This week, Dan Cullen, the American Booksellers Association’s senior strategy officer, urged booksellers to participate in the ABACUS-15 survey of bookstore finances, a unique data source and analytic tool for indie bookstores.
In an e-mail sent to ABA main store members on Monday, June 13, Cullen shared the strong support ABACUS has among indie booksellers and stressed that submitting data to ABACUS-15 by the July 1 deadline only takes about 30 minutes via a secure and confidential electronic form. In return, participants will receive an executive summary of the survey’s overall findings and a confidential, customized report that puts their own store finances within a fully intelligible industry framework, which provides context, insight, and essential benchmarking guidelines to improve a business’ performance.
Among the hundreds of booksellers who have found ABACUS to be a key tool for strategic and business planning, gaining access to capital, negotiating with landlords, and more is Joyce Meskis of Tattered Cover Book Store in Denver, Colorado. “The ABACUS report is the most essential financial tool for a bookstore to have in budgeting and planning its profitability goals. The data collection of the report and its subsequent analysis ranges widely — which is exceptionally useful for the bookseller having just opened his or her first store, as well as for the most seasoned, complex organization. It’s like having your own numbers consultant at your fingertips, measuring the outcomes of your store operationally (anonymously) against those of other stores,” Meskis said. “Join in — participate. That’s how it works. Your participation is necessary for the success of the study to benefit your store and that of independent stores across the nation.” (Read more bookseller endorsements of ABACUS here.)
For ABACUS to succeed, a critical mass of indie bookstores must complete the survey by July 1.
To submit, booksellers should look for the e-mail sent to them on May 26 from Martha Love of the National Association of College Stores’ (NACS) OnCampus Research with the subject line “Ready, Set, ABACUS — Survey Now Open.” The e-mail includes a link to the secure online ABACUS submission form, introductory information, and instructions and FAQs.
Booksellers with questions about submitting data to the survey can contact Love at OnCampus Research via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (800) 622-7498, ext. 2448. Booksellers who have general questions about ABACUS can contact ABA’s Lisa Winn via e-mail or at (800) 637-0037, ext. 7557.