ABA’s President on Some Important Initiatives

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Happy last quarter to all of my ABA Bookstore Compatriots,

Here’s to a robust fall and a strong holiday season for all of us!  From what I’m hearing from a good number of you around the country, a great last quarter is already in the works and summer sales were up this year. 

Autumn would not be complete without attending one of the fall regional shows.  You still have time to attend one of five this month. Two are underway now: New England and the Heartland Fall Forum, the combined show for the Great Lakes and Midwest, both from October 3 - 5; and three shows are upcoming: Northern California, October 11 - 12; Pacific Northwest,  October 13 - 15; and Southern California, October 20. Those who attended the New Atlantic, Mountains & Plains, and Southern shows reported that energy levels and spirits were high, and attendance was too.  Presentations on ABA’s partnership with Kobo were very well attended as was other regional and ABA programming.  So get out and get regional!

Speaking of Kobo, if you haven’t signed up, this is your chance to offer your customers a full line of eReaders, eReading accessories, and eBooks from Kobo’s catalog of nearly three million titles.  ABA’s goal with this program is to offer stores (both those that use the IndieCommerce platform and stores that have other solutions) choices and options. With ABA’s agreement with Google ending at the end of the year, this is our chance to compete on a world-class platform.

The program includes training, in-store merchandising, as well as marketing, sales, and logistical support. By partnering with ABA, Kobo continues its successful strategy of working with booksellers around the world, and ABA member bookstores grow their ability to offer customers an easy and convenient online shopping experience.  So I can’t encourage you more to sign up today!

A special launch incentive created by ABA, Kobo, and Ingram, the exclusive distributor of Kobo eReaders and accessories to ABA member stores, includes free displays and demo devices, a cash bonus for participating, rebates for sell-through, and product returnability. To take advantage of the incentive, you need to sign up before October 20!

Small Business Saturday, sponsored by American Express, is coming up on November 24, and there is an incredible way for all of us to focus on what we do as independent bookstores on that day and beyond:  Thanks for Shopping Indie.  This first-ever multi-publisher promotion offers a special opportunity for ABA members to extend a Thanks for Shopping Indie“extra” to your customers on a great selection of 2012 Indie Next List titles!  The promotion begins on Small Business Saturday and continues for at least one week, during the most important shopping period of the year.

There are some great DIY materials on BookWeb to help you promote this special opportunity through the end of the year.  Why not make Small Business Saturday even bigger than it was last year by having a great display of our favorite handsells to reinforce WHY WE MATTER! Sign up by October 22.

Kansas City, Kansas City Here I Come!  Registration for Winter Institute 8 (February 22 – 25, 2013) opened last week, and is already more than half way booked to capacity.  Don’t miss out on thisthree-day education-packed program, sponsored by the Ingram Content Group.  Wi8 will cover a wide range of topics and features plenaries with bestselling authors Malcolm Gladwell and Daniel Pink, peer advisory groups, reps’ picks lunches, publisher meetings, and special events, including the popular Author Reception and a special trip to the CAMEX trade show for bookseller attendees.  Some great barb-b-que is waiting!

April 23, 2013 is fast approaching and we all know what that is: WORLD BOOK NIGHT!  What a night it was this past April, so sign up now and be a part of this annual celebration of reading, giving, and community. Every store must complete a 2013 Host Store Marketing Agreement that affirms their commitment to be a site for individual book givers to both meet and pick up their books, as well as to be an active promoter of World Book Night in their communities.  Sign up by December 1, and let’s make the second year of WBN U.S. a night to remember!

Best to you all, and here’s to a fall that’s up — way up!

Becky Anderson
ABA President
Anderson’s Bookshops
Naperville, Illinois