IndieCommunication: Book Subscription Clubs, Sales Tax on Shipping & More

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    IndieCommunication logoThe IndieCommunication newsletter of May 11 includes information on growing sales through book subscription clubs, charging sales tax on shipping, a new Kobo eReader, and one-on-one meetings with IndieCommerce staff at BookExpo.

    Increase Your Online Sales With Book Subscription Clubs

    The following excerpt from this informative article on book subscription clubs, which published in Bookselling This Week earlier this month, shows why these clubs are valuable:

    stack of books“The Bookworm of Edwards is a seasonal store that is busy during the winter ski season and during the summer, so the store’s subscription service ensures consistent income during the four months of the year that business at The Bookworm is slow, said Taylor. Through the subscription program, which delivers books to states all over the country, the store is able to stay connected to customers that it might see only once a year, she added.”

    Book subscription clubs offer a tremendous opportunity for establishing ongoing communication with customers and expanding sales. Here is a look at some IndieCommerce websites currently offering book subscription clubs:

    For information on how to set up a book subscription club on your IndieCommerce site, see bookweb.org/indiecommerce/creating-membership-subscriptions or contact staff@bookweb.org.

    Phone/email graphicOur Toll-Free Phone Number Is Back

    The issues ABA had with its toll-free number have been resolved; booksellers can now reach IndieCommerce staff at (800) 637-0037, option 2. If you get bumped to voicemail, please leave a message and a staff member will get back to you. As always, the IndieCommerce team can also be reached at staff@bookweb.org.

    Should You Be Charging Sales Tax on Shipping?

    Shipping graphicIndieCommerce is in the process of switching from its old sales tax rate provider to a service called Taxjar to calculate sales tax for online orders. Taxjar recently published a blog post about states that require sales tax on shipping. It is highly recommend that you read the Taxjar blog post to stay up to date on requirements for your state.

    All retailers should know if their state is “‘origin-based” (where the store is located) or “destination-based” (where the ship to address is located) when it comes to charging sales tax, so your website can be configured correctly. Taxjar will not affect sites using origin-based sales tax calculation.

    Booksellers with questions about “origin-based” vs. “destination-based” sales tax or how to configure their sites to collect sales tax should review the help doc for sales tax calculation or contact staff@bookweb.org.

    A New Kobo eReader

    image of new Kobo H2OThe new Kobo Aura H2O is an updated version of Kobo’s waterproof eReader.

    About the new version, Kobo says: “Typically, technology and water don’t play well together, but this summer, they do. The new Kobo Aura H2O is the season’s must-have accessory to let avid readers enjoy their favourite stories in more places — relaxing in the bath, by the pool, or while on seaside excursions. The device is waterproofed with HZO Protection™ for worry-free reading near water. The coating technology applied to the device’s interior allows it to be fully submerged without the need for port covers.” (Read more.)

    The new eReaders can be purchased through a corporate account on Kobo.com. To set up an account or for answers to your questions, contact Kobo’s Natalie Jefferson.

    Talk to IndieCommerce at BookExpo

    IndieCommerce and IndieLite logosBooksellers attending BookExpo 2017 (May 31 to June 2, at the Javits Convention Center in NYC) can discuss their questions about selling books or marketing their business with ABA’s IndieCommerce staff in the ABA Member Lounge (Booth 721) on the trade show floor. During lounge hours, booksellers can learn about IndieCommerce, the premier e-commerce and online marketing solution for independent bookstores, and the new IndieLite, designed for stores just starting with e-commerce or with limited time and resources. Sign up here for a one-on-one appointment at BookExpo.

    Time slots are limited so booksellers should choose multiple options; IndieCommerce staff will try to accommodate a bookseller’s first choice. An e-mail confirmation will be sent prior to BookExpo with an appointment date and time. (To change an appointment, e-mail staff@bookweb.org.)

    Information about all ABA programming at BookExpo is available on BookWeb.org.

    Not signed up for BookExpo? Register here with your ABA ID number to receive a complimentary badge. (If you don’t know your ABA ID number, e-mail ABA Member Relationship Manager Nathan Halter.)


    Booksellers are encouraged to send their thoughts, questions, or suggestions via e-mail to IndieCommerce staff at any time.

    Past editions of IndieCommunication are available on the IndieCommerce Updates page on BookWeb.org.