12 Mar

Opportunities in the Digital Arena for Independent Bookstores: An Action Plan for the American Booksellers Association

Presented to the ABA Board of Directors at its March 2009 Meeting

By Len Vlahos, ABA Chief Program Officer


In 1978 Douglas Adams envisioned a slim electronic folio that contained all the useful knowledge of all the people on all the planets in the universe. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, as Adams imagined it, would let you carry in your pocket a device that functioned like an amalgam of Google and an e-book. And while he was trying to be funny, Adams, it turns out, was prescient.

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04 Mar

Publishers Collaborate on Ongoing Edelweiss Field Tests

On Tuesday, March 3, representatives from Above the Treeline, nine publishers, Ingram Book Group, and the American Booksellers Association met at Random House's New York City offices for discussions about ongoing field tests of Edelweiss, Treeline's online, interactive catalog product. About 30 booksellers are currently testing the product, which was developed with input from ABA, independent retailers, and publishers.

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18 Feb

Show, Don't Tell: Video Marketing for Bookstores

Booksellers who missed the popular ABA Winter Institute program "Using Multimedia to Market Your Store" -- which Tova Beiser of Brown University Bookstore described as full of ideas that "seem really cool and worth doing" -- can find something of a recap in a downloadable PDF create

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10 Dec

Flocking to Twitter

One of the fastest growing services on the Web is a paragon of pith, and is playing an increasingly important role for businesses of all sizes.

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26 Nov

Facebook Fan Drive Spreads the IndieBound Message

The IndieBound movement is growing ... in bookstores and other independent retailers nationwide, online at, and now on the social networking site Facebook.

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30 Oct

Above the Treeline to Test New Online, Interactive Catalog Product

Above the Treeline announced today that on November 1 it would begin field-testing Edelweiss, a new online, interactive catalog product. The test will include publishers and booksellers and will last for six months, at which time the company plans to release the next version of the application for wider rollout.

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07 Aug

Booksellers Print-to-Order Publishing Program Agreement, FAQ Now Online

Booksellers interested in participating in, or learning more about, the Booksellers Print-to-Order (PTO) Publishing Program, launched by the American Booksellers Association and Applewood Books in July, can now find answers to frequently asked questions as well as a letter of agreement on

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17 Jul

New ABA Partnership to Provide Booksellers Access to POD

This week, the American Booksellers Association announced a partnership with Applewood Books that will enable ABA member booksellers to publish out-of-print books on demand. The new program will provide participating booksellers with the ability to publish any title that is in the public domain or any book, such as a local interest title, whose rights have reverted to the author and to sell it at margins from 50 to 75 percent.

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08 Jul

WiFi Hotspots Draw Right Demographic to Independent Bookstores

The Pew Internet & American Life Project reports that 62 percent of American adults have either accessed the Internet wirelessly or have used hand-held devices for such applications as texting and e-mail, which is not surprising given that of the estimated 150 million laptops sold in 2007 most have wireless capabilities. And, soon, mobile computer users will be checking e-mail and surfing the web wirelessly during American Airline flights and, in 2009, in Chrysler cars and trucks.

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14 May

Online Sales Catalogs to Be Subject of Discussion at BEA

This week, HarperCollins Publishers announced plans to introduce an interactive, online sales catalog that would offer up-to-date title information, including jackets, add-ons, and author interviews, while reducing the publishers' paper output and overall carbon footprint. HarperCollins will preview the catalog at BookExpo America and expects to launch a beta version in six to 12 months.

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20 Feb

Northshire Bookstore Prepares to Launch Print-on-Demand Publishing Service

In about one week, Northshire Bookstore in Manchester Center, Vermont, expects to officially launch its in-store Print-on-Demand publishing service. The focal point of the new service is the Espresso Book Machine (EBM), an on-site fully integrated book-making machine that can produce a high-quality, trade-size paperback book in minutes.

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14 Feb

Keeping Independent Booksellers in the Digital Dialogue

By Len Vlahos, ABA Chief Program Officer

The weather in New York on February 11 and 12 went from sub-zero wind chills, to snow and sleet, to driving, soaking rain. But inside the Marriott Marquis in Time Square, at the O'Reilly Media "Tools of Change" Conference, it was all sunshine and light.

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29 Jan

NRF Expo Offers Peek at Store of the Future & Retail Horizons Study

Hot topics at this month's National Retail Federation Convention & Expo included consumer advocacy, customer satisfaction and loyalty, and the role technology will play in the store of the future. Last week, BTW looked at "Harness the Chaos in Today's Connected World," a session featuring author Daniel Pink (A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future, Riverhead) and Fred Balboni of IBM Global Business Services Store of the Future.

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19 Sep

Looking at Book Reviews in a Blog-Filled World

As part of its Save the Book Review Campaign and overall mission to promote book discussion, the National Book Critics Circle [NBCC] held a symposium, "The Age of Infinite Margins: Book Critics Face the 21st Century," last week in New York City.

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23 Aug

Booksellers Join the Blogosphere

Part II of a Bookselling This Week miniseries about web-centric undertakings that will help you stay current -- and stay connected to the tens of millions of people who engage in online conversations about books and reading. (Read Part I, "Booksellers Befriend MySpace.")

Becoming a blogger changed Jessica Stockton Bagnulo's life.

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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.








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