Some items are visible only to logged-in, ABA-member booksellers.
|Glossary of Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity Terms (by Diversity Task Force) (PDF)||167.98 KB|
You only have a few seconds to attract—and hold—a customer’s attention, so it’s critical that you get it right if you want to turn a browser into a buyer. From the whimsical to the thought-provoking, store displays done right tell a story that taps into a customer’s needs—needs for entertainment, introspection, fantasy, connection, and more. Booksellers who are skilled at telling stories through engaging displays will present tips and visuals on how to make an eye-catching in-store displays that turn browsers into buyers.
If you have been in business for five years or fewer, this is the session for you. Hear from booksellers who will look back over those first critical years and share tips for making it through the next five.
IndieCommerce™ is the ABA’s e-commerce platform for independent bookstores. The system provides the tools for indie bookstores to create unique, content-rich, and easy-to-operate, fully transactional, e-commerce enabled websites. Over the past few years, the IndieCommerce team has been working closely with booksellers to to help them achieve their online marketing and sales goals. This session will highlight some of the most impactful changes that individual stores have made to their websites over the past year, including before and after examples.
|Planning for Store Longevity pdf||48.31 KB|
The ability to stay in business for decades—and longer—means weathering change by staying adaptable and flexible. Customer relationships and sales are just part of the equation that can ensure the longevity of a business and even turn it into a celebrated, longstanding institution. Careful planning and understanding of your store’s resources, a flexible business plan, continuously improving operations, and a culture that willingly embraces change in order to adapt and improve are all factors that influence where your business will be around in 5, 10, or 20 years—or more. A a panel of longtime booksellers will lead this not-to-be-missed conversation.
Graphic novels can be a useful springboard into reading for reluctant readers, but they can also serve as a vehicle to launch readers into the symbiotic relationship between text and visuals. In this session, attendees will learn from booksellers and experts:
If you are thinking about opening a second location -- or if you have recently done so -- this session is for you. A panel of experts who have been through the process will share tips and provide insight on how to know if opening a second store is the correct decision for your business, and if so, how to navigate the process. The topics discussed will include:
Market research: Ensuring your choice for the second location is sound
On April 28, indie booksellers will celebrate the fifth annual Independent Bookstore Day (IBD). In this panel, new concepts and a new ordering system will be revealed. Attendees will hear from booksellers who have figured out how to make the most of IBD and increase their sales dramatically. It takes a little effort and imagination, but having a highly successful Independent Bookstore Day doesn’t have to tax your staff or break the bank. Booksellers will learn:
Independent bookstores are champions of innovation when it comes to business models. For the last few years, many bookstores have added bars to their business model by blending books with booze. This session will feature booksellers from both small and large stores who have experienced the successes and challenges of this business model.
Edelweiss+Analytics is excited to present the new Shelf Report, created to help bookstores succeed against competitive pressures by providing unique decision intelligence. This new tool provides benchmarks for your store’s inventory, using the aggregate performance of hundreds of other independent bookstores on four key measures of sales and inventory health – across genres. Join us to learn more about how this tool can help you view your store from the outside-in and point to where you can focus your attention to make sure your inventory is working its hardest for you.
Divisive political commentary and ongoing reports of cultural and social misconduct continue to be highlighted in both national and local media. Because bookstores are both unique meeting places and businesses, many booksellers are struggling with how to navigate the resulting personal and professional pressures. What are the questions that owner/managers and staff should be asking that can lead to fruitful discussions and solutions? If you have found yourself thinking about this and discussing it with colleagues, please join the conversation. Facilitated by a professional moderator, this is an opportunity for booksellers to participate in this important discussion.
|ABACUS Highlights pdf||188.33 KB|
ABACUS is a yearly benchmarking survey that gathers essential information and insights on bookstore financials. This unique and actionable data is key to a store’s long-term viability, as it can be used to create budgets and analyze important business questions. Bookseller panelists who regularly submit to ABACUS will explain how they have been able to implement changes based on their ABACUS report. In this session, booksellers will learn:
Information on how and when to submit your data to participate in the ABACUS report
Scenario: your store's children's bookseller is out sick and not one general bookseller has even an inkling about kids’ books. Never fear! Geared towards general booksellers with ZERO experience in the kid’s department, children’s frontlist booksellers on this panel will provide a crash course to prepare any bookseller to head into the children's department. In the session, general booksellers will learn:
As part of the pilot program of the Open Discussion project, five independent bookstores will be launching reading groups in the fall of 2018 with the goal of bringing liberals and conservatives together to discuss the issues that divide them. The Open Discussion Project is sponsored by the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) in partnership with ABA. NCAC and ABA are inviting booksellers to join the Open Discussion Project when it goes national next year. A panel of booksellers who are participating in the pilot will discuss their experience.
