RISE Bookselling Conference 2024

Ever wondered what bookselling looks like in other countries? Do booksellers around the world face the same challenges as you? What can you learn from your foreign colleagues’ experiences? 

Join us at the Centro Cultural de Belém in Lisbon on 17-18 March 2024 and find out!

But that's not quite everything! Join us on Saturday, 16 March, for our dedicated cultural programme, exploring the city of Lisbon and - of course - visiting some of its most beautiful bookshops.


Join us in Lisbon!


Day 1

Registration desk opens 
9.30 - 9.50
Welcome coffee
10.00 - 11.00
Welcome words and keynote speech
11.00 - 11.20
Coffee break
11.30 - 12.15

Panel – Innovative ideas in the bookshop

Jan Smedh
(The English Bookshop, Sweden)
Tom Rowley
(Backstory London, UK)
Pasi Vainio
(Vinhan Kirjakauppa, Finland)
Moderated by: 
Sheila O'Reilly 
(BA Learning, Ireland)

Panel – Booksellers and festivals: how to make the most out of it?

Panel – How to curate a selection of inclusive children’s books

Panel – Culture vouchers

Paolo Ambrosini
(Libreria Bonturi, Italy)
Marie Gaudefroy
(Librairie Martelle, France)
Lorena Cabrera
(Librería Luces, Spain)
Moderated by: 
Tora Åsling 
(EIBF, Belgium)

12.30 - 13.30
13.30 - 14.15

Panel – Bibliodiversity: what is it, actually?

Nathalie Dabadie
(Livres, Books & Company, France)
Anna Štičková

(Czech Independent Booksellers Association, Czechia)
Federico Lang
(Librería Luces, Spain)
Moderated by: 
Graça Santos 
(Rede de Livrarias Independentes - ReLI, Portugal)

Panel – Events without authors

Panel – Banned books: children’s books perspective

Meet your bookmate

14.30 - 15.10
Afternoon keynote
15.10 - 15.30
Coffee break
15.40 - 16.30

Workshop – Life stages of a bookseller 

Workshop – Bookshops as safe spaces 

Chris Hall
(McNally Robinson Booksellers, Canada)
Auline Sánchez

(Paranoia City Bookshop, Switzerland)
Anna Parisi
(Tomo Libreria Caffè, Italy)

Presentation – Bringing books to life: the magic of window displays 

Presentation – Portuguese book market 

16.40 - 17.20
End of the day keynote
18.15 - 19.30
Drink reception

Day 2

Registration desk opens 
9.00 - 9.20
Welcome coffee
09.30 - 10.10
Keynote speech
10.10 - 10.30
Coffee break
10.30 - 11.30

Panel – Difficult customers: how to talk to them/handle them

Anne v.Bestenbostel
(Bücher von Bestenbostel, Germany)
John Breen
(Waterstones Cork, Ireland)
Jamie Fiocco
(Flyleaf Books, USA)
Moderated by: 
Sanne Muijser
(Koninklijke Boekverkopersbond, Netherlands)

Panel – Curating foreign language books for your bookshop

Panel – Decision making on non-book products

Cecilia Oseroff
(Bokusgruppen, Sweden)
Beatrice Plăviceanu
(Cărturești, Romania)
Susie Arambasic
(Brunswick Bound, Australia)
Moderated by: 
Jean-Luc Treutenaere
(EIBF Co-President, France)

Panel – Sustainability/green bookselling

Anna Porubcová
(Martinus Bookshop, Slovakia)
Svenja Esch

(Lesumer Lesezeit, Germany)
Mathilde Charrier
(Association pour l'écologie du livre, France)
Moderated by: 
Maria Hamrefors 
(Svenska Bokhandlareföreningen, Sweden)

