A Letter From ABA Board President Robert Sindelar [4]

Dear Fellow Booksellers,

If you are like me, you probably feel like you are so busy you don’t have time to read this letter. If so, stop what you are doing and watch this great presentation on bookseller efficiency and time management [5] by Cindy Dach from Changing Hands Bookstore (recorded at Winter Institute this past January). I took her advice and scheduled myself an hour to watch this video this past Friday and it was the best use of my time in the last month.

Finding time to work on your business rather than work in your business is always one of the most challenging tasks of operating an independent bookstore. Cindy’s video will give you some extremely helpful tips and reminders about how to find and schedule that time productively. Once you have done that, here are some other opportunities for you to take advantage of in your ongoing journey of becoming a better bookseller and businessperson (it is a journey that never stops).

Spring Forums

There are two distinct educational opportunities that ABA is providing at the Spring Forums [6] around the country over the next couple of months.

First is an education program about pre-orders and ABACUS. Many stores that weren’t soliciting pre-orders from their customers even a year ago have since integrated pre-order campaigns into their regular routine. Here is a chance for you to learn how to do this at your store. Also, ABA will be presenting the latest ABACUS data and discussing ways booksellers have used this data to improve their store’s financial health.

Second is the ABA Open Forum, which is an opportunity for members to speak directly with ABA about questions, ideas, or concerns in a mini town hall-like setting. A very important part of ABA’s Ends Policies [7] is to communicate with as many members and to provide education in as many places as possible. These forums are one of the ways we do that.

Distance Learning

Another way ABA has been working on providing access to education to as many members as possible is through distance learning. Just like Cindy’s time management session, many of the educational sessions at Winter Institute were captured on video and are available to watch on BookWeb.org [8]. I highly recommend you and your staff take a look at the videos available. There are certainly one or two that will be valuable for the growth of your store.

As we head into spring, I hope you and your stores stay healthy and busy. I will be attending the PNBA and NCIBA forums later this month and look forward to speaking with my bookselling colleagues from those regions.

As always, if you have questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to me directly.

All the best,

Robert Sindelar [9]
President, American Booksellers Association
Third Place Books [10]
Lake Forest Park and Seattle, Washington