|Seminary Co-op Training Document pdf||112.62 KB|
The goal of this session is to help bookstore owners and employees learn how to empower themselves to end uncomfortable situations, including harassment, with professionalism and respect. Among other things, the panel will discuss tips for identifying and navigating out of these distressing situations and suggestions for talking points booksellers can rely on while under duress. Booksellers will hear discussions on:
Creating and nurturing relationships with publishers is key to building a thriving business. Panelists in this session will provide an overview of how publishers work with independent bookstores and discuss steps booksellers can take to capitalize on and grow these relationships. Booksellers will learn:
Pre-registration required; for owners and managers only. Register here As a bookstore owner or manager, having multiple responsibilities means your to-do list is never done. And as your business grows, your days only get longer. In order to keep your sanity, you need staff who can take on more responsibilities and grow with the business, providing leadership in your store and possessing the confidence to represent your store in the community. For this to happen, you need employees who can think strategically, take initiative, and feel empowered to solve problems. Alden Mills—Inc. 500 CEO, Navy SEAL, and author of Unstoppable Teams: The Four Essential Actions of High-Performance Leadership (HarperBusiness)—will teach important strategies you can apply immediately to develop leaders in your stores. You’ll walk away with Alden’s C.A.R.E.-based model that focuses on building relationships in four ways—with customers, co-workers, and community. This Advanced Education Session is designed for in-depth exploration among peers about management and operational concerns. Space is limited and registration is first-come, first-served. Each ABA member company is limited to two AES participants. ABA will attempt to accommodate all interested stores with at least one AES placement; assignments will be e-mailed prior to the start of Winter Institute. Presented twice on Thursday, 1/24: 9:20 to 10:20 am and 3:40 to 4:40 pm.
What if everyone read James Baldwin? He’s one of our most acclaimed 20th century thinkers, his writing exploring countless facets of American society and diving into subjects like sexuality, politics, marriage, police brutality, the Church, race, and love. He observed and critiqued humanity in a way that still resonates with so many of us in 2018 because his words and voice are timeless. Baldwin's groundbreaking work has inspired generations of fervent readers and fans, but what if we could widen that audience? Spread Baldwin's texts even further? Sell his work better, recommend him more frequently alongside other literary giants? We believe we can. Join the National Book Foundation for its new Author in Focus program featuring the work of James Baldwin, a four-time National Book Award nominee. The Foundation will be joined by two dynamic authors at Winter Institute as they help to answer the question of why James Baldwin's work has, does, and will always matter. This event was made possible by the Ford Foundation and Velvet Film.
Gain a better understanding of the valuable role Instagram can play in your bookstore’s marketing program with Two Cats Communication as they share a holistic overview of best business practices utilizing the social media platform. This session will set bookstores up for Instagram success by teaching attendees:
One minute of planning can save you ten minutes in execution. Planning skills can make you a more effective bookseller and help prevent burnout because planning creates efficiency and leads to improved productivity. Cindy Dach, co-owner of Changing Hands Bookstores (Tempe, AZ), will teach booksellers techniques for time management, planning and organizing daily tasks, all with an eye toward completing the big-picture projects. This session is part of Changing Hands' professional development program.
|Sample Requests pdf||76.37 KB|
There are many factors that go into publisher decisions for author visits and tours, and bookseller event grids help them make those choices. In this session, booksellers will see sample event grids from publisher panelists and learn more about how publishers approach author tours and what they are looking for from bookstores. Booksellers will learn:
|Reporting Pre-Orders POS Cheat Sheet pdf||162.53 KB|
Pre-orders are becoming an increasingly important way in which books are sold and marketed in 2018, and indie bookstores can and should take part in this growing business. Heavily influenced by television and social media, the months before a title’s publication are critical, and pre-orders are a growing component of a book’s ultimate sales. By working with publishers to take full advantage of pre-order opportunities, indie bookstores can avoid lost sales, lost PR, and lost market share. In this session, panelists will discuss ways that stores can successfully promote and sell pre-orders to become an integral partner to publishers and authors. Learn about new methods developed and tested by a task force of indie stores--including processes and protocols for stores using various POS systems--that all stores can use to maximize pre-orders through marketing, tracking, and reporting. The session will include bookseller participation from the pre-order task force.
|Bookshop Santa Cruz Women's Voices pdf||1017.14 KB|
Join your colleagues for a discussion on creating events and opportunities to highlight women's voices in the store and larger retail community. Hear from booksellers who are fostering women entrepreneurs, cross-promoting with women-owned businesses, creating dynamic in-store programming, and more. ABA members know that a diverse business district promotes a thriving local economy, and they are finding ways to ensure their stores, their communities, and their business districts are as dynamic and profitable as possible.
Bookstores that sell direct to schools are an invaluable resource to the local community and a successful strategy for increasing cash flow and profits. Bookseller panelists who have worked closely with their school districts will share with Institute attendees how they too can foster a relationship with school districts and add to their stores’ bottom line. In this session booksellers will learn:
Being an independent bookstore in today’s retail environment means working tirelessly to stay connected with your community while also promoting yourself online as an alternative to other online retailers. All independent retailers, not just booksellers, are meeting this challenge in various ways. Come to this session to hear from Albuquerque’s independent retailer stars, ask questions, and discover ideas to apply to your bookstore.
|Game Day Flyer pdf||241.32 KB|
If the thought of playing board games brings up childhood memories of Monopoly and Risk and not much else, you have some catching up to do. Board games are a hot trend and a growing business. And they’ve grown a lot more sophisticated than what you might remember. The popular digital games that have made the leap to board games, the games inspired by viral internet challenges, and the traditional games of your childhood all have something in common: face-to-face social interaction, which is a key component of successful independent bookstores. Come hear from booksellers who have integrated board games and play nights into their sales and events. An independent board game seller joins the panel to discuss the aspects of his business and how booksellers can bring games -- and customers -- into the bookstore.
|Shelf Awareness Feature: Booksellers Navigate Rising Rents pdf||94.33 KB|
Your landlord can be one of the most important influencers on the success of your business, but this critical relationship is often only considered when the rent is due or when it’s time to sign the lease. Bookstore owners who have experienced the positive results of cultivating the landlord relationship will share their experiences and explore effective strategies for landlord relations. Panelists will discuss:
|Educator Night Passport pdf||54.7 KB|
Community educators are important bookstore allies. They work closely with children, and children need books! Making sure bookstores are carrying what teachers are recommending is essential to strengthening the relationship between the two. In this session, event planners and buyers will share how they have implemented and had success hosting Educator Nights. Booksellers will learn:
Important topics to discuss at these events
Never has there been a greater need for diverse and international voices in the American market. In this session, panelists will discuss practices they have brought back to their stores from their experiences with Bookselling Without Borders, a fellowship program that sends U.S. booksellers to foreign book fairs as part of a book industry professional exchange program. Among other things, the Bookselling Without Borders program seeks to help booksellers develop concrete ideas for increasing sales of diverse and international literature in the indie market.
