The Booksellers Association of the United Kingdom & Ireland (BA) will be launching an IndieBound marketing campaign for members of its Independent Booksellers Forum in early 2010. In its November magazine, Bookselling Essentials, the BA gave members a sneak preview of IndieBound and said, "We are thrilled to be working with the American Booksellers Association to facilitate the IndieBound campaign into the U.K." Under the new arrangement, the BA will license IndieBound marketing materials for use by its independent bookstore members.
"We are so delighted to be working with ABA on bringing IndieBound to U.K. independents," said Meryl Halls, head of membership services for the BA. "I was incredibly inspired by what I saw [at the 2009 Winter Institute in Salt Lake City], and I am thrilled that our independent booksellers are just as enthusiastic about it as I am. It makes perfect sense to me to share the inspiration and rationale behind such a powerful campaign, and our idea is to make available to U.K. independents some of the great work being done in the States around booksellers profile-raising and community building."
The BA's hope, Hall added, "is that IndieBound can not only help booksellers to create a visual impact in their windows and shops, but also become a real force for good in their wider community."
"We welcome this opportunity to work with our colleagues in the U.K. to highlight the importance of independent booksellers to healthy, thriving local communities," said ABA CEO Oren Teicher. "The IndieBound message is universal, and we look forward to seeing how the independent bookstore members of the BA use the program's marketing materials to meet their unique needs."
This past summer, at the invitation of the BA, ABA Chief Marketing Officer Meg Smith participated in the BA's Independent Booksellers Forum at Warwick University, where she presented background information and marketing materials developed for IndieBound in the U.S. to more than 100 independent bookstore members of the BA. "The audience reaction to Meg Smith's presentation was overwhelmingly positive, [and] a show of hands afterwards showed near-unanimous support for bringing IndieBound into the U.K.," the BA said.
Smith told BTW, "The IndieBound marketing program both educates and energizes consumers, but the most rewarding part of our experience has been seeing all the creative ways that independent booksellers have found to spread the message in their stores and their communities. The materials themselves have proven to be excellent tools to get conversations started both with customers and other local businesses, but also flexible enough to be easily customized to suit each store's unique personality. We're interested to see what booksellers in the U.K. will do."
Plans call for the BA to launch an IndieBound website in the New Year, and independent bookstore members will be invited to sign up to receive an IndieBound pack, similar to the Liberation Box that ABA members receive when they sign on to participate in IndieBound. The BA website, which will be hosted by ABA in the U.S. on behalf of the Independent Booksellers Forum, will include a large array of pre-existing ABA IndieBound materials, adapted in some cases for the U.K., in various printable formats.
The BA will be inviting booksellers to register to participate in IndieBound early in 2010. --Rosemary Hawkins