ABA Launches New, Streamlined ABACUS Survey

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ABA has begun work to reintroduce the ABACUS industry study with the launch of a new, streamlined Web interface for reporting financial data. A popular ABA product in past years, ABACUS has proven to be a vital research tool for booksellers of every size, offering extensive industry-specific financial breakdowns and analyses that enable independent booksellers to compare their own store's performance and financial health to detailed industry composites.

A major feature of the new ABACUS survey is its simplicity. In the past, many booksellers expressed concern that the data-collection process was too complex and time-consuming. With this in mind, ABA has created an all-new, simplified survey form, which is available on the Web at http://www.bookweb.org/docs/abacusform.

From this page, members can download and print a worksheet to be filled out at their convenience. Once complete, participants can simply return to the Web site and copy the totals from the worksheet into matching fields in an online form. The entire process, which has been designed to minimize the amount of time a bookseller is required to devote to the survey, will often take under an hour to complete.

There will be special focus-group sessions to discuss the new ABACUS at several upcoming regional shows, including the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association, the Mountains and Plains Booksellers Association, and the Northeast Booksellers Association. In addition, the Web page noted above offers links to a general feedback form for any ABA member to submit questions, comments, or suggestions regarding ABACUS.

All ABA members are encouraged to participate in this important industry study. ABACUS helps independent booksellers to compete by giving them the same type of profit-improvement analyses that are used by the national chains, and ABA will be using the ABACUS data and analysis extensively in an upcoming series of financial seminars.

As an added benefit, any member taking part in this program will receive early access to the ABACUS data before it is officially released.

If you are interested in participating, please click here for the online form and instructions. -- Bill Cunningham