The price that ABA member stores pay each month for their IndieCommerce websites is going down. This week, the American Booksellers Association announced that the monthly fee for IndieCommerce subscribers would be reduced from $225 per month to $175 per month, beginning October 1.
Earlier this year, the association said it would be able to lower the fee if it reached its goal of 300 subscribers by October. ABA member stores looking to take advantage of IndieCommerce’s robust, customizable platform and burgeoning e-book sales helped ABA exceed that goal by mid-September. There are now 322 active IndieCommerce websites and more are in the pipeline.
“We’re pleased to be able to lower the cost of IndieCommerce for all of our member stores,” said ABA CEO Oren Teicher. “While we will continue to make capital investments to improve the service, we operate under the principle that the operating costs of IndieCommerce need to be covered by the users. Because we have more users, we can reduce the monthly fees.
“We have also grown the IndieCommerce staff to meet the needs of the increased number of participating stores. And we’d encourage those not currently using the IndieCommerce product to take another look at what we are offering. While IndieCommerce is not for everyone, there are almost-daily media reports about the growth of online and e-book sales, and IndieCommerce enables independent bookstores to stay right in the game.”
Overall sales via IndieCommerce sites, including print and digital books, as well as non-book products such as sidelines and event tickets, have increased more than 60 percent over the past year. Furthermore, e-book sales at IndieCommerce stores have risen more than 400 percent since the first quarter of 2011, spurred in part by publisher promotions, such as Unbridled Books’ “25 eBooks for 25 Cents” and Harper Perennial’s “20 eBooks for $20.”
Creative publisher promotions combined with booksellers’ strong marketing efforts to spread the word about the availability of Google eBooks™ on store sites have had an overall positive effect on IndieCommerce sales. “We look forward to working with more publishers on innovative promotions to sell more books and to get the word out to consumers that independent books are equipped and ready to meet their e-book needs,” added Teicher.
A number of improvements to the IndieCommerce product are in the works. Based on input from ABA’s Digital Task Force and a member survey, the association is working with the development firm Optaros to create a variety of new features, which are set to launch prior to the holiday season. These include storage of customer credit card numbers for easy repeat use, bulk upload of non-book items, search for non-book items, and browse by category (uses BISAC codes) for books and Google eBooks.