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Oprah Winfrey to be Keynote Speaker at U.S. Book Show

Oprah Winfrey
Photo Credit: Harpo, Inc. Chris Craymer

Oprah Winfrey will be the opening keynote speaker at the U.S. Book Show, the virtual book publishing trade show presented by Publishers Weekly.

Oprah Winfrey will give the opening keynote speech on May 25, 2021 at 10:45 a.m. EDT. She will discuss her newest book, What Happened to You?: Conversations on Trauma, Resilience and Healing, co-written with Bruce D. Perry, a child psychiatrist and neuroscientist. The book, released by Flatiron on April 27, discusses how people’s earliest personal experiences shape their entire lives. The book offers a new way to understand the way people behave. Winfrey, one of the biggest supporters of all members of the book industry, will also offer comments on her love for books and authors and offer her appreciation and encouragement for all those who support them.

We are all Entrepreneurs

Work vs Life
Work vs Life

Whether you are a stay-at-home parent or a business executive, we are all running a small business, which is called our life.

Independence Day and Freedom to . . .

USA background of waving American flag

The annual July 4th Independence Day celebrations with fireworks, cook-outs, and family gatherings are all moments of light-heartedness and fun.  Reflecting on the holiday and the birth of a nation provides a broad spectrum of things to consider regarding the continuing experiment in this democracy. 

Since last year’s Independence Day, so much has occurred in the United States that there is no shortage of issues that the country and its citizenry should consider and address.

In late June, General Mark Milley, the highest-ranking uniformed officer in the U.S. military became the focus of the news media.  Speaking before a committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, he stated that he, personally, wants to understand white rage.  He admitted to reading books about communism and Marxism.  He seemed to emphasize the importance of having a well-read and educated military force.  He was so bold as to point out to members of Congress that West Point (the U.S. Military Academy) is a university, a place of learning.

General Milley raised interesting and relevant issues.  Today, the U.S. military is a diverse organization with approximately 30% of the overall military self-reporting as other than white.  He rightly pointed out that his force is made up of people who come from the general population and, therefore, it is important to understand the issues that plague society as a whole.  The fact that this commander and others who oversee the daily effectiveness of our fighting force seek to improve their understanding of complex social issues and prevent those issues from being a distraction to the fighting force should be supported. 

We should remind ourselves that those who are serving, regardless of rank, race or ethnicity, take an oath to protect and defend the constitution against all enemies, foreign or domestic.  That oath that they take means they serve to ensure everyone’s constitutional rights.

General Milley and other retired officers know that despite all the efforts undertaken, the U.S. military has far to go to be better when it comes to understanding some of these divisive issues.  The General’s comments are encouraging and exhibit a desire to understand in order to ensure a unified fighting force that protects the foundations of the United States.

It is surely a sad development when the General’s stated determination to understand the issues that divide the country are met with derogatory name-calling. 

While the derision and name-calling are hard to understand, one thing is clear.  Americans have the right to insult the General.  They have the right to deny facts and reality.  They have the right to ignore science and believe in lies.  And, as a result of having a society where millions can exercise deliberate ignorance, the only question that remains unanswered is how long it will take until the denial of facts and reality bring down this democratic experiment.

The views expressed are those solely of the author.  Timothy Trainer is an attorney and veteran.

Ingram’s Transformation of the Publishing World

John Ingram
U.S. Book Show by Publishers Weekly
U.S. Book Show by Publishers Weekly

If you’ve never heard the name John Ingram, you will be surprised to learn that his family has been instrumental in transforming the publishing industry. In “A Conversation with John Ingram” at Publishers Weekly’s U. S. Book Show, you learn that Ingram played an important role during the recent pandemic in keeping books available while supply chains were disrupted. Years ago, Ingram Books started Lightning Source, a digital printer and wholesaler, which was instrumental in transforming the world of publishing into print on demand or POD. What that means is that books are printed and distributed as needed rather than sitting in a warehouse waiting for orders. Now this concept was totally transformational in the publishing business, where traditional publishers, as they still do, print thousands of books at a time, store them in a warehouse, and send them to bookstores when orders are received. Of course, the pandemic changed all of that. As John Ingram would say, Lightning Source’s motto is, or rather became, “Just in time, just in case.”

In June of 2020, 50% of the books on the New York Times bestseller list were provided, either printed and/or distributed, by Ingram’s Lightning Source. While that percentage will change as we return to “normal,” you cannot help but wonder if this lesson will not be lost by the industry as a whole. Would you want to risk printing of your content and your ability to distribute that content without the backup Ingram Content Group offers publishers?

So, what led to Ingram’s success. John Ingram summed up his business philosophy like this: “I want to do well by helping others do well.”

