Opening a Bookstore

    Bookselling is a wonderful and fulfilling profession. Here are some suggestions to help make your dream of owning an independent bookstore a reality:

    Becoming a Provisional ABA Member is a smart first step. Provisional members have access to a wealth of information, tools, and expertise. From the Book Buyer's Handbook (directory of publisher terms, specials, and co-op offers), educational events, the bookseller forums, networking, and the ABACUS financial benchmarking survey, ABA has what you need to prepare yourself for bookstore ownership.

    Request ABA’s "Opening a Bookstore" electronic kit.  Email ABA provide your name, email address, mailing address, potential store location and name, if applicable, and where you are in the process (are you on the verge of opening a bookstore? Halfway there? Or just thinking about it for now?). ABA will send you a digital kit including an Opening a Bookstore checklist.

    Joining Your Regional Association is a great idea, too. Regional associations offer a specialized, local focus, plus regional promotional and networking opportunities, trade shows, and more. See the listing of regional trade associations at the bottom of this page.

    Sign up for Prospective Booksellers School, facilitated by Paz & Associates. This information-packed bookselling experience features workshops on finances, store design, inventory management, marketing, technology, and more. ABA members receive discounts for workshop tuition and guidebooks.

    Formulate a Business Plan. Your exploration of bookselling will benefit from a good reading of the information provided by the Small Business Administration on its website. From business plans to legal concerns, this is a wonderful stop for an overview and resources.

    The Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) website has numerous articles and resources on a range of small business topics. The organization’s hundreds of nonprofit chapters help link thousands of experienced business professionals with entrepreneurs every year.

    Best of luck!