Industry experts present a review of the most recent data on the U.S. book market with a deep-dive into the latest trends. There will be plenty of new insights to help attendees improve their business in the coming year.
Increasing margin through better buying and careful budgeting can improve your cost of goods. This session will use data from ABA’s ABACUS report to outline a path to improvements in a store’s cost of goods, leading to improved financial decisions and substantial savings. The booksellers on this panel are excited to share straightforward financial practices that will make a big difference to the financial health of your business. In this session, booksellers will learn:
A Refugee Book Drive will be held during Wi14, beginning on Tuesday at the Welcome Desk, then moving to the Galley Room for the remainder of the Institute. Spanish-language books are being collected to benefit parents and children from Central America and Mexico. Organized by Denise Chávez (Casa Camino Real Bookstore, Las Cruces, NM) and administered by Border Servants Corps. Genres and subject suggestions are posted here on BookWeb.org. Refugees are people who have been forced to leave their homes or their country, either because of war, economic or societal problems, their political or religious beliefs, or natural disaster.
Counterspeak is a free speech podcast hosted by Sydney Jarrard, ABA's Content Director; Dave Grogan, ABA's Director of ABFE, Advocacy and Public Policy; and Maria Peroni, ABA's Advocacy and Public Policy Coordinator.
In this episode, ABFE talks to Nadine Strossen, former president of the ACLU and author of Hate: Why We Should Resist It With Free Speech, Not Censorship, about her book and experiences as a defender of free speech.
The views expressed in this podcast are not necessarily that of the American Booksellers Association or the American Booksellers for Free Expression.
Counterspeak is a free speech podcast hosted by Sydney Jarrard, ABA's Content Director; Dave Grogan, ABA's Director of ABFE, Advocacy and Public Policy; and Maria Peroni, ABA's Advocacy and Public Policy Coordinator.
In this introductory episode, Dave explains what Counterspeak is all about.
The views expressed in this podcast are not necessarily that of the American Booksellers Association or the American Booksellers for Free Expression.
Maximizing Pre-Orders focuses on how indie bookstores can take full advantage of pre-order opportunities and boost their sales, PR, and market share. In this presentation, booksellers will also discover ways to successfully promote and sell pre-orders including new methods developed and tested by ABA’s Pre-Orders Task Force of indie stores.
The 101-level seminar, led by ABA CFO Robyn DesHotel and Cynthia Compton of 4 Kids Books & Toys in Zionsville, Indiana, covers the fundamentals of budgeting, understanding cash flow, business financing, bookkeeping, and financial statements. The seminar concentrates on bookstore finances as opposed to bookstore accounting and deep financial experience is not required.
This video is available to logged-in, ABA bookseller members only.
|Email Newsletters Best Practices - Outline and Steps (PDF)||22.39 KB|
Newsletters are an easy and fun way to communicate to your customers what’s happening in your bookstore. Bookselling panelists who have mastered newsletter writing will dissect what makes a successful newsletter.
Panel: Kenny Brechner, Devaney, Doak & Garrett Booksellers; Broche Fabian, Quail Ridge Books; Jessica Palacios, Once Upon a Time
Launch your passion for bookselling into the stratosphere by taking the steps to become a heavy hitter in the independent bookselling world. There are many ways to get involved, and opportunities are always available. Hear from members and leaders of the independent regional bookseller associations, the ABA Board of Directors, the ABC Advisory Council, the ABA Bookseller Advisory Council, Indies Introduce panelists, and ABA Education Task Force members about the processes, commitment, and experiences booksellers can expect when they get involved outside the store.
Are you looking for better checklists and forms to help you organize your store operations? Or do you already have procedures for self-published authors, special orders, or other store operations that you can’t live without? Here’s an opportunity for you and your fellow booksellers to crowdsource solutions. Come to this idea exchange with copies of your “best loved” forms and exchange them with “best loved” forms from other stores.
|Resources for Emergency Prep (PDF)||4.03 MB|
When your business is hit by a disaster, you need to know you are prepared. Whether you are dealing with floods or fire or other disaster, your business survival will depend on having a solid emergency plan in place and a resilient and adaptable business model. Booksellers who have experienced disaster in their store and community will share best practices, and local and national FEMA and emergency preparedness experts will share tips that will help businesses survive and rebound.
