New Ads Communicate Special Attributes of Indie Bookstores

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The American Booksellers Association has created a series of new templated ads for members designed to help communicate the special attributes and ongoing services of indie bookstores to customers and book buyers. The ads follow a number of changes in the retail bookselling landscape, including the closing of hundreds of Borders stores.

Anchored with the important message that “Independent bookstores are rich with delight and discovery” and that “Independent booksellers uncover treasures along the way,” the six new ads make clear that a unique and vibrant indie bookstore is there to meet readers’ needs.

“Encouraged by several conversations we’ve had with member bookstores and by the recent advertising effort of the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association, we wanted to offer members an advertising and marketing resource that presented a positive, inviting message and that would also be adaptable for many markets,” said ABA Membership and Marketing Officer Meg Smith, who developed the ads with Marketing Manager Paige Poe. “The goal is to help indie bookstores clearly communicate that ‘we’re here for you.’” The ads also include the new ABA “Eat, Sleep, Read Local” logo, further underscoring the important shop local message.

All the ads are editable PDFs, and all have copy that includes an offer for 10 percent off the customer’s next purchase, which stores can modify or remove. The ads can be customized to include full store contact information and a logo. The BooksellerDIY, a member-only resource accessed on, offers a toolbox for adapting and creating a wide range of Indiebound and other marketing materials. Booksellers with any questions about adapting and using the ads can e-mail Poe.

Regarding the one-time discount offer, Smith noted, “in some communities, indie stores may want to work together for an ad buy, and, in that case, they could retain the offer so long as it does not specify any particular title or a specific price.” She added, “We believe this positive message of continuity and outreach lends itself quite well to cooperative efforts.”