11.40 - 12.30

Panel – Creating a diverse and inclusive workforce

Presentation – Sustainability talks – Meet the researchers

Panel – Teenagers, YA literature & everything in between

Panel – Building bookshop experience: the art of exceptional customer service

12.45 - 13.45
14.00 - 14.50

Workshop - Life stages of a bookseller 

Workshop – Bookshops as safe spaces 

Chris Hall
(McNally Robinson Booksellers, Canada)
Auline Sánchez

(Paranoia City Bookshop, Switzerland)
Anna Parisi
(Tomo Libreria Caffè, Italy)

Presentation – Accessibility 101: what booksellers have to know

Sarah Lübbers
(Buchhandlung Magic books, Germany)
Cristina Mussinelli

(Fondazione LIA, Italy)
Kristina Kramer
(Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels, Germany)

Presentation – Artificial Intelligence

15.00 - 15.40
Closing Keynote
Closing words and drinks 

*Panel session titles and timeslots may be subject to changes

Our speakers

Sunday speakers


Afonso Cruz


Afonso Cruz, is a multidisciplinary artist, author of more than 40 books, among novels, theatre plays, picture books, juvenile novellas, poetry, photo-text and essays. His books are published in more than 20 languages, and received many awards, like the European Union Prize for Literature for the novel Kokoschka’s Doll. He is also a columnist, illustrator and member of the band The Soaked Lamb.


Manu Causse


French author Manu Causse commenced writing in 2005, producing a collection of coming-of-age short stories, “Petit guide des transports à l’usage du trentenaire amoureux.” Subsequently, he authored two novels and works on his third, engaging in translation, poetry, scenario writing, and youth literature. Recently, one of his YA novels faced censorship by the French government for alleged “pornography,” a charge he
vehemently denies.


Natasha Brown


Natasha Brown is a British novelist. Her debut novel Assembly was shortlisted for several awards including the Folio Prize, the Goldsmiths Prize and the Orwell Prize for Fiction. Natasha was named one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists in 2023 and one of the Observer’s Best Debut Novelists in 2021..



Adam Hewson

Bookstore Owner

A bookseller since the mid-1980s,  Adam transitioned from independent shops to major chains like Waterstones and Borders UK. In 2016, he and his wife Wendy acquired two successful independent bookshops in South West London. Adam is a member of the Booksellers Association Council.


Aimée Felone

Round Table Books
Co-director and Founder

Round Table Books is an inclusion-led bookshop providing books for both children and adults, and producing transformative workshops and events. The bookshop is based in the heart of Brixton (London, UK). 


Anjula Gogia

Another Story Bookshop
Retail Manager and Events Coordinator

Another Story Bookshop is a Toronto-based independent bookstore emphasizing social justice, equity, and diversity. Formerly co-manager at the Toronto Women’s Bookstore, she received the 2022 Freedom to Read Award for 28 years of promoting diverse reading and writing in Canada.


Anna Parisi

Libreria Tomo


Anna Parisi, a Rome Physics graduate, transitioned from research to promoting scientific culture. Co-founding Libreria Tomo in 2010, she emphasizes scientific non-fiction and events. Active in the Italian Booksellers Association, Anna co-established the “Librerie di Roma” group, uniting independent bookstores. She conducts seminars, courses, and writes popular physics books for children.


Anna Štičková

AMANAK, (Czech) Association of Small Publishers and Booksellers

Anna, with a background in literature, creative writing, and cultural management, is pursuing a doctorate and teaches at Masaryk University’s Faculty of Arts. Dedicated to the Czech book market, she supports independent literature, writes on book traffic, and contributes poetry.


Auline Sanchez

Bookstore Owner

Auline Sanchez did an apprenticeship at a Swiss wholesale bookstore company. Afterward, she worked in various small bookshops in Zurich. She has now been running Paranoia bookshop as a collective space together with two colleagues for 4 years. Paranoia, which will soon turn 50 years old, focuses on feminist, queer and anti-racist literature.


Dawn Behan

Woodbine Books

Dawn Behan opened Woodbine Books, an award-winning independent bookshop in Kilcullen, Co. Kildare, Ireland, in September 2016. Believing in community integration, she hosts events, book clubs, and a writing group. Dawn, Chair of Bookselling Ireland, values customer book discussions to enhance the shop’s selection.


