ABA Membership Monthly: DIY Designs and Downloads

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

Join for the camaraderie, stay for the savings: a monthly column about the hidden gems of ABA membership, written by ABA Member Relationship Manager Catherine Cusick.

Comments and suggestions are welcome at info@bookweb.org.


Deep down, every independent bookseller wants marketing materials that are personal, featuring art that reflects the store’s unique personality and irreplaceable charm. A little less deep down, somewhere closer to the overflowing to-do list of reality, it helps when a custom-made creation doesn’t require starting entirely from scratch.

Luckily, ABA members have access to editable designs, templates, and starter kits courtesy of ABA’s Designs and Downloads section on BookWeb.org.

Designs and Downloads is home to all files, handouts, and images offered to members for:

  • Store marketing DIY
  • IndieBound-specific marketing DIY
  • ABA Education handouts and summaries
  • IndieCommerce promotions and contracts
  • Kobo guidelines, marketing, and retail support
  • and Membership applications

When it comes to featuring holiday, seasonal or children-specific designs; incorporating Eat Sleep Read IndieBound slogans; or adapting branded materials for nationwide promotions like Small Business SaturdayIndies First, and Indies Introduce, members are always finding new, creative ways to personalize ABA’s DIY resources.

Members Weigh In

“Our ABA membership has been the absolute best investment we have made since going on this wacky adventure called bookselling!” said ABA member Tamzin Malone, owner of Main Street Books in Lafayette, Indiana. “We have used many of the downloadable posters and bookmarks, which we personalize by printing our store information on the back. It works out great, they look very professional, and we change them every couple of months for a new design.”

Another DIY section on Malone’s radar is home to this year’s Give Me Summer! Give Me Books! resources, filled with files designed for the return of the national summer reading program. “We’re definitely planning on using the Give Me Summer! Give Me Books! materials for our summer reading program again this year,” said Malone, from a 24-space book Bingo card to certificates of completion to a one-sheet of promotional ideas.

Malone is taking one of those promotional suggestions and running with it, teaming up with neighboring businesses to enhance the program’s reach within the community. “We’re partnering with our local Insomnia Cookies to give kids more prizes,” said Malone. “Last year we offered free books; this year we are talking to other downtown merchants to add more incentives.”

Members will find not only physical resources throughout Designs and Downloads, but also tactical advice on communicating the advantages of shopping small. Erin Barker, buyer/manager for ABA member bookstore Hooray for Books! in Alexandria, Virginia, also finds these resources valuable.

Highlighting a different DIY section, Barker mentioned that they’d “started printing the ‘Here’s What You Just Did’ handout on the back of [their] flyers,” referring to a document in the New Localism Toolkit that lists how the community benefits when customers shop at independently owned businesses. Developed around new research on localism and retail trends, the Toolkit includes​ New Localism FAQs/Talking Points,​ consumer pieces for print and web, tips on speaking with the media and public officials, sample letters to send to officials, and a sample press release.  

Malone sees these DIY designs and action kits as just one of the many benefits and business services that make membership in ABA so invaluable for her store. “We are switching our insurance to LIBRIS,” Malone said. “We’re looking into a new credit card processing company. We also took advantage of the ChicoBag discount — a special thrill for me since I am a Chico native. I am also counting the days until BookExpo America. There are so many benefits for a small membership fee. I love ABA and am so pleased that Main Street Books is a member bookstore.”


Some designs are available as posters and more from Redbubble.com.

To suggest a future ABA Membership Monthly column topic, email info@bookweb.org.

For more information on the exclusive business services available to ABA members, click here