The romance genre has one of the highest shares of fiction sales in the U.S. market at 23 percent (NPD Book 2016). Now is the time to take a closer look at marketing and selling this dynamic genre. In this session, bookseller and publisher panelists will discuss best practices for developing a successful relationship with the romance reader as well as tips for marketing this genre in a general bookstore.
|Hiring for Diversity pdf||419.88 KB|
Making hiring decisions for a diverse sales force often requires a new and different approach to hiring — including looking outside your normal sources for candidates and fostering relationships both in the store and in the larger community. Mecca E. Santana will be joining Marc Villa (Politics and Prose Bookstore) in a discussion on how to make your store more diverse and inclusive. Mecca is the Vice President of Diversity & Community Relations for Westchester Medical Center Health Network in White Plains, NY. Prior to this position, Ms. Santana served as the Chief Diversity Officer for the State of New York, and was responsible for the promotion of workforce diversity and inclusion, while also leading new initiatives to increase Minority & Women Owned Business (MWBE) procurement opportunities.
|Tips for Hand-Selling Kids Books (PDF)||182.63 KB|
Uh-oh! A customer needs help in the children's department, and not one children's specialist is available to assist. Don't panic — this session is for you! In a workshop setting, children's booksellers will offer advice, tips, and tricks to help the general bookseller expand their repertoire of sales skills to include selling children's books with confidence.
|Best Practices for Buying Marketing Hand Selling Diverse Books (pdf)||439.32 KB|
Booksellers who have successfully expanded sections to include diverse books will share resources and techniques for buying, marketing, and handselling these books. Panelists will represent stores from communities of different sizes and demographics.
|Kazoo Books Used Books Policy (pdf)||268.96 KB|
Booksellers experienced with successfully operating used bookstores will compare and discuss the financial model, including acquiring, selling, and trading used books for credit. This panel, for booksellers who are interested in offering used books, assumes you have a working knowledge of general bookstore financial operations.
|Elements of Succession Planning for Selling a Bookstore (PDF)||86.18 KB|
Pre-registration required; for owners and managers only. Registration is closed. Exiting a much-loved business can be difficult to consider, but whether you are preparing to retire or you expect to own your store for many years to come, it is important to have a plan in place for your business and to consider all succession options. A bookseller who has gone through the process of selling a store as well as a representative from a local financial group that offers business valuations will lead a conversation on how to prepare for this important step in the life of your store.
ABACUS is a yearly benchmarking survey that gathers key information and insights on bookstore financials. Stores that participate in ABACUS know how important this unique and actionable data is to their store’s long-term viability. Industry Insights, the organization that compiles and analyzes the confidential bookstore data, will offer a tutorial on the new ABACUS web portal, review key survey trends and results, and demonstrate how to generate reports to best utilize a store’s data. In addition, booksellers who regularly submit to ABACUS will explain how they have been able to implement changes based on their ABACUS report.
|Gramercy Books Consignment 1 (jpg)||472.62 KB|
|Gramercy Books Consignment 2 (jpg)||803.68 KB|
|Can't Find, Customer Request, IBID Corrections (jpg)||680.67 KB|
|Bright Side Bookshop Phone Order (pdf)||97.91 KB|
|Bright Side Bookshop Orientation and Training (pdf)||110.66 KB|
|Bright Side Bookshop Loss Control (pdf)||75.72 KB|
|Bright Side Bookshop Event Evaluation (pdf)||91.89 KB|
|Bright Side Bookshop Daily Manager Sheets (pdf)||320.68 KB|
|Bright Side Bookshop Bookseller Job Description (pdf)||118.65 KB|
|Avid Bookshop at Five Points Daily Checklist (pdf)||79.08 KB|
|Avid Bookshop Consignment Application (pdf)||85.04 KB|
|Avid Bookshop Monthly Tasks (pdf)||64.95 KB|
|Avid Bookshop Request to Book an Event (pdf)||14.5 KB|
|Avid In-shop Event Checklist (pdf)||96.24 KB|
|Wild Rumpus Employee Performance Evaluation (pdf)||81.38 KB|
Are you looking for better checklists and forms to help you organize your store operations? Or do you already have procedures for self-published authors, special orders, or other store operations that you can’t live without? Here’s an opportunity to crowdsource solutions for you and your fellow booksellers. Come to this idea exchange with a number of copies of your “best loved” forms and exchange them with “best loved” forms from other stores.
|Author School Visit Schedule (PDF)||170.08 KB|
Schools serve as an established audience for children’s authors. In this session, booksellers will learn how to develop relationships with schools and libraries, build pre-order sales, and encourage publicists and authors to put their store at the top of a publisher’s list for sending visiting authors to their community.
Implementing a system to manage store finances is key to the survival of any business. A good financial system allows you to confidently meet financial obligations, from payroll to event budgets and more. This session will highlight a few tactics booksellers can use to create a better system to approach and manage store finances with confidence.
|Village Books Event Info (pdf)||280.73 KB|
|Village Books Event FAQs (pdf)||515.21 KB|
|Village Books Event Package Description (pdf)||95.58 KB|
|Village Books POD Submission Guidelines (pdf)||180.06 KB|
|Village Books POD Pricing Specs (pdf)||244.92 KB|
|Village Books Event Questionnaire (pdf)||197.01 KB|
|Village Books Consignment Sales Agreement (pdf)||99.59 KB|
|Village Books Consignment Agreement Info (pdf)||404.63 KB|
|Village Books Author Agreement Form (pdf)||251.37 KB|
|Malaprop's Consignment Intake Form (pdf)||198.71 KB|
|Village Books Sample Press Release (pdf)||372.67 KB|
|IBPA Checklist (pdf)||520.33 KB|
|IBPA Industry Standards (pdf)||238.24 KB|
Multiple programs are available to help booksellers work with local self-published authors. Panelists, including representatives from the Independent Book Publisher Association and Ingram Spark as well as booksellers who have created mutually beneficial relationships with self-published authors, will discuss existing programs and tips for successful relationships.
