ABA CEO Delivers Keynote Address at UK Conference

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At the invitation of the Booksellers Association of the United Kingdom and Ireland (BA), ABA CEO Oren Teicher delivered the keynote address at the BA’s Book Industry Conference on May 16. A day earlier Teicher had addressed the BA’s Independent Bookseller Forum.

Tim Godfray, chief executive of the Booksellers Association of the U.K. and Ireland, and ABA CEO Oren Teicher at The Bookseller's Book Industry Awards.

In addition, at The Bookseller magazine’s second annual Bookseller Industry Awards, held while Teicher was in London, the IndieBound campaign (as adapted and implemented in the U.K. by the BA) was honored as one of the shortlisted campaigns for the “Marketing Campaign of the Year.” IndieBound debuted in the U.K. in May 2010, and it has also been adopted in Australia and New Zealand.

In his keynote, Teicher spoke of the “dramatic and massive changes in our industry,” and he expressed confidence in both the ongoing viability of bricks-and-mortar bookselling and the unique value offered by indie booksellers. “To maintain a diverse marketplace for books there is no replacement for bricks-and-mortar bookstores, both for their unmatched in-store browsing experience and for the myriad ways that they are promoting and selling a broad array of titles outside their four walls,” he said.

Looking at the industry landscape, Teicher told the BA’s Independent Booksellers Forum that ABA “will never underestimate the complex issues facing our members,” but that he believed the keys to future growth and promise were for indie booksellers to continue to focus on their special role as curators for readers facing an ever-widening range of reading options; to strengthen ties with their communities and neighboring indie retailers; and to become even more adept at utilizing all the tools and business models at their disposal.