If you want to learn more about this success story, buy the book. You won’t regret it.

The Family Business Cover

About the Interview:

Jim Milliot, V-P and Editorial Director, Publishers Weekly, sat down with John Ingram, chairman of Ingram Content Group, and Keel Hunt, author of The Family Business: How Ingram Transformed the World of Books (West Margin Press), for a discussion about how the company has managed to remain one of publishing’s most important players and what is ahead for the industry.

Author of NYT Bestseller So You Want to Talk About Race to Set Stage for Book Fair

Ijeoma Oluo Rakesh Satyal

Ijeoma Oluo, the author of So You Want to Talk About Race and Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male Power, is to speak at the U.S. Book Show. Ms. Oluo will be in conversation with Rakesh Satyal at the U.S Book Show. Mr. Satyal acquired Ms. Oluo’s forthcoming book, Be a Revolution, for HarperOne last year.

Named one of Seattle’s top 50 most influential women, the Nigerian-American Oluo, who lives in Seattle, is a widely admired speaker and author who saw her nonfiction So You Want to Talk About Race (Seal, 2018) hit the New York Times bestseller list with its publication in 2018 and remain a consistent bestseller. Since its release in 2018, the book has sold more than 405,000 print copies, according to NPD BookScan.

Publishers Weekly gave Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male Power, published by Seal Press in December, 2020, a starred review, noting, “Erudite yet accessible, grounded in careful research as well as Oluo’s personal experiences of racism and misogyny, this is an essential reckoning with race, sex, and power in America.”

“We are pleased to sit down to discuss Ijeoma’s groundbreaking work, including So You Want to Talk About Race and Mediocre, as well as give viewers a sneak peek into her next book, Be a Revolution,” said Mr. Satyal.

Rakesh Satyal is executive editor at HarperOne, a division of HarperCollins Publishers, and a Lambda Literary Award winner for Blue Boy (Kensington, 2007), which also won the 2009 Prose/Poetry Award from the Association of Asian American Studies. His second book was No One Can Pronounce My Name (Picador USA, 2017).

“Ijeoma Oluo is a great talent and an important voice in the national conversation. We are thrilled about having her take the stage at the U.S. Book Show to reflect on her past writings and take us into the future with a discussion of Be a Revolution,” said Krista Rafanello, senior marketing director of Publishers Weekly and the show manager of the U.S. Book Show.

Ms. Oluo was named to the 2021 TIME 100 Next list and has twice been named to the Root 100. Her work on race has been featured in the Guardian, the New York Times and the Washington Post, among many other publications. She received the 2018 Feminist Humanist Award and the 2020 Harvard Humanist of the Year Award from the American Humanist Association.

Top Celebrity Talent Adds Sparkle to a Day Devoted to Kids’ Books

Childrens Day Speakers

Brian Selznick, the bestselling children’s book author and Caldecott Medal-winning creator of The Invention of Hugo Cabret, which was adapted into the Oscar®-winning film Hugo, and Padma Lakshmi, the host and executive producer of Bravo’s Emmy® Award-winning Top Chef and creator and star of Hulu’s Taste the Nation, will speak at the virtual U.S. Book Show’s “Children’s Books Day,” May 27, 2021. They join Senator Elizabeth Warren, a first-time children’s author, who will deliver the opening keynote of the day.

An award-winning cookbook author, Padma Lakshmi can now add children’s book author to her extensive list of accomplishments as an author, TV personality, model and film actress. Tomatoes for Neela (Viking Books for Young Readers, August 31, 2021), a picture book for children illustrated by Caldecott Honor artist Juana Martinez-Neal, is the subject of Lakshmi’s midday talk at the virtual U.S. Book Show. Lakshmi’s previous books include three cookbooks and a memoir, Love, Loss, and What We Ate (Ecco, 2018). Lakshmi lives in New York City.

Brian Selznick’s live talk will be followed by a live Q&A about his forthcoming novel Kaleidoscope (Scholastic Press, September 21, 2021), mid-afternoon of the Children’s Books Day at the virtual U.S. Book Show. His author and illustrator credits number 29 books, including the historical novel Wonderstruck (2011), The Marvels (2015), and a book for younger readers, Baby Monkey, Private Eye (2018), written with David Serlin. Selznick, who splits his time between La Jolla and Brooklyn, is beloved by his fans of all ages.

Lakshmi and Selznick join Senator Elizabeth Warren in punctuating the day with exciting top talent sure to please the audience of publishing professionals, librarians and booksellers.