Heather Hall

Green Feather Book Company

Bookstore Owner

Heather Hall, owner of Green Feather Book Company, unintentionally became a champion against censorship, particularly in Oklahoma public schools. As one of the few Indigenous bookstore owners in the US, Heather prioritizes community building and values opportunities to engage with fellow “book people.”


Jan Smedh

Co-founder and Bookstore Owner

Jan Smedh, co-founder and owner of The English Bookshop in Uppsala, Stockholm, and Gothenburg, prioritizes community connection and quality offerings. The bookstores achieved a 72% turnover growth from 2019 to 2022, with a focus on in-store sales.


Malin Wall

Erik Hultgren
Bookstore Owner

Malin Wall has over twenty years of experience working in and running bookstores. Since 2010 she owns Erik Hultgren’s bookstore in Västervik, Sweden, with her husband Frederic. The focus has been to create a lively meeting place with a focus on literature and reading.


Marie Gaudefroy

Book Director

After a master’s degree in negotiation, Marie Gaudefroy has worked 7 years in several industries: packaging, safety science and IT. In 2021, she joined the family bookshop created by her grandparents in 1957 as Book Director.


Nathalie Dabadie

Livres Books & Company

Bookstore Owner

Nathalie Dabadie, raised in a literary family, opened Livres Books & Company in Montcuq, south west France, after studying English literature. Beyond a bookstore, it’s a cultural hub with a tearoom, gallery, and event venue promoting tolerance, curiosity, and bibliodiversity in a rural setting.


Pablo Cerezo


Pablo Cerezo Alpresa, with a degree in Sociology and International Relations, holds a master’s degree in Urban Studies. A bookseller at Pérgamo, Madrid’s oldest bookstore, and a CEGAL member, his career focuses on reading, publishing, distribution, and cultural project management.


Pasi Vainio

Vinha bookshop
Co-owner and Bookseller

Pasi has worked over 27 years in publishing (Otava Publishing Company Ltd), half of it as CEO. Now since last year living his dream as co-owner and bookseller of the soon 121 years old Vinha bookshop, which he converted with his friend to a small cultural center.


Petra Kakko

Rosebud Books
Bookstore Manager

Petra Kakko from Rosebud Books Finland manages the flagship store in Helsinki. With over 20 years in bookselling and publishing, she handles various roles, including buying, events management, marketing, and communications.


Raquel Morgado dos Santos

Ler Devagar

Studied Languages, literature, and culture at the University of Lisbon. Joined Ler Devagar bookshop in 2012, contributing significantly to international projects, managing participations in book fairs and overseeing International Book Festivals like FOLIO and Latitudes.


Sarah Lübbers


Sarah Lübbers, a self-employed bookseller, focuses on accessibility. Overcoming a genetic eye disease, she studied book science and, in 2024, fulfilled her dream of opening an inclusive bookstore, aiming to inspire others to make their stores accessible.


Trish Hennessy

Halfway up the Stairs
Bookstore Owner

Trish Hennessy owns Halfway up the Stairs Children’s Bookshop in Greystones, County Wicklow, recognized as a regional winner for Independent Bookshop of the Year (Ireland) at the British Book Awards. Passionate about children’s books, Trish emphasizes finding the right book for every child, irrespective of their needs, circumstances, or abilities.


Wendy Hewson

Bookstore Owner

Wendy Hewson, with a background in Fashion and Textiles, transitioned to retail Display & Visual Merchandising at Peter Jones, the flagship of John Lewis. Having bought two bookshops, Wendy developed retail display standards for both general and theatrical window displays, finding that books presented unique challenges compared to homewares and fashion.

Monday speakers



Job role

Keynote speaker Bio



Job role

Keynote speaker Bio



Ana Uluceanu


Regional Manager

A film studies graduate with a lasting love for all forms of media and a passion for books, Ana Uluceanu has dedicated the last 8 years to her bookselling career at Cărturești. Today, she serves as a regional manager, overseeing three cherished bookshops in Bucharest.


