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 to Take During the COVID-19 Outbreak:

See infographic on Immediate Steps for Booksellers here.

 

Publisher, wholesaler, and vendor support (additional information available in the Book Buyers Handbook):

ABA is in ongoing conversation with publishers, wholesalers, and vendors 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.

  • Ingram:
    • In places where public health and governmental authorities have issued shelter in place, lockdown, or other instructions regarding COVID-19, Ingram’s wholesale, distribution, print on demand, and digital services fall into exceptions in the directives. Ingram Content Group’s operations are, therefore, considered essential and we are encouraged to remain open.
    • Is currently committed to keeping its warehouses open even if other Ingram staff works from home. If someone on the warehouse team gets sick, Ingram may have to close that warehouse but would still be able to ship from the other warehouses. Ingram is keeping staffing levels high to handle the anticipated increase in volume from online and direct-to-home orders.
    • Is helping stores shift to direct-to-home sales for customers by offering a promotion for the next few weeks. Stores that increase their direct-to-home business with Ingram will receive a credit back from Ingram. For stores that have not used direct-to-home with Ingram before, instructions are on Ipage. Click on Help --> FAQ --> Direct to Home. Some POS vendors, such as Booklog, have a DTH interface built into their mail order module. Check with your POS vendor.
    • If stores have any issues with making payments they should communicate with their Ingram credit rep as soon as possible. 
    • Stores with specific requests should contact their Ingram sales rep or Ingram Sales Director Ron Smithson.
  • Bookazine is operating under normal business hours with no disruption in services. Booksellers with questions or requests can contact Steve Goldberg.
  • Penguin Random House asks that stores requesting call tags for cancelled author events reach out to customer service rather than their sales rep for the most efficient support. Bookstores are strongly encouraged to contact their sales rep and/or credit rep with questions and requests.
  • Hachette is offering an extra 5% for accounts that deliver Hachette books to their customers; curbside pickup earnings additional per-ship locations; additional 30 days dating; new lower minimums. All details on the HBG Indie offers can be found in ABA’s Book Buyers handbook. Contact your sales rep with questions. The following clients have agreed to participate in these offers: ABRAMS, Disney, Hachette UK – Including Mobius & Nicholas Brealey, Lonely Planet, Kids Can Press, Marvel, Moleskine, Phaidon Press, Quarto Publishing Group, Yen Press, Octopus, Phoenix International - pikids. HBG is also doubling its 2020 Binc commitment.
  • HarperCollins donated a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal to promote shopping local. Bookstores are strongly encouraged to contact their sales rep and/or credit rep with questions and requests.
  • Simon & Schuster has asked booksellers to contact their sales rep or customer service to request call tags for cancelled events. For other business questions, booksellers can contact their sales rep or credit representative.
  • Macmillan has added a special offer to the Book Buyer's Handbook. Bookstores are strongly encouraged to contact their sales rep and/or credit rep with questions and requests.
  • Abrams is offering standard 120 dating for all indies. And, as a distributed client of Hachette, the following terms will apply to all ABRAMS titles: Additional Dating: +30 days additional payment dating on top of current terms; Minimum Orders: all minimums orders are now $40 retail; Additional Discounts: +2.5% additional discount for books delivered curbside and +5% additional discount for books delivered to customers homes. Abrams is also extending event returns: Call tags will be sent for any event return whenever stores are able to get to it. Call tag requests, and any other questions, can be sent to Wendy Ceballos.
  • Candlewick has launched the “Together We’re Stronger” offer for returnable retailers: Earn +5% discount and 60 days’ additional dating on all orders (frontlist and backlist) placed through May 15, 2020; Reason Code EC1 (for EDI orders use RCP001); No minimums, and remember to assort with your Penguin Random House orders. For questions, concerns, or requests, contact Elise Supovitz.
  • Chronicle is offering an extra 5% discount and net 90 on orders of 10 units (10 books and any number of titles); booksellers should use the promo code INDIES on the order, which will ship free freight. Offer valid through May 31 on titles published before May 31.
  • Arcadia Publishing is encouraging stores to contact their sales rep (888-313-2665 x1) for information about additional discounts; the company is also offering direct-to-customer orders shipped from Arcadia to customers, with co-op dollars to advertise. Stores that have had to cancel an author event can contact Arcadia about rescheduling; for stores offering curbside pickup, Arcadia can send tote bags (while supplies last).
  • Norton is strongly encouraging bookstores to contact their sales rep or credit rep. They are very willing to work with bookstores on their current situation.
  • Springer Nature will offer a +5% credit for bookstores that drop ship orders to their customers. The offer will be available to stores through the end of April. Contact your Springer Nature sales rep for more information.