Senator Warren opens the day with a keynote conversation with her editor, Laura Godwin, publisher of Godwin Books, to discuss the senator’s first children’s book. Pinkie Promises (Henry Holt, October 12, 2021) is an engaging picture book tale of loyalty, female empowerment and political engagement, written by Senator Warren and illustrated by Charlene Chua. Senator Warren will speak on Thursday, May 27, 2021, at 10:30 a.m. EDT.

A videotaped short piece will be also played at the opening of Children’s Books Day to promote and build awareness of Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s support of literacy and education.

Publishers Weekly will donate a portion of the proceeds of the U.S. Book Show to Boys & Girls Clubs of America in support of its literacy programming. Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s literacy and academic support programs include Summer Brain Gain, which runs for one month this summer as a virtual program featuring authors of a picture book, a middle grade title and a YA book. Club leaders and members are invited to attend the show for free and access unlimited content on-demand throughout the summer.

U.S. Book Show by Publishers Weekly

U.S. Book Show

The inaugural U.S. Book Show is a three-day virtual conference conceived and crafted by Publishers Weekly to build buzz about Fall 2021 books and to serve the bookselling, library, media and book publishing industry. The event is live-streaming and available on-demand through August 31, 2021.

Publishers Weekly will donate a portion of the proceeds of the U.S. Book Show to Boys & Girls Clubs of America in support of its literacy programming, including Summer Brain Gain.

The show runs May 25 – 27, 2021, and features a wide array of editor, book and author panels; livestreaming Q&A sessions with editors; topical library panels; programming geared to publishing professionals; networking opportunities and awards celebrations; and robust exhibit halls featuring 200+ publishers.

To view the show schedule and registration information, go to https://www.usbookshow.com (#USBookShow).

About Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly is the international news platform of the book publishing industry. Founded in 1872 and published weekly since then, the magazine boasts 1.23 million social media followers; publishes 10 e-newsletters, BookLife (a website and semimonthly supplement), Publishers Weekly en Español (in partnership with Lantia), two blogs, podcasts, a mobile edition, digital editions, and apps; and features a website that reaches 14 million unique visitors annually.

Defining Great Service

Defining Great Service

What is good service? When guest expectations are low, and we exceed them … not too exciting. But when guest expectations are high, and we manage to do even better, then we have accomplished something. In order to be able to seize every opportunity to do the things that help to create guests for life, we first must be able to identify those opportunities. Being aware of what is going on around us at the moment—and knowing what is going to happen in the future—helps.

A guest may refuse assistance with their luggage as they struggle to carry their bags up the stairs, but this does not mean we can’t run up the stairs ahead of the guests to open the door for them. What is the alternative? Watch the guest carry their bags and then open the door for themselves.

Our focus and mindset must be “What can I do to make a positive impression on every guest that I come in contact with?” It takes initiative, anticipation, caring, and sometimes a little hustle.

When you recall your most memorable hotel, dining, or other hospitality-related experience, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Is it the room, the view, or the food?

When I think of memorable all-around top service experiences, the first one that I can recall happened soon after I was promoted to general manager. I was headed on a vacation to Florida with a buddy. The owner of the hotel arranged for us to play golf at The Jupiter Hills Club. Knowing it was ranked in Golf Magazine’s top 100 courses, I had high expectations and was looking forward to playing.

You only have one chance to make a first impression, and boy, did the Jupiter Hills Club get off to a great start. To this day I am not entirely sure how they pulled it off, but when we arrived at the security guard station and I rolled down the window of the rented minivan, I was immediately made to feel important when the guard said, “Welcome, Mr. Ruby, to Jupiter Hills,” as if he had been anxiously waiting to meet a celebrity. My buddy and I shrugged our shoulders and without saying a word we both knew that this was going to be an excellent day.

The staff seemed to sense we were out of our element and anticipated our every need. We were then escorted to the bag drop where an attendant opened my door and again greeted me by name. The attendant took our bags, the valet took care of the van, and a locker room attendant said, “Please follow me, Mr. Ruby,” and brought us to our lockers, which of course had our names on them. We were then escorted up to the pro shop, greeted by name by one of the golf pros and then introduced to our fore caddie who took us to the first tee.

We finished playing the front-nine, and we were just starting to get used to our caddies doing everything except actually hitting our balls for us …  (However, out of mercy, I think my caddie used a wedge when he thought no one was looking so I would avoid an impossible shot). We were instructed that it was time for lunch.

A table was already reserved for Mr. Ruby, and the hostess acted like she had known me for years. Every staff person I encountered was not only polite and proactive; they also seemed to genuinely enjoy making two twenty-something average Joes from Chicago, who were not members, feel special.