Anne v.Bestenbostel

Buchhandlung Bestenbostel
Bookstore Owner

Anne operates Buchhandlung Bestenbostel, a German bookshop founded by her grandmother 105 years ago. Specializing in school books and young adult/romance, the shop avoids heavy literature like Thomas Mann. Located in a pedestrian zone, the store serves as a community hub, hosting events and fostering a positive atmosphere. The cheerful team is known for its helpfulness, making the bookstore a delightful space for customers.


Beatrice Plaviceanu

Visual Merchandiser

Despite graduating in Veterinary Medicine, Beatrice was drawn to literature and music, embarking on a nine-year journey as a bookseller at Cărturești. Her role encompasses conceptualizing themed spaces and curating the visual displays of bookstores in the Western region, being part of the Visual Merchandising department.


Cecilia Oseroff


Category Manager

With over 36 years in retail, Cecilia specialises in buying processes and product development. As Bokusgruppen’s Category Manager since 2015, she oversees non-books and collaborate on increasing sales. Additionally, serving as Sustainability Officer, that lead initiatives to reduce Bokusgruppen’s carbon footprint and promote ethical practices.


Cristina Mussinelli

Fondazione LIA

Secretary General

Cristina Mussinelli is the Secretary General of Fondazione LIA, a non-profit fostering accessibility in publishing. Recognized for innovation, she’s also co-chair of W3C’s Digital Publishing Business Group and holds roles in EDRLab, WIPO, Daisy Consortium, FEP, and UK Publishers Association, as well as ISO’s Automation and Documentation section.


David Piovesan

Lyon 3 University

David Piovesan, a former bookseller for 9 years in the Vercors mountains, France, returned to research at Lyon 3 University in 2021. Leading a program on European bookshop transformations, he collaborated with Fanny Valembois to publish a 2024 report on sustainability in bookselling for the RISE research program.


Diana Frohlich

Dussmann das KulturKaufhaus
Deputy Sales Manager

Diana transitioned from photography to bookselling in 2008, became the floor manager of Dussmann’s English Bookshop in 2020. In 2022, she expanded her role at Dussmann das KulturKaufhaus, overseeing additional floors and serving as deputy sales manager, contributing to the iconic cultural hub’s unique experience since 1997.


Fanny Valembois

The Shift Project

Senior Consultant

Fanny Valembois, a senior consultant with 20+ years of international cultural project management experience, specializes in ecological transition for the cultural field. Co-leading The Shift Project’s cultural department, she focuses on book industry-related studies and supports professionals and organizations in their ecological transition commitment.


Hanspeter Vogt


Bookstore Owner

Hanspeter worked at Robert Krauthammer in Zurich, then owned Hochparterre bookshop from 2003 to 2017, specializing in global architecture books. After diverse roles in Los Angeles (2017-2022), he joined Libromania in Bern since 2023, focusing on Romanic language books, education, and distribution.


Jamie Fiocco

Flyleaf Books

Jamie Fiocco, co-owner of Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, NC, USA, with her husband Michael Fiocco, has a background in publishing sales and marketing. Former President of the ABA Board of Directors and the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance, Flyleaf Books, founded in 2009, specializes in new and used books, hosting numerous author events annually.


Jan Peter Prenger

Libris Blz
Chief Buyer

Jan Peter Prenger, chief buyer for Libris Blz. and editor of VOL magazine, represents an organization of 230 independent bookshops in the Netherlands. Studying Dutch Language and Literature, he became a bookseller in 1994. As the Dutch Booksellers Association’s president, he resides near the German border with his family and a Persian cat named James.


John Breen



Born in Waterford in 1964, John moved to Cork in 1982 and joined Waterstones as a bookseller in 1993. Initially at University College Cork, he has worked at the Patrick St shop since 2003, handling events, account sales, and interacting with the public. His favorite authors include Terry Pratchett, James Lee Burke, John Connolly, and the talented local authors and poets in Cork.


