ABA 101: Glossary of Terms

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ABA 101 is a new series aimed to introduce booksellers to the basics of the American Booksellers Association’s operations.

Listed below in alphabetical order, here is a list of some of the important terms ABA members might come across in our communications.

ABC Children’s Group/ABC Advisory Council: ABC stands for the Association of Booksellers for Children. The ABC Advisory Council is a seven-member council of ABA members who specialize in children’s books.

ABACUS: ABACUS is a free annual report that provides detailed information about where your store falls across a range of areas, including profitability, productivity, and financial management.

Authorize.net: A payment gateway that acts as a bridge between IndieCommerce and IndieLite websites and financial entities that handle the processing and handling of credit card transactions.

BAC: Booksellers Advisory Council. This council is designed to provide the Board of Directors with a broad cross-section of views from within the community of independent booksellers. The current council is composed of approximately 30 members, each of whom will serve an average two-year term. 

BDS: Book Data System. This features book data supplied by Ingram and publicists that is used by IndieCommerce and IndieLite stores for selling books online.

Board of Directors: ABA is governed by a board of 13 volunteer booksellers called the Board of Directors. Roles include ABA President, ABA Vice President/Secretary, and Directors. Learn more about the election process here.

Book Buyer’s Handbook: This handbook is full of useful information for member booksellers that comes directly from publishers, distributors, and wholesalers. Users can consult the handbook for a variety of information, including key contacts, ordering and returns policies, details about co-op advertising, special offers, and more. The handbook can be found on BookWeb.org.

Bookseller-to-Bookseller Forums: The Bookseller Forums are an exclusive benefit for ABA bookstore members. Registered bookseller users may create a new thread to post a comment or a question, or they may add comments to an existing thread. The forums can be found on BookWeb.org.

Box Mailing: ABA sends all qualifying storefronts located in the U.S. selling predominantly new books a bi-monthly box as well as a quarterly children’s box that contain: an initial allotment of the latest Indie Next List fliers; time-sensitive marketing materials from ABA for campaigns; point-of-purchase resources from publishers such as shelf-talkers, easelbacks, bookmarks, and posters; vendor sell sheets and catalogs; and galleys, advance reading copies (ARCs), and finished books that publishers wish for booksellers to read and consider promoting. View more information about mailings ABA offers here.

BTW: Bookselling This Week. ABA’s weekly e-newsletter, delivered every Wednesday. Each issue contains the latest industry and ABA news; all staff are encouraged to sign up to stay in the loop. 

CDF/DTH (D2H): CDF stands for Customer Direct Fulfillment, which is Ingram’s program to drop-ship directly to customers. On IndieCommerce, it appears as a button labeled “Send to Ingram” on qualifying orders. DTH or D2H stands for Direct to Home. For DTH orders, stores place the orders through their Ingram account and Ingram sends the order directly to the customer. This is different from CDF because it uses the store’s Ingram account and not ABA’s Ingram account.

Code of Conduct: ABA’s Code of Conduct outlines the rules and responsibilities for all attendees of ABA events, both virtual and in-person. Read the full document here.

DEIC: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee. This committee serves as a sounding board and advisory council on issues of diversity, equity, inclusion, representation, and access facing the bookselling community and ABA. Nominations are open now for new booksellers to join.

Ends Policies: Under the policy governance model, the board sets the organization’s overall goals (or “ends”), creates CEO limitations, then monitors performance. The Ends Policies are the primary direction from the board of ABA to its CEO. Read the full document here.

Governance Policy Manual: This document includes details about the ABA bylaws, governance process policies, Board/CEO linkage, and more. Read it here.

IAC: IndieCommerce Advisory Council. Committee members advise the IndieCommerce team on features and services for IndieCommerce and IndieLite stores. They serve for a two-year term and meet four times a year.

IC/IL: IndieCommerce/IndieLite, ABA’s e-commerce platforms.

IndieCommunication: The regular email newsletter from the IndieCommerce team with need-to-know information about the ecommerce platforms IndieCommerce and IndieLite.

Education Resources: Booksellers can find all of ABA’s education materials from past events on the Education Resources page on BookWeb.org.

LIG: A healthcare solution offered through ABA to help members find health insurance. Read more information here.

LSI: Local store inventory, including books, non-books, and merchandise available at the store.

Marketing Assets: Booksellers can find all of ABA’s marketing assets and current campaign imagery on the Marketing Assets page on BookWeb.org.

Marketplace Facilitator: A marketplace facilitator is a business or organization that contracts with third parties to sell goods and services on its platform and facilitates retail sales.

Monday/Friday Update: In addition to BTW, ABA communicates regularly with members via an update email from the ABA CEO and team, distributed on Mondays and Fridays and covering timely information for booksellers (this mode of communication launched at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic). See the archive here.

POS: Point-of-sale system.

In addition to being an ABA member, booksellers might also be a member of their regional independent booksellers association. Regionals are not chapters of ABA; they are their own entities requiring separate membership but offer localized resources and connection. The eight regional associations are listed below:

Wondering about a term not listed here? Email [email protected] with your questions and suggestions.