By Kent Larsen
LDS Booksellers Meet for 20th Time
SANDY, UTAH -- Celebrating their 20th anniversary, the LDS
Booksellers Association met last week in Sandy's South Towne
Exposition Center in a convention that featured goods and services
from more than 120 vendors of LDS products. The convention also
featured the association's annual LDSBA University Program, which for
the first time awarded diplomas to those that completed its
requirements, and an ending concert featuring musicians from LDS
recording label Heartrise.
The annual convention is meant for owners and employees of member
bookstores, who see and place orders from wholesale members for
products to sell in their stores. But although the public can't see
the products at the convention, those products are many times
available immediately after the convention at member bookstores.
In past years the convention has been hobbled by a lack of affordable
space in Salt Lake City-area convention facilities and had to
restrict the number of booths available to vendors. But this year
with the move to the new South Towne Exposition Center, the limit on
the booths has been lifted, and many vendors took multiple spaces for
their booths. However, in spite of the additional space, some vendors
claimed that fewer bookstores were visiting their booths compared
with last year.
The LDSBA University Program meanwhile gave out more than 60
certificates to those who had completed the requirements for four
different certificates. Booksellers were awarded certificates as LDS
Store Professionals (LSP) and Master LDS Store Professionals (MLSP)
while vendors received corresponding certificates, LVP and MLVP.
Meanwhile, several new products caught the attention of booksellers.
With the continuing success of Richard Dutcher's films, "God's Army"
and "Brigham City," his production company has licensed a series of
books based on the first film. The first of the books, a novelization
of the movie, is being written by Geoffrey Card, son of well-known
LDS science fiction author Orson Scott Card. Also on the way are
books about two of the film's main characters, "Sister Fronk's Story"
and "Elder Dalton's Story."
But the most inventive new product had to be "Mormon-opoly," a
take-off on the popular Monopoly board game complete with tokens made
of familiar Mormon symbols and properties on which players construct
chapels and stake centers.
LDS Booksellers Association Convention