  • Workman will automatically add 60 days to all book retail invoices that are due in March. Effective immediately, Workman is offering a new no-minimum special with discount and dating, using the promo code “FLATN,” as follows: additional discount, free freight, 120-day dating, no minimum. This offer is available to independent retailers and multiple orders are allowed. Additionally, all backlist stock-up orders placed using promo code BK (or BK1, BK2, BK3) will get 180-day dating. Valid until further notice.
  • Blackstone Publishing is offering all indies extended payment terms of Net-60 days and 55% discount across the board until further notice, with continued free shipping and no minimum order requirements. We also want to stress that anyone having an issue paying your bill at this time can put this aside through April while stores are shut down. In addition, we would also like to offer free direct drop-shipping service to any of your customer's home address who place online orders through your website. This will also include books for any virtual author events set up through Facebooks, Skype, Zoom or other online video teleconferencing platforms.
  • Chelsea Green Publishing has extended its “ED20” special to offer 50%, returnable, free freight (52% for partner stores), on any 10+ unit order, (in-stock titles) though at least the end of April. They are also creating a menu of Facebook Live Q&As and demonstrations by authors offering practical, timely skills (e.g. fermenting, growing indoor salads, exercise, outdoor activity, and health tips) for bookstores needing virtual event content. Please contact Sales Manager Michael Weaver with questions or for more information.
  • Gibbs Smith temporary terms change in response to COVID-19 challenges: For our independent gift and trade bookstore accounts, we will be offering net 60 terms effective immediately on all orders received through Friday, April 17, 2020.
  • Island Press is allowing accounts to request extended payment terms by contacting their A/R manager at Chicago Distribution Center.
  • ARTBOOK | D.A.P. is offering a 5% rebate on orders placed through Ingram Wholesale’s Direct-to-Home (DTH) program from March 13 through May 15. No paperwork is required. At the end of that date span, we will simply pull reporting and have credits issued to your Ingram account. You can use your Ingram iPage account to enter direct-to-consumer orders, which will be shipped by Ingram Wholesale in unbranded boxes listing your store and address as the shipper.
  • Schiffer Publishing is offering a “We’re in this Together” program: 10+ units (mix or match) = 50% AND NET 60, with extended dating only for customers in good credit standing; all orders ship free freight; valid though April 30, 2020; valid for titles published prior to April 30, 2020; Promo Code Schiff20.
  • The Independent Publishers Caucus steering committee has passed a resolution to send 10% of all income received from dues and other sources as donations to Binc to support stores in need.
  • Longleaf Services is open and operational. Longleaf has extended payment terms to Net 90 days until the end of May 30, 2020, to help bookstores continue to serve their customers. Longleaf provides fulfillment services for the following university presses: Baylor, Calgary, Cork, Cornell, Georgia, LSU, Manitoba, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Syracuse, Texas Tech, Truman State, Vanderbilt, Virginia, and West Indies.
  • Chicago Distribution Center will allow accounts to request extended payment terms by contacting their A/R manager.
  • TriLiteral distribution (which distributes Yale, Harvard, and MIT Presses) has addressed bookstore credit and invoices during the crisis, offering an extension of terms on current payments due to be paid up to 90 days from invoice date. No deadline or backdating, no end date for monitoring.
  • Gardners has temporarily suspended business, excepting digital sales. Gardners will be looking to see what further key services it can bring back online as soon as possible. Further information is available on its website.
  • Bookshop.org increased affiliate store commissions 30% (from 25%) for eight weeks.
  • Libro.fm, as part of the #ShopBookstoresNow campaign, has partnered with publishers and authors to feature a list of bestselling audiobooks that direct 100 percent of proceeds to local bookstores. These partners are generously forgoing revenue for these books from April 2–April 10 to support local bookstores during this challenging time. Find marketing materials on the Bookseller Hub and note that more audiobooks will be added to this list in the coming days. Email bookstores@libro.fm to start selling with Libro.fm.
  • Rakuten Kobo is launching its digital solidarity campaign “Reading from home” on March 25. Marketing assets will be made available to support the campaign. On the Rakuten Kobo Deals Page, customers will find up to 70% off ebooks in all genres. Questions can be directed to Natalie Jefferson or Siobhan Padgett.
  • Litographs is extending the due date of all open invoices to May 31, and through the end of April, any orders placed by current customers will have 60-day terms.
  • PartnerShip, ABA's shipping partner, is monitoring the situation and sharing information here.
  • Eventbrite funds are available if stores need to issue refunds to event attendees. Eventbrite is holding back scheduled payouts for all published and future events in Eventbrite accounts. This only impacts payouts stores are scheduled to receive before an event ends. Going forward, payouts will process five days after the event ends (Eventbrite’s typical policy). See Eventbrite’s webinar on canceling/postponing events
  • FedEx is considered an essential business and may continue to operate under state of emergency and shelter in place orders recently issued in the U.S.
  • UPS has suspended the UPS Service Guarantee for all shipments to any destination, at all service levels.
 