|Google Analytics 101 (pdf)||130.91 KB|
Is your store website working for you? Who’s visiting, what are they interested in, and where are they coming from? Google Analytics is a free tool that can help answer all of these questions and more. It’s not as hard as you think, and the answers might surprise you! We’ll give you a quick tour of the highlights of Google Analytics and show you how to dig in and learn some interesting things about your website and its audience. This course is intended for beginners to Google Analytics and is not specific to any particular type of website or platform.
|How to Create Value Worksheet (PDF)||74.84 KB|
Pre-registration required; for owners and managers only. Morten Hansen, co-author of Great by Choice (Simon & Schuster) with Jim Collins, is a professor of management at the University of California, Berkeley. His forthcoming book, Great at Work, which draws on a longitudinal study of more than 5,000 managers and employees, has already been hailed by organizational psychologist Adam Grant as “the definitive guide to working smarter.” Professor Hansen will lead an interactive workshop on how bookstores and booksellers might find more success not by doing more—not by joining another social media platform, by trying to sell nonbook merchandise, or by trying to be the “everything store” that Amazon has become—but by identifying the work that their bookstore does best, and then effectively obsessing about it. Hansen will lead a discussion for owners and managers who want to maximize their time and increase their job performance and will share his “Seven Work Smarter Practices” and provide an opportunity for booksellers to identify ways to apply them to their daily business lives. Advanced Education registration is closed.
This 101-level seminar covers the fundamentals of budgeting, understanding cash flow, business financing, bookkeeping, and financial statements. The workshop includes a segment focusing on strategies for achieving higher profits and improving cash flow. The program concludes with an interactive group discussion, working through an example of how booksellers can use their store’s financial information to make sound business decisions. The seminar concentrates on bookstore finances as opposed to bookstore accounting, and though it is helpful for attendees to be familiar with basic bookstore finances, deep financial experience is not required.
|Working With Independent Bookstores - Store Events (PDF)||291.12 KB|
|Working With Independent Bookstores - School Events (PDF)||214.37 KB|
Developed for authors, this panel features booksellers who have formulated best practices for working together to create events that benefit both stores and authors. The session will cover a number of issues, from author publicity to dealing with pre-event nerves.
Marley Dias, in conversation with Suzanna Hermans of Oblong Books, will discuss her journey from New Jersey tween to viral activist sensation—and now to author. Marley’s effort to diversify the characters on her bookshelf by collecting #1000BlackGirlBooks was celebrated by thousands of readers, and by booksellers across the country who supported her campaign in their stores and on social media. At this event, Marley will engage in a lively Q&A about reaching young readers who are equally interested in activism, pop culture, and serious news As she said in an Elle.com interview, “My generation feels the pressure to make things better, but we need more spaces to speak our minds and to make a difference.” Marley will encourage booksellers to make their stores a go-to resource for young people and their varied passions.
|Backlist Perennial Favorites (PDF)||944.94 KB|
A strong backlist inventory is the cornerstone of book sales. Bookseller panelists who have learned to successfully curate their selections will share their knowledge on the importance of backlist, how to choose and display books, which titles continue to sell well, and which children’s categories to invest in to maintain a robust backlist collection for customers.
|Fostering an Inclusive Environment for Staff and Customers with Disabilities - ADA Resources (PDF)||607.87 KB|
|Schneider Family Book Awards (PDF)||813.63 KB|
Creating an inclusive environment is essential to broadening the goodwill and customer base of any bookstore. Panelists will discuss the social and financial reasons for making your store accessible in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, strategies for educating staff, how to make accommodations for staff and customers with disabilities, ideas for special programming and related outreach, and resources to guide such initiatives.
Jason Reynolds tells the story of being a reluctant reader as a child, to being a bookseller at Karibu Bookstore, and how all of it helped shape him as a writer.
|Trends and Findings in Children's Bookselling (PDF)||2.49 MB|
Allison Risbridger, client development specialist at NPD Book, will present a review of the most recent data on the U.S. children’s book market with a deep-dive into the latest trends in genres, formats, buyer behavior, and more. Attendees will emerge with plenty of new insights to help them better understand their business in the coming year.
One day she is a child and the next day an adult: hand-selling to middle-grade and young-adult readers can be a challenge. In this session, a panel of experts will share information about learning styles and cognitive behavioral development to assist booksellers in negotiating the tween and teen brain and recommending appropriate books to create readers for life.
|Careers in Bookselling: How to Grow By Doing What You Love (PDF)||610.06 KB|
Tegan Tigani of Queen Anne Book Company (Seattle, WA) will lead a brainstorming session on how booksellers can successfully expand their passion for books to other arenas and add to their personal income without having to give up their day jobs.
|Writing Effective Blurbs from Common Good Books PDF||227.58 KB|
|Blurb Writing Method by Peternelle Van Arsdale PDF||480.59 KB|
Handselling a book through an effective blurb is an essential bookselling skill, whether it’s for the Indie Next List, for shelf-talkers, or for other opportunities in-store, online, or elsewhere. A panel of bookseller blurb-writing all-stars will discuss the key elements of effective blurbs and direct attendees in hands-on exercises for writing and reviewing blurbs.
|Book Awards Handout PDF||375.03 KB|
Every year, literary awards highlight a variety of stellar titles, presenting unique opportunities for booksellers to focus the attention of buyers and readers, and spur sales. A panel composed of both booksellers and representatives from national organizations that present literary awards, will discuss ideas for introducing, expanding, and leveraging the cachet surrounding awards for increased sales as well as customer interaction.
|Increasing Margin (PDF)||3.38 MB|
An ongoing commitment to improving margins is a key to increasing bookstore profits. Focusing on freight costs, cost of goods sold, and even shrinkage can help any business improve the bottom line. Panelists in this session will help booksellers focus on successful strategies and best practices that will help guide booksellers into greater profitability.
|Climate Change Reading List xlsx||19.29 KB|
As we continue to see the effects of climate change throughout the world, booksellers are asking what they can do -- both to keep their customers and communities informed on this critical issue and to become involved in climate change grassroots activism. Booksellers on this panel will share examples of store activities - from title lists and in-store activities to advice on how to work with climate change activists, both in your community and nationwide.
