American Booksellers Association CEO Oren Teicher and Senior Program Officer Joy Dallanegra-Sanger recently met with members of the Association of Authors’ Representatives (AAR) for an evening session at the Society of Illustrators in Manhattan to discuss the bookselling side of the industry.
Teicher and Dallanegra-Sanger were meeting with members of the AAR, a professional organization of over 400 literary agents, at the invitation of AAR President Gail Hochman of Brandt & Hochman Literary Agents, Inc. On Wednesday, February 27, in front of about 20 literary agents, Teicher and Dallanegra-Sanger discussed how synergy between authors, agents, and booksellers can contribute to success for both authors and independent bookstores.
“The event was part of our ongoing effort to make sure that all constituents have a better understanding of what it is to be an indie bookseller and how we can work together,” said Dallanegra-Sanger. “We do that with authors and with publishers already, so we thought the missing piece was agents.”
At the evening program, titled “Partnering for Success: Authors, Agents, and Independent Bookstores,” Teicher and Dallanegra-Sanger went over data highlights from ABACUS, ABA’s annual confidential financial survey for bookstores, and discussed some of the key financial drivers for indies.
Teicher also spoke about the state of the indie bookselling marketplace over the past few years, highlighting its vitality and sales growth, including the fact that ABA member bookstores now operate in more than 2,400 locations. He also spoke about some of the changes that stores are now seeing, including younger and more diverse booksellers purchasing existing stores or opening new ones, and more established stores expanding into second and third locations.
Dallanegra-Sanger went on to discuss the many programs and partnerships ABA offers to authors and showed the agents samples of the Indie Next List and Indies Introduce titles. She also spoke about the opportunities for author education at both the Winter and Children’s Institutes and at BookExpo and disseminated a list of dos and don’ts created by booksellers on the author education panels.
The session also covered how critical author events are to independent bookstores’ success, as well as ABA’s new emphasis on pre-order campaigns, Dallanegra-Sanger told Bookselling This Week. Pre-order campaigns, she informed the agents, are a good way for authors to partner with their local indie bookstores, and authors are also critical when it comes to showing readers the importance of pre-ordering and shopping at indies, she said.
At the conclusion of the session, Teicher and Dallanegra-Sanger suggested possible ways to continue the conversation between agents and booksellers, and new ways that agents and booksellers can work together to sell books.