Coronavirus Resources for Booksellers

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The American Booksellers Association is monitoring the coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) and will provide event updates and resources for booksellers here on an ongoing basis.

Questions? Concerns? Contact ABA › Visit the COVID-19 Bookseller-to-Bookseller Forum › Daily Email Update Archive › How to Get Financial Assistance ›


COVID-19 Resources


Immediate Steps for Booksellers Infographic

Immediate Steps to Take During the COVID-19 Outbreak:


Resources for Reopening

Here are some suggestions for ways to improve employee safety and customer safety as stores look toward reopening, including a comprehensive list of where to source supplies like masks, hand sanitizer, signage, and more.


Publisher, wholesaler, and vendor support:

See current offers from publishers, wholesalers, vendors, and other industry partners. More detailed information on some of these offers is available on the COVID-19 Publisher Special Offers page in the Book Buyer's Handbook. ABA is lobbying for support for members, but we strongly encourage booksellers to contact their reps with individual requests. Publishers are asked to contact ABA CEO Allison Hill to share details about support they can offer; additionally, booksellers are invited to contact Hill with requests for the type of support that would be most helpful and ABA will relay that to publishers.


Opportunities for Financial Assistance:

(Note: For application purposes, the IRS business activity code for bookstores is 451211)





At the Intersection of COVID-19 and Diversity:

Crisis affects every community differently, and COVID-19 is no different. One’s experience of the crisis will look completely different from another’s. We can all be mindful of this as we look to support those around us during this trying time. On the Intersection of COVID-19 and Diversity page, learn more about COVID-19 infections in diverse communities; resources for owners and staff; voices on the COVID crisis in diverse communities; and opportunities for financial assistance. Additionally, read through these strategies and tips for managing your mental health during the crisis.


Hosting Virtual Events:


​J​oin ​ABA’s “COVID-19 Open Forum” to talk with fellow booksellers. Meetings are held via Zoom every Tuesday from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET as well as the last Thursday of every month from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. ET. The meeting ID is 850 6348 6159. A passcode is required; check your email for information or email ABA’s membership team moderates the forum.
Bookstore Status

Fill out this form to share your store's status so we have critical info for our lobbying and advocacy efforts. NOTE: This information is public. See fellow booksellers' responses here.

Upcoming ABA Events
ABA’s Initiatives
  • Promoted the #SaveIndieBookstores campaign, which ended at $1,239,595. Initiatives included a YA tweet-a-thon, a virtual event with Stephen King and John Grisham, a pledge to double donations from Rick and Becky Riordan, and more
  • Promoted the #ReadIndieForward pay-it-forward campaign launched by Sourcebooks and Shelf Awareness to support indies
  • Held a virtual book club with Stamped authors Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi, sending readers to indie bookstore sites to buy the book
  • Hosting a series of Marketing and Technology Meetups to help bookstores navigate the new normal; topics include virtual events, retaining online customers, and more
  • Hosted an informational webinar on government relief and wage requirements
  • Donated $100,000 to Binc
  • Forgave ABA dues for April, May, and June
  • Waived IndieCommerce and IndieLite dues for April-June and offered credit card processing relief for eight weeks of sales
  • Sending daily informational updates to booksellers
  • Sending weekly COVID-dedicated issues of BTW
  • Advocating for bookseller support from publishers and vendors
  • Exploring funding for bookstores and booksellers who are furloughed or laid off
  • Lobbying key federal elected officials on the needs of small business
  • Published a full-page #ShopLocalNow ad in the Wall Street Journal on March 20 (compliments of Harper) and related social media assets
  • Onboarded 62 new indie bookstores to IndieCommerce or IndieLite.
  • Set up a donations module for IndieCommerce and IndieLite sites

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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