Education Resources

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Thriving as a New Bookstore Owner

Thriving as a New Bookstore Owner (January 25, 2019)
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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.

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Dazzling In-Store Displays

Dazzling In-Store Displays (January 25, 2019)
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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.

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Do We Need to Talk? ​Surviving the Political ​& Cultural ​Divide With Your Co-Workers

Do We Need to Talk? ​Surviving the Political ​& Cultural ​Divide With Your Co-Workers (January 25, 2019)
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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.

Bookstores Launch the Open Discussion Project

Bookstores Launch the Open Discussion Project (January 24, 2019)
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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.

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Dealing With Difficult People

Dealing With Difficult People (January 24, 2019)
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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:

  • Prioritizing personal safety
  • Tips for changing the power dynamic
  • Tips for extricating yourself from a situation in a professional way
  • Learning how to ask for help when needed
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Get Out of Your Comfort Zone: Building Successful Relationship With Publishers

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone: Building Successful Relationship With Publishers (January 24, 2019)
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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:

  • Best practices for networking with publishers at industry events
  • What publishers look for in event proposal and how to land the A-List author
  • Best practices for pitching events in person
  • How to keep your relationships moving forward
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Author in Focus: Why James Baldwin Always Matters, Presented by Casey Gerald and Robin Coste Lewis With the National Book Foundation

Author in Focus: Why James Baldwin Always Matters, Presented by Casey Gerald and Robin Coste Lewis With the National Book Foundation (January 24, 2019)
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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.

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Stars of Albuquerque Indie Retail

Stars of Albuquerque Indie Retail (January 23, 2019)
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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.

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Maximizing and Marketing Pre-Order Sales

Maximizing and Marketing Pre-Order Sales (January 23, 2019)
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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.

 

 

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Lower Your Cost of Goods

Lower Your Cost of Goods (January 23, 2019)
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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:

  • How to read the ABACUS report, including how to compare your data with national averages
  • How to make small changes to cost of goods that will result in a positive financial impact
  • How long it takes to see the results of small changes to cost of goods
  • How to evaluate which financial changes are the ones that will most benefit your business with the least worry and work
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First Steps to Financial Peace in Business

First Steps to Financial Peace in Business (January 23, 2018)
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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.

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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