Booksellers face special free speech problems in selling children’s books. Parents complain about books that are “inappropriate” for their children based on age or socio-economic background, and there is also growing sensitivity in some communities as to how they are presented in kids’ books. How should booksellers respond?
|Selling Techniques Boswell Book Company pdf||155.87 KB|
|Basic Sales Techniques: Authentic Customer Engagement||311.09 KB|
Being an insightful reader and a book lover is just part of working in a bookstore. While it’s great to introduce someone to their next great read, a bookseller’s goal is to actually sell the book. How do you move from book insight to book sales? In this session, bookselling pros will provide strategies and tips for making the sale and attendees will have the opportunity to practice their newly acquired skills!
|Advanced Education Managing Managers pdf||835.77 KB|
For owners and managers. Pre-reg required.
This ticketed session is open to ABA member store owners and managers only. One of the most important hires for any retail operation is a manager. Whether for the entire store, a section, or a key function, managers take pressure off owners, allowing them to focus on big-picture business decisions, secure in the knowledge that day-to-day operations will continue successfully. In this session, owners will learn strategies for communicating, delegating, training, and thriving through skillfully empowering managers. Facilitated by Lani Basa, owner and CEO of The Business Women’s Circle (BWC), a group providing a confidential and collaborative setting for businesswomen to foster growth and work on their businesses with the support of others.
|Fountain Bookstore Strategy Guide pdf||212.96 KB|
Social media is here to stay, but no one platform is invincible. Algorithms can change overnight. For example, if Facebook disappeared tomorrow, your following would evaporate with it. Luckily, you are already investing in one online presence you do control: your website. This panel will review how to use social media to drive traffic to your website and e-newsletters --regardless of which social media platforms you prefer or how they can change -- and how to leverage your social followings to meet your store's marketing goals.
|Best Practices for First Time Managers pdf||506.21 KB|
Congratulations, you are a manager! Now what? Being a manager is not easy, and, while your exceptional performance may have gotten you that promotion, your new position will require a whole new set of skills: delegating, motivating, negotiating, communicating, etc. A professional will offer tools and techniques to help first-time managers survive and thrive.
|The View From the Rep Seat pdf||309.8 KB|
|Watermark Books Best Practices for Edelweiss Event Grids pdf||110.63 KB|
Did you know you can manage event grids with Edelweiss+? In this session, an Edelweiss rep, a publicist, and a bookseller will explain the functionality of the grids and the important selling points in a good event proposal.
|Indies Introduce Winter Spring 2017 pdf||805.84 KB|
Indies Introduce is about what independent booksellers do best—discovering exciting debut authors and sharing the best of the best with readers across the country. You will hear from the bookseller panelists who curated the "diverse list of fabulous books that every American should read" (Pete Mulvihill, Green Apple Books). Many of the debut authors will be present to read a short passage from their debut titles and answer one question posed by a panelist.
|ABC Presents Using Nielsen Data to Expand Nonfiction Sales pdf||5.26 MB|
Building upon findings in a recent Nielsen Book study that showed a significant rise in sales of active nonfiction for children and the potential for even greater growth, booksellers who have successfully increased their nonfiction business will discuss the keys to broadening their inventory and maintaining a diverse selection to complement the subjects driving this category.
|Managing Large Scale Events Book Stall at Chestnut Court pdf||674.38 KB|
|Large Scale Event Procedures Greenlight (PDF)||254.41 KB|
Managing large-scale off-site events takes a lot of planning. With concerns ranging from securing a location and ticketing to working with the publisher, formulating marketing strategies, and event team logistics, pulling together a large-scale event can quickly overwhelm even the most seasoned event planner. Come spend an hour with colleagues from bookstores that regularly produce large-scale off-site events for insights and tips on how to manage a successful event of your own.
Bringing used books into your store can improve your margins and help your bottom line, but it also brings a new set of considerations to your already established business procedures. This 101 introductory session will help you navigate issues such as buying, sourcing, and tracking your used inventory.
With graphic novels rapidly expanding as a category and continuing to mature as an art form, stores may struggle to determine which books to carry and how to display them, as well as how to handle resistance from skeptical parents and educators. Panelists will discuss these issues and more, from essential title lists to successful handselling and the value of graphic novels in fostering reading.
|Building Productive & Profitable Relationships with Local Libraries - ABC, 2009 (PDF)||329.85 KB|
Booksellers and librarians serve a common need and share many goals, but partnering on events and other initiatives can be challenging. Presented in cooperation with the American Library Association, this panel, featuring pairs of booksellers and librarians who are successfully working together, will discuss potential hurdles as well as solutions for productive partnerships between bookstores and libraries.
