ABA efforts to advance the issues critical to independent booksellers.

Small Business Issues


Local First & Economic Impact

Consumer Studies

Read More

Free Expression

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

ABA is committed to making a difference in the lives of its members. Through direct engagement in political and trade-related efforts comes change and progress—improved publisher trade terms; the adoption of sales tax fairness laws and resolutions; minimum wage; access to capital; overtime rules; increased consumer awareness of shopping locally; and governmental activity on behalf of small businesses.

Toward that end, ABA has created a number of toolkits to help booksellers advocate to their lawmakers. Most recently, ABA launched the AdvoKit (Advocacy Action Kit), a state-specific toolkit that provides booksellers with template letters on a range of key policy issues affecting independent booksellers. Under each state, the AdvoKit provides template letters that booksellers can use to reach out to both state and federal lawmakers and officials. Each letter can be used for a number of key policy issues. The letters also serve as a way for booksellers 


Small Business Issues

ABA has created this continuously updated Advocacy Action Kit (AdvoKit) to help independent booksellers advocate on any number of issues, from minimum wage, access to capital, and e-fairness to overtime rules.


ABA believes that Amazon is a modern-day monopoly. Its abuse of its dominance has had a negative impact on free expression and the health of America’s book industry, including a chilling effect on the diversity of, and access to, books and information. ABA is bringing that argument to Congress and to state attorneys general, and are asking booksellers to make the case.


Small Business Rising

ABA has joined with Small Business Rising, a coalition of small businesses formed in 2021 that urges policymakers to rein in monopoly power and level the playing field that has allowed monopolies like Amazon to amass outsized power and influence.

Economic Impact & Local First

The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, NCFrom underwriting studies that demonstrate the economic impact of independent retailers to spreading the powerful message of the IndieBound movement and networking with like-minded organizations, ABA is working to strengthen awareness about the crucial role independent retailers play in local economies and communities.

See the series of economic impact studies that support the notion of Local First, including the most recent, Prime Numbers, a report that reveals the explosive growth of third-party marketplace sales on Amazon.

Free Expression – ABFE




The American Booksellers for Free Expression (ABFE) is part of the American Booksellers Association's advocacy efforts for bookstores. ABFE's current mission, informed by ABA's current Ends Policies, is to ensure that core member bookstores have the resources they need in support of their right to freedom of expression and that the interests of independent bookstores are supported and protected. To help bookstores whose free expression concerns are outside of ABFE’s focus, ABFE connects bookstores with coalition partners that are best suited to address their specific needs.


Coalition Partners

While ABA financially supports the coalition partners, ABA focuses its efforts through ABFE. ABFE is grateful for the support and efforts of its partners. 

  • Banned Books Week Coalition. ABFE actively participates in the Banned Books Week Coalition (BBWC), attending the coalition’s monthly meetings and providing input on the annual event. Each year, ABFE compiles materials (largely sourced from the BBWC) to create and distribute Banned Books Week Kits to participating independent bookstores. 

  • Kids' Right to Read Project. ABFE coordinates with the Kids’ Right to Read Project (KRRP) — a part of the Youth Free Expression Program of the National Coalition Against Censorship — as a resource for bookstores faced with First Amendment challenges in their local schools and libraries. In line with ABA’s current Ends Policies, which refocus ABFE’s work on bookstores’ needs, ABFE no longer co-signs KRRP letters to local schools and libraries. ABFE instead connects bookstores directly with KRRP.

  • Media Coalition. ABFE is a member of the Media Coalition, an association that protects the First Amendment rights of producers and distributors of media, such as books, movies, and magazines, through its legislative advocacy and in the courts. ABFE attends the Media Coalition’s monthly meetings to learn about potential legislation, lawsuits, and amicus briefs of interest to bookstores. Consistent with ABA’s current Ends Policies, ABFE only signs statements/memos, lawsuits, or amicus briefs that are directly related to bookstores’ needs.


2021 Supporters

ABFE is grateful for its affiliate and publisher support:

  • Come from the Heart

  • Penguin Random House

  • ABA Members who donated to ABFE when they renewed their membership dues


ABFE’s Resources

Below are ABFE’s resources for bookstores. These resources are monitored for updates annually or sooner, if deemed necessary. Many of these resources are templates that can be customized by bookstores. 


ABFE’s Work (updated quarterly)


Transparency Commitment

ABFE is committed to clearly announcing any updates to ABFE’s coalition partners, affiliates, resources, and work in ABA’s weekly newsletter Bookselling This Week, and to keeping the ABFE page updated as a resource for members.



ABFE encourages bookstores to email with any questions or concerns. If you do not find what you are looking for on this page, ABFE can create additional resources or direct you to a coalition partner that is best suited to address your needs.


About ABA

The American Booksellers Association, a national not-for-profit trade organization, works with booksellers and industry partners to ensure the success and profitability of independently owned book retailers, and to assist in expanding the community of the book.

Independent bookstores act as community anchors; they serve a unique role in promoting the open exchange of ideas, enriching the cultural life of communities, and creating economically vibrant neighborhoods.








Copyright 2019 American Booksellers Association. BookWeb is a registered trademark of ABA.
Privacy Policy, Cookie Policy, Accessibility Statement