This week, the American Booksellers Association launched the AdvoKit (Advocacy Action Kit), a state-specific toolkit that provides booksellers with template letters on a range of key policy issues affecting independent booksellers.
Under each state, the AdvoKit provides template letters that booksellers can use to reach out to state and federal lawmakers and other officials. Each letter can be used for a number of key policy issues. The letters also serve as a way for booksellers to introduce themselves to their lawmakers and to stress the importance of localism.
The state letters offer booksellers a choice to write to lawmakers on more local issues, such as the minimum wage or the negative impact of providing large, out-of-state retailers with tax subsidies as an incentive to open in their communities. The federal letter gives booksellers the choice to write to lawmakers on overtime rules and access to capital, as well as in support of the cap on swipe fees (the Durbin amendment).
As a result of the advance of e-fairness legislation across the country, ABA’s E-Fairness Action Kit has been rolled into the AdvoKit. This includes template letters regarding e-fairness for the 11 states where Amazon does not collect sales tax. For antitrust issues, the AdvoKit is a complement to ABA’s Antitrust Action Kit, which booksellers are urged to use to inform their legislators about the harm caused by Amazon’s dominance in the book market.
ABA will continue to add state-specific letters to the AdvoKit in the coming months; watch for details in future issues of Bookselling This Week.