Free speech problems confront booksellers much more frequently than you might think, and it is critically important that you and your staff are prepared to deal with them before they occur. Join Matthew Miller of The Tattered Cover Book Store and Chris Finan, director of the American Booksellers for Free Expression, for an interactive session exemplifying the store's training session, which helps new staff members anticipate and respond to common free speech emergencies.
|Benefits of Getting Your Staff on Edelweiss (PDF)||122.92 KB|
An informed and passionate staff is one of a bookstore’s most valuable assets. Edelweiss can be a big help whether you use it to get your staff’s reading preferences in front of your sales reps, for easy access to digital review copies and Indie Next List nomination options, or for tools that allow your staff to communicate plans for that next big title. Find out how stores are using Edelweiss to increase sales as staff becomes more knowledgeable about buying choices.
|Gnome for the Holiday Game Card (PDF)||681.9 KB|
Fun and exciting events don’t always have to feature a visiting author. Themed events built around books for different age groups can offer great no-cost opportunities to fill out your calendar, attract new sales, and bring customers into your store beyond storytimes and discussion groups.
|Getting the Most Out of Your ARCs - Quail Ridge Books (PDF)||963.96 KB|
Your stockpile of ARCs can present a great opportunity for marketing and community outreach at no additional cost. Learn from other booksellers how creative programs using ARCs and donations to underprivileged schools can lead to significant sales increases in your store or at your book fairs.
Whether you hire an accountant or you do it yourself, you still need an understanding of the basic elements and principles that are part of every accounting system. This session will review standard accounting principles and provide tips for those looking to hire the right professional.
|Key Trends in Bookselling (PDF)||2.26 MB|
Industry experts will review and present current data on overall trends in U.S. book retail, including online shipping, book buying, and the impact showrooming vs. webrooming.
|Best Practices for Authors (PDF)||332.7 KB|
|Best Practices for Authors During School Events (PDF)||214.61 KB|
Developed for author guests at Winter Institute, this lunch panel features booksellers who have formulated best practices for working together to create events that benefit both stores and authors. This session will cover a number of issues, from author publicity to dealing with pre-event nerves.
|Amazon and Empty Storefronts - ABA (PDF)||316.49 KB|
More than any retailer in the past 20 years, Amazon.com has transformed the industry. In a groundbreaking study, Civic Economics -- a leader in research related to local economies and the impact of shopping decisions -- has for the first time quantified the real costs and ramifications of Amazon's expansion . Joining Dan Houston and Matt Cunningham of Civic Economics will be Stacy Mitchell, of the the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, who will discuss important local and national policy considerations regarding an equitable and sustainable economy.
|Pitching the Store - Macmillan (PDF)||140.64 KB|
|Pitching the Store - Quail Ridge Books (PDF)||179.76 KB|
|Pitching the Store Best Practices - Scribner (PDF)||82.81 KB|
To host the authors you want, it is important to create a relationship between your store and the various publishing houses. This panel of publicists and event managers will highlight the value of bookseller/publicist partnerships and will offer tips on how to establish a relationship and how best to benefit from it.
|Booksellers on the Pros and Cons of Bookstore Cafés (PDF)||153.79 KB|
If you are thinking about opening a café or other food and beverage component in your bookstore, this session is not to be missed. Panelist will discuss tips and best practices for start-up, profitability, staffing, and overall management for combining book retail and a café business.
If you own or work in a bookstore where the customer base is primarily seasonal, you know how slow the off-season can be. What can you do to increase profits during this time? And how can you continue to provide services to seasonal customers once they head home? Experienced booksellers will share their best practices.
|Profitability Calculator (PDF)||192.31 KB|
|Minimum Wage Increase Statement - Clement Street Merchants Association (PDF)||99.56 KB|
The question of raising minimum wage has become a prominent issue, with elected officials and organizations across the country actively engaged in the matter. What can indie booksellers do to ensure that any minimum wage increase takes into account the economic realities of indie retail? Booksellers on the West Coast are dealing with this issue now. They will discuss what they have learned and offer insight regarding how to become actively engaged in minimum wage discussions in your community.
In this detailed financial session, publishers will walk booksellers through the Profit and Loss statement of a new trade title and the financial realities of publishing, while delineating the many factors that affect both the bookstore channel and consumers. Important P&L line items such as suggested retail price, production costs, marketing, and returns will be discussed, as will broader themes that impact the day-to-day cost of publishing.
Owners of (self-defined) very small stores are challenged to find the time and resources to organize successful events and to balance daily work with event budgeting, planning, execution, and follow-up. This panel will feature owners of very small stores who are excited to share tips and practices for hosting successful events.
|Advanced Topics in Human Resources Lists 2016 pdf||381.18 KB|
|Presentation Essentials in Human Resources 2016 pdf||1.34 MB|
|Essentials in Human Resources Lists 2016 pdf||167.38 KB|
|Presentation Advanced Topics in Human Resources 2016 pdf||1.07 MB|
This is a ticketed session. For owners and managers only. Limited capacity, first-come, first-served. Preference will be given to ABA owners and managers.
Dr. John Sherlock, Director, Master of Science Human Resources Program at Western Carolina University, will lead a discussion that will focus on best HR practices for small business owners, including talent management and how to create a skills inventory for you and your staff.
