Balance Passion for Bookselling With Business Skills

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One of the signs of the recent resurgence of independent bookselling is the continued trend of new store openings since 2009. In 2013, the American Booksellers Association welcomed 45 indie bookstores that opened for business in 20 states. In addition, last year 14 established ABA member stores were bought by new owners.

A key to the long-term success and sustainability of a new bookstore business is sound professional development, and for those new to retail bookselling, the workshop “Owning a Bookstore: The Business Essentials,” facilitated by the Bookstore Training Group of Paz & Associates and co-sponsored by the American Booksellers Association, will provide fundamental skills required to operate a bookstore business.

The five-day intensive workshop retreat will take place on Amelia Island, Florida, beginning with a welcome reception on Sunday, May 4, and concluding in the afternoon of Friday, May 9.

This workshop is geared for new and prospective bookstore owners and managers, and it covers a broad range of topics, including how to create a profit in retail bookselling, gauging your community’s ability to support a bookstore, how to assess the strength of a location, understanding the key elements of store design, how to buy books and non-book merchandise, the disciplines of managing inventory, how to effectively use your bookstore computer system, effective and low-cost marketing strategies, developing an exceptional staff, and more. Attendees will learn best practices and the finely tuned strategies of successful independent bookstores.

Workshop attendees will receive a copy of Paz & Associates’ workbook, Opening a Bookstore: The Essential Planning Guide, or full credit for the guide applied to their tuition if they previously purchased it. Provisional members of ABA are entitled to a $200 discount toward tuition.

The workshop will be facilitated by Mark and Donna Paz Kaufman of the Bookstore Training Group of Paz & Associates and will feature six or seven other trainers, including an SBA loan administrator, professional lease negotiator, architect and bookstore designer, representatives from computer system vendors and wholesalers, and ABA staff, as well as both new and seasoned bookstore owners. The small class setting offers the opportunity for extensive interaction and one-on-one time with the trainers.

April 4 was the deadline for discounted rates at the host hotel, Amelia Hotel at the Beach.

For the full agenda and additional information, visit or call (904) 277-2664.

Questions regarding the workshop should be e-mailed to