(Manhattan Beach, CA - January 21, 2020) -- The Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), whose mission is to lead and serve the independent publishing community through advocacy, education, and tools for success, announced today that Barnes & Noble, Inc. CEO James Daunt will deliver the opening keynote at IBPA Publishing University 2020, scheduled for April 3-4, 2020 in Redondo Beach, California.
During an interview at B&N’s flagship bookstore in New York City chronicled in a September 20, 2019 Publishers Weekly article, Daunt emphasized a “local first” philosophy that resonated with many IBPA members. As part of this thinking, Daunt stressed 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 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 627 B&N stores in the United States, and 293 Waterstones locations across the U.K., Ireland, The Netherlands and Belgium.
In 1990, after an early career as an investment banker, Daunt opened his own bookstore in London, called Daunt Books. Daunt Books now has nine locations, mainly in London, and remains independently owned by Daunt.
In 2011, Daunt was appointed Managing Director of Waterstones when the struggling bookseller was bought by Russian businessman, Alexander Mamut. Waterstones was subsequently restored to profitability, a success that led to the acquisition of a majority stake in the business by Elliott Advisors in July 2018. Elliott acquired B&N in August 2019.
IBPA Publishing University 2020 takes place at the Crowne Plaza Redondo Beach and Marina Hotel in Redondo Beach, California from April 3rd-4th. For nearly three decades, the flagship event has brought hundreds of independent publishers from across the country together with experts and vendors for education, networking, and fun local events.
In addition to three packed days of education (with preconference sessions on April 2nd and full conference events on April 3rd-4th), attendees will enjoy a gala celebration of the 32nd annual IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award winners during the evening of April 3rd.