Whether you have purchased an existing store (and its inventory system) or have launched a new store, you know that active inventory management is critical to managing costs, buying successfully, and improving the experience of your customers. In this session, panelists will review the basics and will discuss the keys to effective inventory management.
|Songs You Forgot You Know - Diesel a Bookstore (PDF)||72.13 KB|
|Storytime Costume Character Tips - Red Balloon (PDF)||624.05 KB|
Learn how to attract capacity crowds week after week and how to market to this captive audience to drive sales. Energetic and dynamic bookstore storytime leaders will discuss how to incorporate variety, pacing, and songs to add to the fun, as well as the risks and rewards of soliciting donations or even charging admittance. This session will also include a demonstration of tips and tricks for wearing costume characters, including fun and easy ways to pose for pictures, how to deal with frightened children, and simple moves to make the character come alive.
|Suggested Titles to Help Reach Reluctant Readers (PDF)||321.43 KB|
For booksellers, there are few greater triumphs than placing the right book in the hands of any reader, but that is especially true for kids who rarely if ever read for their own pleasure. How can we reach these non-readers and what can be done to turn them into readers? Booksellers and educators who have been successful in the ongoing struggle to reach reluctant readers will be joined by bestselling author and literacy advocate Jon Scieszka to share their passion to make a difference and discuss what they have learned works best for inspiring children to want to read.
|BookPeople and the Texas Teen Book Festival (PDF)||21.87 KB|
A children’s book festival can be an ideal vehicle to promote reading and literacy in your community. Booksellers with vast experience at literary festivals around the country will explain how to get started with your own children's or teen festival, working in partnership with other local businesses and organizations, attracting authors and publicists, and garnering media attention. How narrow or broadly should your focus be, when are the best times of year, and what other considerations must go into such an undertaking? Learn all this and more before adding a festival to your events calendar.
|Hood River County Reads 2015 Brochure (PDF)||341.05 KB|
Bookstores everywhere are resources and gathering places in their communities but underrepresented and disenfranchised students often lack the means to visit your store or are unaware of how much you have to offer. In these cases, partnering with religious, cultural, and non-profit organizations, as well as underprivileged schools, can help reach new customers. Learn from booksellers across the country who have been successful in bridging this divide and creatively getting a share of Title I money so books can find a home in diverse households of all income levels.
|Birthday Party Events - 4 Kids Books & Toys (PDF)||419.92 KB|
Renting out event space in your store for birthday parties and other occasions is a great way to diversify sales and add revenue, but what resources are required and what should you expect to provide? Leading booksellers with extensive in-store birthday party operations will discuss how to get started, what kind of packages you might consider offering, and how to market to—and beyond—your customer base.
|Developing a Business Plan - Putting All the Pieces Together (PDF)||173.04 KB|
A business plan is a document typically associated with launching a bookstore. However, any time you decide to make a change to your operations, it's critical to have a plan. This session will include a review of the essentials for any business plan. Attendees will have a chance to have their own business plans reviewed post-Winter Institute by panelist Jodi Rhoden, Owner/Operator of Short Street Cakes and Teacher at Birds Eye Business Planning (Asheville, NC).
|Politics & Prose Book Fair Guidelines (.docx)||38.56 KB|
Book fairs can be a great source of revenue if you can keep them from being a drain on your resources. How far in advance should you schedule in order to properly prepare? How much inventory should you have on hand, and how do you choose titles and decide quantity? Should you discount books, or offer a percentage of sales as cash back? What kinds of events are helpful in driving book fair attendance? What organizations, other than schools, make good book fair partners? This session will give you the keys to grow your book fair business in your store, at schools, and elsewhere in your community.
|Timeless Picture Books for Every Age (PDF)||1.93 MB|
It is clear that age compression -- or the marketing of titles for older children to younger children -- is having an effect on the sales and popularity of picture books among elementary school children. But the benefits of reading picture books to older children are many. How can you educate customers about the importance of picture books for children ages 5 and up?
|Considering Alternative Financing (PDF)||505.45 KB|
Whether you need business capital for a store redesign, expansion, or to open a second location, this session will help you to think about non-traditional options to acquire the capital you need. From social media campaigns to community involvement, there are a growing number of new options beyond the bank loan.
|Word of Mouth Movement Diagram Linked by Passion (PDF)||68.39 KB|
Geno Church, Word of Mouth Pathfinder from Brains on Fire, will lead an interactive workshop created to help booksellers spark and sustain word of mouth marketing. Learn how to make people fall passionately and madly in love with your store, and how loving your customers can result in not just building a thriving community, but also drive meaningful conversations and, ultimately, the financial success of your business. This session will also be offered on Friday from 10:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
|Edelweiss+ Best Practices (pdf)||943.26 KB|
Edelweiss is a program that provides value to both booksellers purchasing titles for their stores and sales reps. This session will explore the ways Edelweiss can both optimize and streamline the buying process and facilitate better communication among booksellers and reps. Robert Sindelar, Managing Partner of Third Place Books, with stores in Lake Forest Park and Seattle, will moderate the session.
|Handselling: Customer Service with Results (PDF)||264.61 KB|
This basic course for new booksellers and those interested in a refresher will provide best practices for handselling in the era of showrooming. A panel of experienced booksellers will explore not only placing the right book in a customer’s hands but also about how to close the sale. The session will conclude with the opportunity to see expert handsellers in action.
|Free for the Asking - Marketing with PR and Social Media In Mind (PDF)||110.94 KB|
Putting your store in the media spotlight and keeping it there does not have to cost a lot of money. In fact, it doesn't have to cost you anything at all beyond usual staff hours. This session will focus on how to take advantage of free media outlets to market and promote your store.
Have you ever wondered what your customers think about your store or how they view you compared to your competition? In this session, find out how to create and execute customer surveys that will help you learn more about your customers and develop more effective strategies to meet their needs. This session will outline the "nuts-and-bolts" of how to do customer surveys -- including how to frame questions, administer the survey in your store and online, and analyze the results.
|Building and Rewarding Customer Loyalty (PDF)||298.42 KB|