Kristina Kramer


Deputy Director

Kristina Kramer, Deputy Director at Börsenverein for European and International Affairs, previously worked at the Franco-German Youth Office. Joining Börsenverein in 2010, she organized the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade. Since 2012, she focuses on public affairs in the Berlin Office and leads the Taskforce on Accessibility.


Kristine Pikenena

Jānis Roze Bookstore
Store Manager

In a decade spent as bookseller, Kristīne Pīkenena has made a gazillion of book recommendations, copies sold probably a bit less, travelled 7467 km for various bookseller exchange events, spent 332 hours with her curated book club “Total Cover”, lost her heart to multiple fictional characters, and is not very good with numbers. Currently, she works as a store manager of the flagship Jānis Roze Bookstore in Riga’s city center.


Mathilde Charrier

Association pour l’écologie du livre

Mathilde Charrier, a Parisian bookseller, trains and coordinates projects for the Association pour l’écologie du livre, created in 2019. The association fosters critical and alternative thinking in the book industry, encouraging inter-professional reflection, and operates independently.


Olivera Miok

La Volpe Volante


Olivera Miok, co-owner of eco-sustainable children’s bookstore La Volpe Volante in Padua since 2019, organizes events, manages the store’s image, and collaborates on projects. With a Ph.D. in Slavic literature, she specializes in children’s literature and translates from Italian to Serbian, contributing various literary translations.


Susie Arambasic

Brunswick Bound


Susie Arambasic, a bookseller with 17 years of experience, co-founded Brunswick Bound in Melbourne with her partner, Robert. Combining her love for books, giftware, and stationery, Susie curated a diverse range of local and international designers, creating a distinctive shopping experience for both locals and visitors.


Svenja Esch

Lesumer Lesezeit
Bookstore Ownder

Svenja Esch, born in Essen, Germany in 1977, began her bookselling apprenticeship at 19. After studying abroad, she reconnected with bookselling at her mother’s store in Düsseldorf. She later worked for the Thalia book chain before opening her climate-neutral bookstore, Lesumer Lesezeit, in Bremen in 2012.


Uli Lennart

Deputy Manager
Gay’s the Word

Uli Lenart, deputy manager at Gay’s the Word, the UK’s oldest LGBT+ bookshop, is also a book reviewer, literary journalist, and event chair. A judge for the UK Booksellers Association Diversity Grants, he chaired The Green Carnation Literary Prize panel and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

What to expect:



Discover new ideas to implement in your bookshop


Hear from inspirational keynote speakers


Learn how the bookselling business works in other countries


Exchange experiences with booksellers from all over the world


Watch the highlights from the
2023 RISE Bookselling Conference

In March 2023, the city of Prague was home to the first-ever RISE Bookselling Conference. The inaugural edition gathered more than 230 book sector professionals from all around Europe and beyond. 

Delegates from over 20 countries enjoyed a packed programme of workshops, keynotes and networking opportunities. Get a feel for how this milestone event was like in the conference aftermovie!

Join us in Lisbon

Register here to secure your space at the conference

Thank you to the sponsors of the RISE Bookselling Conference:




Who can join?
Booksellers and book sector professionals from all over the world are invited to join the RISE Bookselling conference.

When will the conference take place?
The second edition of the RISE Bookselling conference will take place as a two-day event, on 17th and 18th March 2024.

Where will the conference take place?
The conference will be hosted in Lisbon, the beautiful capital city of Portugal. The event will take place at the Centro Cultural de Belém (CCB).

Is the attendance free of charge?
Yes, attending the RISE Conference is completely free. However, travel and accommodation is at your own expense.

In which language will the conference be held?
The event will be held in English, but interpretation services will be considered, based on the number of attendees that would like to benefit from this. When registering to attend the RISE conference, please note if you would like to benefit from interpretation services.

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RISE Bookselling is a network programme organized by the European and International Booksellers Federation (EIBF) and co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union.

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