum 
17:15 AGM 
17:30 Close of day’s session 
18:30 Pre-dinner drinks
Tanya Hennessey and Christian Hull
Sponsored by Allen and Unwin
19:30 Gala dinner and awards night:
Special guests David McAllister and Vicki AttardMC Benjamin Law
Sponsored by Thames & Hudson
  Award presentations:
Nielsen Booksellers Choice Award
ABA Penguin Random House Young Bookseller of the Year
ABA Hardie Grant Egmont Children’s Bookseller of the Year
ABA Text Publishing Bookseller of the Year


8:00 REGISTRATION – Level 3, Sofitel Sydney Wentworth
Sponsored by Circle Software
8:25 Welcome Back – Jay Lansdown and Robbie Egan 
8:30 Children’s bookselling – Middle fiction
Authors Danielle Binks and Jaclyn Moriarty will be joined by a bookseller to discuss writing, publishing and selling middle fiction.
 Sponsored by Kids’ Reading Guide
9:20 Panel session
      Readings bookseller and sustainability author Angela Crocombe will be joined by panellists to discuss steps towards business sustainability and the ABA’s Green Pledge program.
10:00  Morning tea 
10:20 Author panel
Join Robert Watkins, Head of Literary at Hachette Australia, as he chats with winners of prizes for unpublished manuscripts; Sam Coley (winner of Richell Prize 2017), Ruth Mciver (Richell Prize 2019), Victoria Hannan (Victorian Premiers Unpublished Manuscript Award) and Nardi Simpson (black and write unpublished prize) about their four extraordinary 2020 debut novels.
Sponsored by Hachette
11:05 Author speaker
Small business guru Fiona Killackey’s work is all about helping business owners (and their teams) structure their offerings, culture, systems and marketing in a way that reduces stress while increasing profit, purpose and passion. Fiona brings a practical approach to finding the joy in our work lives, with strategies for improving all aspects of our businesses.
Sponsored by Hardie Grant
11:45 Panel session
Beginning with the idea of decolonising our bookshops, as booksellers we can act and create change. Our spaces are places of power, and there are big and small differences we can make. Leesa Lambert and a panel will discuss diversity and marginalised voices and include practical takeaways for booksellers wanting to make a difference.
12:30  Lunch 
13:30 Author panel
Join Kate Mildenhall and special author guest in a live recording of Kate’s Podcast The First Time.
14:00 Industry forum 
The annual forum to hear and discuss different perspectives on key aspects of our industry.
14:55 Afternoon tea 
15:15 Bookseller panel session
Booksellers have unique access to their customers psychology through their reading so what do we mean by ‘customer service,’ and how should we treat the people that walk into our bookstores? Nic Bottomley and panellists will discuss their approaches to customer service.
16:00 Closing keynote:
Special guest to be announced
16:40 Conference finish 

For more information visit abaconference.org.au