A Report on the Recent Meetings of ABA's Advisory Councils

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On Sunday and Monday, January 11 - 12, ABA's Booksellers Advisory Council (BAC) met with representatives of the ABA Board and senior staff in Miami, Florida, to offer the association guidance on a number of issues important to independent booksellers.

The BAC is composed of 25 members and represents a broad cross-section of views from within the community of independent booksellers. For a complete list of BAC members, click here.

Topics discussed at the two days of meetings included:

  • ABA's Strategic Plan, including how to maintain the relevance of ABA's educational programming; creating new readers; Main Street alliances and their benefit to booksellers and their communities; and the effectiveness of the overall Book Sense marketing campaign including BookSense.com;
  • Book Sense at Five and the numerous ways the initiative celebrating the fifth birthday of Book Sense can be promoted in-store;
  • The Book Sense 76, including proposed changes to the list, and Book Sense branding;
  • Book Sense Gift Cards, including the importance of developing strategies to promote the cards year round and to different segments of a store's customer base;
  • Educational program ideas for BookExpo America 2004;
  • Legislative issues, including the sales tax initiative and efforts to amend Section 215 of the USA Patriot.

In addition, BAC members met with representatives from Publishers Group West for an exchange of ideas on how the distributor can better meet the needs of independent booksellers.

The BookSense.com Users Council (BUC) also met in Miami to discuss issues of relevance to the BookSense.com program, and to provide advice and feedback to ABA staff.

Topics discussed included:

  • BookSense.com's performance during the 2003 holiday season;
  • An action plan for increased stability and performance;
  • Future enhancements to the product;
  • The success of the BookSense.com Co-op Reimbursement Program.

The BUC consists of BAC and other committee members who actively participate in the BookSense.com program.