The American Booksellers Association will award the Avin Mark Domnitz Scholarship to attend the upcoming Winter Institute to the owner or an employee of a bookstore that submits its 2016 financial data to the ABACUS-16 Survey before the September 27 deadline.
Winter Institute 13 (Wi13) will be held at the Sheraton Hotel and Memphis Cook Convention Center in downtown Memphis, Tennessee. The event will open with a full day of tours and special educational workshops on Monday, January 22, followed by three days of education and programming, from Tuesday, January 23, through Thursday, January 25, 2018.
As both a longtime bookseller and as CEO of ABA, Domnitz worked hard to ensure that booksellers at all stages of their professional experience had access to the best educational tools possible, especially those focused on bookstore finances and profitability.
To be eligible to apply for the scholarship, ABA member bookstores should look for the e-mail sent on August 23 from Michael Becher of Industry Insights (via the e-mail address email@example.com) with instructions on how to access this year’s survey. ABA members can complete the survey securely online or download a PDF version of the form to complete and return to Industry Insights.
The deadline for submitting to ABACUS-16 is Wednesday, September 27. ABA member bookstores can begin the submission process by going to www.ABACUSbenchmarking.com. Please note that you will have to set up a new ABACUS account from the secure ABACUS-16 website.
Once stores submit their 2016 financial data — which should take approximately 30 minutes — they can apply for the scholarship by sending an e-mail with “Domnitz Scholarship” in the subject line to ABA Senior Strategy Officer Dan Cullen. The e-mail should include the applicant’s name, staff title, store name, and store contact information.
By submitting their store data for ABACUS-16, stores will receive a detailed individual store performance report that analyzes their financial results, including relevant and insightful benchmarking comparisons across a number of criteria.
As part of this new partnership with Industry Insights, in addition to the customized printed report, bookstores participating in ABACUS-16 will be able to access a secure and private online searchable results tool that allows users to compile ABACUS data using criteria that they select.
“Wellesley Books has enthusiastically embraced the ABACUS process since we opened the store in 2010,” said Bill Kohli, co-owner of the Wellesley, Massachusetts, store. “Given our lack of experience in the ‘business’ of books, we quickly found ABACUS to be an effective tool to focus our attention on the key metrics of running a successful bookstore. We have subsequently organized our business planning and budgeting tools and weekly performance monitors around many of those same metrics.”
Andy Perham of Books Inc. in San Francisco noted that ABACUS is “a tremendous tool in evaluating our financial strengths and weaknesses. It helps us challenge our assumptions and makes sure we are asking the right questions about how we operate. The ability to compare our store with other bookstores across the country is very effective in helping us be as healthy as possible.”
Booksellers with questions about submitting to ABACUS-16 are encouraged to contact Michael Becher, CPA, of Industry Insights at (614) 389-2100, ext. 114, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Booksellers who have general questions about ABACUS can contact ABA’s Dan Cullen via e-mail or at (800) 637-0037, ext. 7560.