Indies First Survey: Help ABA Plan for Next Year

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This year’s celebrations of the spirit of independent bookselling hit a high note on November 30, with the culmination of efforts for Indies First and Small Business Saturday turning out authors and customers en masse to support their favorite book businesses across the nation.

To build on the success of the inaugural Indies First, the American Booksellers Association is gathering information from participants that will help streamline the processes for next year’s event.

Bookstores are asked to complete a brief survey about Indies First, which will provide ABA with information about booksellers’ preferences for booking authors, the event’s effect on foot traffic and sales, and authors’ use of indie bookstore “buy” buttons on their websites.

And although Indies First may be over, the spirit of shopping local is still going strong. Here are some steps booksellers can take to keep the momentum going through the remainder of the year and into 2014:

  • Send ABA Industry Relations Assistant Anne Caldwell a final list of the store’s participating Indies First authors in order for ABA to ensure that the event’s success is fully accounted for — many bookstores saw surpsise or last-minute guest booksellers that need to be included in the final count. 
  • Provide ABA with participating author contact information, which the association will use to send thank you notes to express appreciation for the author’s support and to offer information about the day’s events and reach. ABA is seeking contact information for any authors who signed up to participate through a store; information that came through BookWeb’s form has already been collected. Any contact information provided will be used solely for this purpose.
  • Encourage authors to place an independent bookstore “buy” button at the top of the retailer list on their websites, and keep it up year-round to encourage readers to shop local. Authors can receive referral commissions by posting an indie “buy” button and can learn more about IndieBound’s affiliate program here.
  • Keep bragging about Indies First by sharing photos and stories with ABA. Please send photos to ABA Marketing Manager Greg Galloway and stories to
  • Check out newly created Indies First T-shirts on, or take any of the files in BookWeb’s Designs and Downloads to a local printer to create unique merchandise, including hats, socks, pet ensembles, or onesies.