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Barnes & Noble, Inc. CEO James Daunt to Deliver Opening Keynote at IBPA Publishing University 2020

Tuesday, January 21, 2020   (3 Comments)
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(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.

B&N CEO James Daunt

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.

About the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA)

Founded in 1983 to support independent publishers nationwide, the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) leads and serves the independent publishing community through advocacy, education, and tools for success. With over 3,100 members, IBPA is the largest publishing association in the U.S. Its vision is a world where every independent publisher has the access, knowledge, and tools needed to professionally engage in all aspects of an inclusive publishing industry. For more information, visit


Sarah Bean, Book Launchers says...
Posted Wednesday, January 22, 2020
Excellent! I am very excited to hear him speak and get a sense of what he sees for the future of B&N.
Leslie Turner, Encourage Publishing says...
Posted Tuesday, January 21, 2020
WOW! This is a huge coup for IBPA and will be a tremendous benefit for attendees to hear him speak! Congratulations IBPA and thank you, James Daunt!
JuLee A. Brand, W. Brand Publishing says...
Posted Tuesday, January 21, 2020
So excited for this! I have been intrigued by changes he has been making and feel he is truly cheering and embracing the independents and locals. :)

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