The service afforded us was unforced, and providing hospitality, was clearly more than just part of their job. Every staff member seemed to have put themselves in our golf shoes and knew how to make two regular guys feel like rock stars for a day. The bottom line is I have no idea what my score was that day, or if played well or poorly. I can’t even remember anything about the course aside from I am pretty sure there were more hills than usual in Florida—and I have no idea what I had for lunch.

But the one thing I will never forget about that day was how the staff made me feel. Almost thirty years later, I can think back to my day at The Jupiter Hills Club when I need an example of what I consider to be great service.

The Center for Creative Entrepreneurship


The Center for Creative Entrepreneurship began in February 2020. In the year of a global pandemic, CCE shifted their programs virtually. As an educational hub, they want every creative in the world to have access to the resources they need to become successful entrepreneurs.

Located within the 160,000 square feet B2B creative industry ecosystem of Fort Knox Studios, 2112 is Chicago’s first business incubator focused on the development of entrepreneurs in music, film/video and creative industry-focused technologies.

Through community, educational opportunities and access to capital, 2112 creates a truly fertile ground for the professional development and acceleration of its members.

Damn Asians (Chinese? Japanese? Korean? Indian? Turks? Uzbeks?)!

Stop Asian Hate

The recent reports of increased violence against Asian-Americans are troubling, but nothing new.  The history of Asians in the U.S. is marked by negative actions against this group by U.S. citizens and the U.S. Government. 

The current focus on Asian-Americans or Chinese-Americans may be attributed to the Covid-19 pandemic and how politicians have pointed a finger at China for our misery.  This, in turn, has seemingly given citizens an excuse for their violence against U.S. citizens of Asian descent. 

Every time the term “Asian-Americans” is used, it begs the question whether Americans can look at a world map and point out the actual size of that continent and the many countries that make up Asia.  Given the current wave of “anti-Asian” violence, it is easy to conclude that those targeted “look” Asian as opposed to those Asians who have the physical look of Europeans.

If one looks back to recent history, Japan was a favorite target for the ills of the U.S. auto industry and how it was seemingly dominating other manufacturing sectors such as home entertainment equipment.  South Korea’s rise is evident in autos and high-tech areas while Taiwan companies moved into computer chip production areas.

During the past few decades, some of the animosity toward Asians or Asian-Americans is, frankly, because of their success.  Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan are small countries in actual territory and their populations are small as a percentage of the U.S. population, yet, they have become global economic powers.  The anger and resentment toward Asians are easily manifested in violence since Asians are easy to identify within the U.S. population.    

For the Asian-Americans who are U.S. citizens, a great number are here due to generations having worked hard and succeeded in the U.S.  The Chinese who arrived in the 1850s and later worked in factories and in agriculture and contributed significantly to the railroad industry.  As the number of Chinese workers increased, this prompted anti-Chinese sentiment in the U.S.  The growth of the Chinese communities along the west coast prompted efforts to limit the number of Chinese immigrants.

The increased level of anti-Chinese sentiment in the U.S. resulted in a treaty between the U.S. and China.  Ultimately, the U.S. Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act, and it was signed into law in 1882.  This Act limited Chinese immigration to the U.S. and, for a decade, suspended Chinese immigration. 

For Japanese and Koreans, the Hawaiian plantations played a major role in their immigration.  The need for labor to work plantations in Hawaii facilitated the immigration for workers.  Japanese began arriving in Hawaii in the latter part of the 1800s and Koreans the first years of the 1900s.  Eventually, they would arrive on the U.S. mainland.

Historically, some have written that the Immigration Act of 1924 (also referred to as the Oriental Exclusion Act of 1924) was “to preserve the ideal of U.S. homogeneity.”  In effect, this law prohibited Asian immigrants. 

It is one thing to prevent people entry into the U.S. and quite another to imprison U.S. citizens.  Americans of Japanese descent endured the loss of their freedom, businesses and homes during World War Two for simply being of Japanese descent. 

Yet, despite the treatment of Japanese-Americans during the war, an Army unit made up of second-generation Japanese-Americans (442nd Regimental Combat Team) is still the most decorated unit for its size and length of service in the history of the U.S. military.

Given today’s national environment, it is important to be aware of the fact that for over 150 years U.S. citizens of Asian descent have contributed significantly to U.S. society in all of the country’s endeavors.

While many may not necessarily like the result, the current U.S. Vice-President can point to her Asian (Indian) ancestry.  The newly confirmed U.S. Trade Representative is Chinese-American. 

Throughout U.S. history, one thing has been proven time and again and that is that one’s ancestry has nothing to do with a person’s devotion to serve and protect the United States.  Americans of Asian descent prove this every day.

**The writer is of Japanese-European descent.