ABACUS in Jeopardy: Deadline Just a Week Away

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With the August 15 deadline for participation in the 2009 ABACUS Survey fast approaching, the future of this crucial business tool exclusively for ABA member booksellers remains uncertain. A big increase in the number of bookstores submitting their 2008 financial data is needed to enable ABA to compile a 2009 study.

In return for completing the secure online ABACUS form, which takes just about an hour, members will receive a customized report analyzing their bookstore's financial results, including comparisons with other businesses based on multiple criteria (such as sales level, store size, and community type) in addition to year-to-year trending information. Data collected for ABACUS also helps ABA formulate educational programming offered to members at BookExpo America, the Winter Institute, and other venues.

Booksellers at stores that submit their 2008 financial data to ABACUS by August 15 are now also eligible to apply for the Avin Mark Domnitz Scholarship to the Fifth Annual Winter Institute. Created to honor the former ABA CEO's wide-ranging contributions to independent bookselling, the scholarship is also a tribute to Domnitz's work over the years with the ABACUS Survey, which he will once again oversee this year.

All information provided to the ABACUS study is kept strictly confidential.

Experienced and new booksellers alike have benefited from past ABACUS studies. Michele Pondolfino of The Green Toad Bookstore in Oneonta, New York, recently wrote: "I'd like to take a moment to thank all the independent booksellers who in the past submitted their information to the ABA for the ABACUS study. As a new independent bookseller who spent hundreds of hours researching the industry prior to opening last fall, the ABACUS study was the one tool I used the most to determine the numbers I needed to meet to succeed. I revisit those numbers often to ensure that I am remaining within the suggested guidelines. The information provided for booksellers is invaluable." Read more of what booksellers have to say about the value of ABACUS.

Questions, suggestions, comments, and other feedback relating to ABACUS may be submitted here.