Education Resources

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ABACUS and Pre-Orders

ABACUS and Pre-Orders (
March 19, 2019 to April 25, 2019
)
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At each of the 2019 forums, ABA presented “ABACUS and Pre-Orders: Two Programs You Can’t Do Without,” an update on two initiatives critical to the success of any independent bookstore: an active pre-orders campaign and participation in the annual ABACUS financial survey. This educational session will focused on best practices for increasing pre-orders — including the latest on accurately reporting and tracking — based on in-store experiences and feedback from the Pre-Order Booksellers Task Force. 

IndieCommerce Can Probably Do That For Your Website!

IndieCommerce Can Probably Do That For Your Website! (January 25, 2019)
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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.

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Independent Bookstore Day

Independent Bookstore Day (January 25, 2019)
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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:

  • How to order and make the most of the IBD exclusive merchandise
  • How to throw a party that will get people into your store
  • How to publicize your store’s party
  • How to take advantage of social media

 

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ABC Presents: Experiential Reading — Graphic Novels Shape the Way Young People Read

ABC Presents: Experiential Reading — Graphic Novels Shape the Way Young People Read (January 25, 2019)
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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:

  • How the role of graphic novels has evolved in the bookstore and literacy
  • How to have a productive conversation with staff and customers about graphic novels
  • Types of programming that highlight and elevate the genre
  • The importance and impact of the representation of diverse characters in graphic novels
  • What the current educational terrain looks like and how bookstores can work with school libraries to incorporate graphic novels into the curriculum
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Edelweiss Presents: The New Shelf Report

Edelweiss Presents: The New Shelf Report (January 25, 2019)
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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.

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ABC Presents: Crash Course in Kids' Bookselling

ABC Presents: Crash Course in Kids' Bookselling (January 24, 2019)
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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:

  • Key phrases to use when selling a kids book
  • Important questions to ask a child and a parent when selecting a book
  • Signs to look for when selecting a book (shelf talkers, inferences from the cover)
  • Basic important information to always have in their back pocket
  • Where to look for recommendations
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ABC Group Presents: Selling Direct to Schools

ABC Group Presents: Selling Direct to Schools (January 23, 2019)
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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:

  • How to find appropriate school contacts
  • How to create teacher wishlists
  • How to become a school’s one-stop book fair distributor
  • How to manage in-school author visit orders
  • Best practices for orders
  • How to establish and manage subscription services
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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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Yes She Can: Programs and Partnerships to Empower Women

Yes She Can: Programs and Partnerships to Empower Women (January 23, 2019)
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PDF icon Bookshop Santa Cruz Women's Voices pdf1017.14 KB
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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.

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ABC Group Presents: Hosting A+ Educator Nights

ABC Group Presents: Hosting A+ Educator Nights (January 23, 2019)
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PDF icon Educator Night Passport pdf54.7 KB
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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:

  • Why Educator Nights are important
  • How to build a bookstore’s list of educator contacts
  • The type of information educators are seeking out when they come to an in-store Educator Night

Important topics to discuss at these events

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Selling International and Diverse Books: Panel with Bookselling Without Borders Alumni & Organizers

Selling International and Diverse Books: Panel with Bookselling Without Borders Alumni & Organizers (January 23, 2019)
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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.

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Bringing Play and Revenue into the Store: Board Games are Back!

Bringing Play and Revenue into the Store: Board Games are Back! (January 23, 2019)
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PDF icon Game Day Flyer pdf241.32 KB
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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.

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Maximizing Pre-Orders Fall Shows 2018

Maximizing Pre-Orders Fall Shows 2018 (October 21, 2018)
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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.

Courting the Romance Reader

Courting the Romance Reader (January 25, 2018)
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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.

Working With Self-Published Authors

Working With Self-Published Authors (January 23, 2018)
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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.

Growing Sales With Your Favorite Backlist Titles – What Works, What Doesn’t

Growing Sales With Your Favorite Backlist Titles – What Works, What Doesn’t (April 7, 2017)
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PDF icon Backlist Perennial Favorites (PDF)944.94 KB
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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.

  • Karin Schott, Devaney, Doak, & Garrett Booksellers (Farmington, ME)
  • Molly Olivo, Barstons Child's Play (Washington, DC)
  • Erin Barker, Hooray for Books! (Alexandria, VA)
  • Meghan Goel, BookPeople (Austin, TX) (Moderator)
     

 

Featured Talk: Allison Risbridger, "Where Are We and Where Are We Going? Trends and Findings in Children's Bookselling"

Featured Talk: Allison Risbridger, "Where Are We and Where Are We Going? Trends and Findings in Children's Bookselling" (April 6, 2017)
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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.

Converting Social Media to Sales

Converting Social Media to Sales (January 29, 2017)
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PDF icon Fountain Bookstore Strategy Guide pdf212.96 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.

  • Dan Graham, Book Soup (West Hollywood, CA)
  • Kelly Justice, Fountain Bookstore (Richmond, VA)
  • Catherine Cusick, ABA (Moderator)
     

Climate Change and Retail Trends

Climate Change and Retail Trends (January 29, 2017)
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File Climate Change Reading List xlsx19.29 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.

  • Chris Morrow, Northshire Bookstore (Manchester Center, VT)
  • Kevin Whelan, MN350 (Minneapolis, MN)
  • Patrick Hanlon, Environmental Initiatives Manager, City of Minneapolis Health Department (Minneapolis, MN)
  • Annie Philbrick, Bank Square Books (Mystic, CT) (Moderator)
     

ABC Presents: Using Nielsen Data to Expand Nonfiction Sales

ABC Presents: Using Nielsen Data to Expand Nonfiction Sales (January 28, 2017)
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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.

  • Kenny Brechner, Devaney, Doak & Garrett Booksellers (Farmington, ME)
  • Carol Moyer, Quail Ridge Books (Raleigh, NC)
  • Tegan Tigani, Queen Anne Book Company (Seattle, WA)
  • Sara Grochowski, Briliant Books (Traverse City, MI) (Moderator)
     

Integrating Used Books Into Your Inventory

Integrating Used Books Into Your Inventory (January 28, 2017)
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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.

  • Jessi Blackstock, Magers & Quinn Booksellers (Minneapolis, MN)
  • Harriett Logan, Loganberry Books (Shaker Heights, OH)
  • Lacy Simons, hello hello books (Rockland, ME)
  • Shane Gottwals, Gottwals Books (Warner Robins, GA) (Moderator)
     

Reaching Reluctant Readers

Reaching Reluctant Readers (April 20, 2015)
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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.

  • Erin Barker, Hooray for Books! (Alexandria, VA)
  • Margaret Brennan Neville, The King's English Bookshop (Salt Lake City, UT)
  • Kim Laird, Reading Specialist at Upland Unified School District (San Bernardino County, CA)
  • Jon Scieszka, author of Frank Einstein and the Electro-Finger (Amulet Books) and founder of Guys Read
  • Laura Donohoe, Malaprop's Bookstore/Café (Asheville, NC) (moderator)
     

Selling Picture Books in the Wake of Age Compression

Selling Picture Books in the Wake of Age Compression (April 7, 2014)
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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?

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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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