IndieCommunication: IndieCommerce & IndieLite Refund Requests [4]

Here’s the IndieCommunication e-newsletter for Friday, June 19:

IndieCommerce & IndieLite Refund Requests

If you are an IndieLite or IndieCommerce site that uses ABA’s credit card merchant account for order payment and you are requesting a refund, please include the following in the subject line of your email to staff@bookweb.org [5]:

  • The word REFUND
  • Your store’s name
  • The order number being refunded

In the body of your email request for a refund, please include a link to the order on your website. If you include all of this information, it allows us to expedite your refund requests.

Tell Your Customers That Media Mail Is NOT Insured

Many online customers don’t understand that media mail is not insured. If an order that is shipped by media mail is lost or stolen, the post office is not going to reimburse your customer and your customer is probably going to ask you for a refund. 

When a customer selects media mail as their shipping preference, you might want to mention that it is not insured and there is minimal tracking. For USPS Priority Mail, the package is insured for up to $50 and has tracking. Here are two examples of shipping option descriptions that you might want to consider on your checkout page:

  • Media Mail (2-10 days) - Uninsured/some tracking
  • Priority Mail (1-3 days) - Insured/tracking

Repeat this format for each type of shipping option that you offer:

  • Name of shipping option (Estimated delivery time) - Insurance?/Tracking?

Clearly identifying what each shipping option offers will make it easier to address issues that may come up after the customer’s order is shipped. If you know that there are going to be delays in shipping, you might want to include some custom text on the “Checkout Complete” page that brings that information to the attention of your customers. For more information, visit the IndieCommerce help center [6] or email staff@bookweb.org [5].

Virtual IndieCommerce One-on-One Meetings at 2020 Children’s Institute

Booksellers can register now to meet one-on-one [7] with members of the IndieCommerce [8] staff in a virtual setting during the 2020 Children’s Institute [9] (Ci8) to discuss or learn about the American Booksellers Association’s e-commerce platforms for indie bookstores: IndieCommerce and IndieLite. All one-on-one sessions are open to current IndieCommerce and IndieLite members as well as to non-members. In addition, one-on-ones are open to all booksellers, whether or not they are attending Ci8.

Booksellers can use this form to sign up [7] and reserve a time slot. The form also allows booksellers to indicate what topics they would like to discuss, which the IndieCommerce team will be prepared to address at the time of the meeting. Meetings will be held on Wednesday, July 15, between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. ET, and Thursday, July 16, between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. ET; 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. ET; and 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. ET.

Booksellers who need to move or cancel their appointment are asked to email staff@bookweb.org [5] as soon as possible.

Children’s Institute will be held virtually on July 15–16; booksellers can register now [9].

Hummingbird Digital Media Acquired by 360 Media Direct

Hummingbird Digital Media [10], an audiobook and e-book provider, has been acquired by 360 Media Direct [11], a growing marketing and customer acquisition agency in the print and digital media sectors. Hummingbird co-founder Josh Mettee has joined the 360 Media Direct team as executive vice president of Hummingbird Digital Media.

The American Booksellers Association partnered with Hummingbird [12] in 2018 for e-book sales. Established in 2014, Hummingbird offers a free, turnkey e-book and audiobook retailing platform that allows bookstores, publishers, media, nonprofits, and bloggers to have their own branded and customizable storefront for customers to discover, purchase, and download e-books and audiobooks. Hummingbird also offers an app for reading and listening.

“I look forward to continuing to grow the relationships and businesses we’ve built with our indie partners, and over the next year, aided by the talent of our top-notch tech, marketing, and graphic design teams, we plan to enhance the design and user experience of the My Must Reads app and merchant storefronts,” said Mettee. “Our team will also be focused on connecting even more engaged readers with indies!”

In addition, the Hummingbird platform integrates with ABA’s IndieCommerce and IndieLite programs by automatically supplying a “Buy the e-book” button next to the “Buy the book” button on the bookstore’s title pages. Booksellers can sell directly to their customers from the full catalogs of more than 3,400 publishers. Visit BookWeb.org to learn more about how to get started with Hummingbird [13].


Booksellers are encouraged to send their thoughts, questions, or suggestions via email to IndieCommerce staff [5] at any time.

Past editions of IndieCommunication are available on the IndieCommerce Updates page on BookWeb.org. [14]

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