Last month, the American Booksellers Association launched its revamped BookWeb.org website, which ABA has been working to redesign over the past year in response to suggestions from member booksellers and other association constituents.
ABA worked with content architect Antonio Aiello to create the basic framework of the new site, which visitors can now see represents the clean visual style of many websites today. The new BookWeb site is meant to be as interactive as possible, with features that include a dynamic homepage containing links to the Indie Next List, the Bestseller Reporting form, and more. This flexibility will allow ABA to add information over time to highlight certain programs or according to suggestions based on user feedback.
One of the biggest changes is the site organization and new navigation links: Membership, For Booksellers, For Publishers, Events, Advocacy, BTW News, and About ABA. These new categories were identified based on research among all user groups, and are intended to deliver exactly what booksellers, publishers, and the interested press and public typically search for. Clicking one of the navigation links opens the menu block for that section, with links to all of the content in that area.
BookWeb.org’s Membership section features a new, more readable explanation of benefits and resources for members, including a helpful diagram that displays the benefits associated with the different bookseller membership levels.
The site’s new For Booksellers menu allows booksellers to find everything they need in one place, including education resources; IndieCommerce and IndieLite; and Marketing Assets, a one-stop shop for ABA’s campaign logos and designs, such as the Indies Introduce and Banned Books Week campaigns. The For Booksellers menu block also includes links to various member resources, such as the Red and White Box mailings, as well as forms where booksellers can update their store data to make sure ABA has the most recent information.
In BookWeb.org’s new For Publishers section, publishers can also find all their resources in one place, including information about helping indies with pre-order campaigns and updating company information in the Book Buyer’s Handbook. The site’s Events section has a new Save the Date feature with information on each of ABA’s annual events, while the site’s Advocacy section is divided into areas for Free Expression/ABFE; Small Business Issues; Local First and Economic Impact; and more.
BookWeb.org’s BTW News section, in addition to featuring the current issue of ABA’s weekly Bookselling This Week e-newsletter, now also has an archive of past BTW issues, beginning with the edition of August 29, 2018. Finally, the site’s About ABA section features a description of the organization’s history and mission along with links to resources related to the association’s governance and finances.
In addition to its new mode of content categorization, the new, improved version of BookWeb.org features new ways that bookstores can interact with the site. On the homepage, the “Bookstore Showcase” provides a place for booksellers to be featured individually. Bookstores that would like to appear in the showcase can send in at least three store photos (interior, exterior, with customers, or with staff) and a short description/store blurb of no more than 150 words by clicking on the “Tell Us About Your Store” button.
Booksellers can also interact with the new BookWeb on the For Booksellers page, which includes a section for “Featured Shelf-talkers.” Booksellers can send in images of actual shelf-talkers from their stores as well as a transcription of the shelf-talker text by clicking on the “Submit One” button and entering the store name, ABA ID, city, state, the name of the bookseller submitting, their e-mail address and job title, and the appropriate images. The For Booksellers page also includes a place to submit bookseller tips by clicking the “Add Yours” button, located on the red stripe that bisects the page.
The association is always open to improving upon this latest version of BookWeb. Booksellers with suggestions for improvements to the new website are encouraged to contact Membership and Marketing Officer Meg Smith or Director of ABA Technology Greg Galloway.