ABA President Steve Bercu’s First Bimonthly Letter to Members

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Dear Fellow Booksellers:

My term as ABA’s president really starts with this letter. First, I want to make clear how happy I am to be able to serve in this capacity. I want to be as sure as I can be that the interests of booksellers are represented, heard, and served by all of our various partners and stakeholders (publishers, ABA staff, regional organizations, governmental bodies, BEA, and, of course, consumers). I assure you that I will do my best to see that this happens.

I will not be able to actually do any of this without the never-ending help of the fabulous ABA staff. They work tirelessly on our behalf about 25 hours a day, but they cannot do it alone or in a vacuum. So, I suggest that any time you find yourself thinking about some issue that might affect us all or some vendor that has come up with a fantastic way to do something that would benefit us all or any other thing that impacts us all, please let ABA know.

It would also not be possible to sift through the bonehead ideas I come up with, or to form the Ends Policies that govern ABA, without the massive effort put in by the ABA Board. They work tirelessly and consider every sort of issue in this effort to constantly improve our lives as booksellers. When they are not doing that, they are serving on subcommittees, going to regional meetings, and doing whatever is necessary to arrive at decisions that will help us all in our businesses. The Board and I want you to contact us to give us your feedback on ABA programs. We cannot plan without your input — help us out!

One of these programs is the ABACUS-12 survey. The deadline to submit your data is July 15, so get started right now. (Look for a recent e-mail from OnCampus Research Information Analyst Martha Love with the subject line “ABACUS-12 Reminder 3” for a link to the survey and your store’s unique ID number.) ABACUS is one of the many programs that ABA provides us that has an immediate impact on our businesses. You can see how you are doing and where you need to make changes to become more profitable. This is information that is crucial to operating our businesses, so take advantage of this opportunity to do something that will definitely help your store!

I want to give a little shout-out to Stephen King and Hard Case Crime for their brilliant and retro treatment of Joyland. After reading about the odd take on windowing in the trial brought on by the misguided efforts of the Department of Justice to help out Amazon, it is wonderful to see someone understanding the value that windowing really brings to this and any other book. I intend to sell as many as possible to do my part to make this little experiment a success.

I start off my term as your president with a lot of enthusiasm and a high degree of optimism, though I keep in mind that things are not always as rosy as I like to see them. With your comments, ideas, and general input, I believe that we can successfully deal with the challenges we will face these next few years. For the short term, I wish you a wonderful summer. Get out and enjoy the season (unless you live in Texas, and, then, stay inside). Now let’s go sell some books!

Steve Bercu
ABA President
Austin, Texas