Feedback from Booksellers Makes Even Better

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Based on feedback from many booksellers, has added five new features and has extended the free trial from June 30 to August 16.

The change was prompted by feedback from attendees at recent ABA Bookseller Forums, said Len Vlahos, director. Additionally, since many booksellers will be signing up for the free trial at BookExpo America, "we wanted to make sure that everyone had a chance to use it, and see how good it is," he explained, noting that, with the initial deadline only two months away, "it just made sense to extend it." At present, 90 bookstores have signed up for the free trial.

Booksellers currently accustomed to the advantages of being a store will be happy to find a number of improvements. These enhancements were based on feedback from many stores:

  1. There will be an e-mail acknowledgement as to whether an order is store fulfilled or wholesaler fulfilled. A code has been added to the bottom of each e-mail, alerting the bookstore to whether an order is targeted for store or wholesaler fulfillment. "STO" will indicate store fulfilled, and "WHR" will indicate wholesaler fulfilled. These codes will help the bookstore know which orders they are supposed to fulfill and which Ingram or Baker & Taylor will fulfill.

  2. Improved linking within local content areas. In the local content area of a store’s site, the bookstore can now link directly from sub-page to sub-page sequentially. For example, if a bookstore uses one of its content areas for a store newsletter, and it contains three sub-pages -- "Newsletter Page One," "Newsletter Page Two," and "Newsletter Page Three" -- the user can now link directly from page one to page two without having to go back to the main page.

  3. Stronger notice that certain titles may not be in stock. In the checkout process, when customers elect to pick items up in the store, has significantly highlighted the statement that lets the customer know that not all books are in stock at all times.

  4. New shipping defaults. has changed the default flat fee shipping charges to: $4.00 for ground; $9.00 for second day; $21.00 for next day. Bookstores that had set their own shipping charges will not be affected by this change. The new defaults will more closely match the actual freight charged by wholesalers, though the item handling fees remain unchanged.

  5. New language for special inventory status. has changed the language for the "Special Order" inventory status. It now reads: "‘Special Order’ refers to a book that may not be readily available for shipping. While some of these books might be hard to find, others are more easily obtained. Books that are considered rare or collector’s items are special orders. In some instances, it may take us longer to locate this book for you than it would for a standard order, and the price is subject to change. We will contact you about the status of any special order you place with us."

In related news, announced the hiring of Ricky Leung for the position of technical lead. Leung has spent the past six months in the role of consultant, doing programming for the site, playing a key role in bringing the enhancements to fruition. Prior to, he worked for iXL, and HotSocket, two Internet companies. "Ricky is so skilled that we made the decision to bring him on full-time," said Vlahos. "We’re delighted to have him."