Publisher and Vendor Closures

  • In response to the COVID crisis and by order of the state of Indiana, the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt distribution center will be closed until April 7, 2020. During this time, HMH will be unable to accept returns. Orders placed but not yet routed will be held until shipping resumes on April 7. Booksellers who wish to cancel an order can contact customer service their your sales representative.
 

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

 

Hosting Story Times and Virtual Events:

  • Visit the Resources and Tips for Creating Virtual Events page on BookWeb, which includes video sharing platforms, tips for live-streaming, virtual story time guidelines, and more. Additionally, the Author-Hosted Virtual Events and Downloadable Digital Event Kits page on BookWeb details ongoing daily or weekly online events conducted by authors and illustrators. Stores can share these events and link to their website to buy the featured books.
  • Penguin Random House is permitting booksellers to create and share story time and read-aloud videos and live events according to these guidelines.
  • Sourcebooks is allowing booksellers to create and share online story times according to these guidelines.
  • Abrams is allowing for remote story times as follows: note at the beginning of the video that you are reading with permission of Abrams Children’s Books, as well as its title, author, and illustrator; when posting a video through Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, etc., the content should come down after the story time; send an email to permissions@abramsbooks.com with your name, store, city, state, the title and author/illustrator of the book(s) as well as a follow-up email with a link to your video.
  • Simon & Schuster is providing reading group and teaching guides, authors studies, and more at The Book Pantry. Simon & Schuster is permitting booksellers to conduct livestreams, and post readings of Simon & Schuster children’s books for customers, subject to the terms and conditions posted on the Simon & Schuster website.  
  • The Quarto Group issued online reading guidelines as follows: Mention at the beginning of your video that you are using the book with permission from The Quarto Group; authors and illustrators are welcome to read their own books or share projects from their books, and we encourage you to collaborate with and tag your author/illustrator counterpart when possible; limit readings to media that is posted for a limited time, such as Instagram or Facebook live, Instagram stories, Snapchat, etc. If sharing to IGTV, please archive or remove after 15 days; do not archive or save complete readings to more permanent channels like YouTube; tag Quarto in any posts so that we can share your posts as well; make purchase links available via swipe up or in your bio/linktree, etc.; send your name, school/organization, city, state, and the title, author, and illustrator of the book you intend to read online to readings@quarto.com.
  • Blue Manatee Press has given bookstores full permission to use its books for virtual story times (no asking needed).
 

Retailer Resources:

 

General information about the outbreak:

 

What can independent businesses do to prevent the spread of the coronavirus? (Courtesy of the American Independent Business Alliance)

Businesses, government agencies, nonprofits, and other organizations can adopt specific practices to help prevent the spread of this virus:

  • Move from doing deep cleaning to performing deep disinfecting every night and during the day in restrooms, kitchens, and other surfaces where people may have placed their hands, sneezed, or coughed.
  • Make hand sanitizer bottles available at key locations, including welcome or check-in desks, cash registers and counters, food pick-up stations, and doors and entryways. 
  • Ask users of items such as shopping baskets, cardio equipment, customer-operated machinery, etc. to use sanitizing wipes on handles and interfaces before using them.  
  • Encourage and support employees to stay home if they have flu-like symptoms of coughing, sneezing, shortness of breath, or a fever, and request that customers do the same.
  • Actively encourage employees, customers, and others to adopt all of anti-virus hygiene habits (including washing hands, not touching your face, covering your mouth when sneezing or couching, staying home if you have flu-like symptoms, and staying six feet away from someone with such symptoms). This may include training staff on methods to avoid spreading communicable diseases, and posting materials such as the CDC poster “Stop the Spread of Germs” to promote healthy habits.
  • Keep abreast of current developments and inform customers, staff, and community of locally-relevant news and public health recommendations.

 

 
​J​oin ​ABA’s “COVID-19 Open Forum” to talk with fellow booksellers. Meetings are held via Zoom every Tuesday and Thursday from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET. Join the Zoom calls here; the meeting ID is 749 778 583. ABA’s membership team moderates the forum.
 
Upcoming ABA Events
 
ABA’s Initiatives
  • Supporting the #SaveIndieBookstores campaign
  • Donating $100,000 to Binc
  • Forgiving ABA dues for April, May, and June
  • 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
  • Due to the current overwhelming demands on customer support, IndieCommerce is not accepting new IndieCommerce or IndieLite contracts at this time. Booksellers can get on the waitlist here.
  • Setting up 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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