ABA, BookExpo to Present Publisher Education Session on Indie Bookstore Financials

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The American Booksellers Association, in partnership with BookExpo, is offering an executive briefing on the state of independent bookstores on Tuesday, March 13, to provide key information for ABA publisher partners and BookExpo exhibitors.

ABA logoThe session, to take place at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City, home to BookExpo and BookCon, will offer valuable insight into the evolving business model of profitable independent booksellers, including the most recent financial information available, based on ABA’s annual bookstore financial survey, the ABACUS report.

To start, participants will examine new benchmark financial data about indie bookstores from ABACUS and review the current state of the indie bookstore channel. The program’s second half will feature a discussion of new opportunities available at the upcoming BookExpo for publishers looking to more effectively interact with indie booksellers at the event. This year’s BookExpo will run from Wednesday, May 30, through Friday, June 1.

The education session will be held in Room 1C04 at the Javits Center from 9:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m., and will be led by David Sandberg, co-owner of Porter Square Books in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Greg Manns, a senior vice president at Industry Insights, the survey research and analytics firm ABA works with to produce the annual ABACUS report.

“For some time now, the independent bookstore business model has been showing real gains in efficiency and profitability,” said ABA’s CEO, Oren Teicher. “Notwithstanding the very significant, ongoing competitive challenges, for more than five years the indie channel has seen sustained growth — the result of booksellers’ clear focus on ongoing professional development, hard work, and entrepreneurial innovation. The results of the latest ABACUS survey provide solid insight regarding the state of independent bookselling, and we look forward to sharing this relevant data with our colleagues in publishing.”

BookExpo Event Director Brien McDonald told Bookselling This Week that connecting independent bookstores and publishers in ways that improve their business has always been BookExpo’s mission.

“By hosting this session with ABA we’ll provide publishers with invaluable learning on the best ways to engage booksellers so they can plan their most meaningful and efficient BookExpo yet,” McDonald said. “This is a central part of the overall new value delivered by the re-imagined BookExpo.”

At Winter Institute 13 in Memphis, Sandberg and Sarah Bagby, owner of Watermark Books in Wichita, Kansas, and Michael Becher of Industry Insights led a version of the session, “Education for Publishers: ABACUS and Bookstore Finances.” A similar educational session was provided for both publishers and booksellers at the most recent conference of the New England Independent Booksellers Association (NEIBA).

To register for the March 13 session, interested publishers and exhibitors are invited to contact BookExpo Event Director Brien McDonald by e-mail or by phone at (203) 921-7628.