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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
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.
From 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.
Local First & Economic Impact Studies ›
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.
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.
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