Education Resources

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Thriving as a New Bookstore Owner

Thriving as a New Bookstore Owner (January 25, 2019)
Content related to the education session, Thriving as a New Bookstore Owner at Winter Institute 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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IndieCommerce Can Probably Do That For Your Website!

IndieCommerce Can Probably Do That For Your Website! (January 25, 2019)
Content related to the education session, IndieCommerce Can Probably Do That For Your Website! at Winter Institute 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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Expect the Unexpected: Planning for Store Longevity

Expect the Unexpected: Planning for Store Longevity (January 25, 2019)
Content related to the education session, Expect the Unexpected: Planning for Store Longevity at Winter Institute 2019.
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PDF icon Planning for Store Longevity pdf48.31 KB
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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.

Dazzling In-Store Displays

Dazzling In-Store Displays (January 25, 2019)
Content related to the education session, Dazzling In-Store Displays at Winter Institute 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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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)
Content related to the education session, ABC Presents: Experiential Reading — Graphic Novels Shape the Way Young People Read at Winter Institute 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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Independent Bookstore Day

Independent Bookstore Day (January 25, 2019)
Content related to the education session, Independent Bookstore Day at Winter Institute 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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Managing a Multi-Location Business

Managing a Multi-Location Business (January 25, 2019)
Content related to the education session, Managing a Multi-Location Business at Winter Institute 2019.
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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:

  • Review: Make sure your business is currently financially stable
  • Resources: monetary, staffing, and current owner responsibilities
  • Financing: Accessing traditional financing and other options

Market research: Ensuring your choice for the second location is sound

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Mixing Bookstores and Bars

Mixing Bookstores and Bars (January 25, 2019)
Content related to the education session, Mixing Bookstores and Bars at Winter Institute 2019.
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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.

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Edelweiss Presents: The New Shelf Report

Edelweiss Presents: The New Shelf Report (January 25, 2019)
Content related to the education session, Edelweiss Presents: The New Shelf Report at Winter Institute 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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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)
Content related to the education session, Do We Need to Talk? ​Surviving the Political ​& Cultural ​Divide With Your Co-Workers at Winter Institute 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.

Using ABACUS as a Budgeting Tool

Using ABACUS as a Budgeting Tool (January 24, 2019)
Content related to the education session, Using ABACUS as a Budgeting Tool at Winter Institute 2019.
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PDF icon ABACUS Highlights pdf188.33 KB
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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:

  • How to read key lines in an ABACUS report
  • How to recognize and make changes in bookstore financials
  • Important points to consider when making short- and long-term budgets based on ABACUS data

Information on how and when to submit your data to participate in the ABACUS report

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ABC Presents: Crash Course in Kids' Bookselling

ABC Presents: Crash Course in Kids' Bookselling (January 24, 2019)
Content related to the education session, ABC Presents: Crash Course in Kids' Bookselling at Winter Institute 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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Bookstores Launch the Open Discussion Project

Bookstores Launch the Open Discussion Project (January 24, 2019)
Content related to the education session, Bookstores Launch the Open Discussion Project at Winter Institute 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)
Content related to the education session, Dealing With Difficult People at Winter Institute 2019.
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PDF icon Seminary Co-op Training Document pdf112.62 KB
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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)
Content related to the education session, Get Out of Your Comfort Zone: Building Successful Relationship With Publishers at Winter Institute 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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Advanced Education: Developing Leaders in Your Store With Alden Mills

Advanced Education: Developing Leaders in Your Store With Alden Mills (January 24, 2019)
Content related to the education session, Advanced Education: Developing Leaders in Your Store With Alden Mills at Winter Institute 2019.
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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.

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Introduction to Publisher Event Grids

Introduction to Publisher Event Grids (January 24, 2019)
Content related to the education session, Introduction to Publisher Event Grids at Winter Institute 2019.
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PDF icon Sample Requests pdf76.37 KB
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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:

  • The number-one thing publishers are looking for in potential events
  • How to make your event proposal stand out
  • How to use Edelweiss to make your grids more specific
  • Important ways to follow up after you submit the grid

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)
Content related to the education session, Author in Focus: Why James Baldwin Always Matters, Presented by Casey Gerald and Robin Coste Lewis With the National Book Foundation at Winter Institute 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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Top Tips for Instagram Success With Two Cats Communications

Top Tips for Instagram Success With Two Cats Communications (January 24, 2019)
Content related to the education session, Top Tips for Instagram Success With Two Cats Communications at Winter Institute 2019.
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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:

  • Optimization tips
  • The benefits of an Instagram Business Account
  • How to develop a consistent brand
  • Platform features that can increase your reach and bring value to your bookstore
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How to be a Highly Effective Bookseller, Manager or Buyer

How to be a Highly Effective Bookseller, Manager or Buyer (January 24, 2019)
Content related to the education session, How to be a Highly Effective Bookseller, Manager or Buyer at Winter Institute 2019.
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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.

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Maximizing and Marketing Pre-Order Sales

Maximizing and Marketing Pre-Order Sales (January 23, 2019)
Content related to the education session, Maximizing and Marketing Pre-Order Sales at Winter Institute 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)
Content related to the education session, Yes She Can: Programs and Partnerships to Empower Women at Winter Institute 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: Selling Direct to Schools

ABC Group Presents: Selling Direct to Schools (January 23, 2019)
Content related to the education session, ABC Group Presents: Selling Direct to Schools at Winter Institute 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)
Content related to the education session, Stars of Albuquerque Indie Retail at Winter Institute 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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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)
Content related to the education session, Bringing Play and Revenue into the Store: Board Games are Back! at Winter Institute 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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Your Landlord, Your Business Partner

Your Landlord, Your Business Partner (January 23, 2019)
Content related to the education session, Your Landlord, Your Business Partner at Winter Institute 2019.
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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:

  • Best practices for improving landlord relationships
  • Tips for turning your landlord into an advocate for your business as well as indie businesses in your community
  • Tips for lease negotiations
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ABC Group Presents: Hosting A+ Educator Nights

ABC Group Presents: Hosting A+ Educator Nights (January 23, 2019)
Content related to the education session, ABC Group Presents: Hosting A+ Educator Nights at Winter Institute 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)
Content related to the education session, Selling International and Diverse Books: Panel with Bookselling Without Borders Alumni & Organizers at Winter Institute 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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Industry Trends and Analytics

Industry Trends and Analytics (January 23, 2019)
Content related to the education session, Industry Trends and Analytics at Winter Institute 2019.
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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.

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Lower Your Cost of Goods

Lower Your Cost of Goods (January 23, 2019)
Content related to the education session, Lower Your Cost of Goods at Winter Institute 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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Refugee Book Drive

Refugee Book Drive (January 22, 2019)
Content related to the education session, Refugee Book Drive at Winter Institute 2019.
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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.

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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