Video

ABA Staff-only Meeting

Thursday, December 13, 2018 -
10:00am to 11:45am

Principals of Bookstore Finance Seminar

Wednesday, October 3, 2018 -
10:00am to 4:00pm

The 101-level seminar, led by ABA CFO Robyn DesHotel and Cynthia Compton of 4 Kids Books & Toys in Zionsville, Indiana, covers the fundamentals of budgeting, understanding cash flow, business financing, bookkeeping, and financial statements. The seminar concentrates on bookstore finances as opposed to bookstore accounting and deep financial experience is not required.

 

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone: Building Successful Relationship With Publishers

Thursday, January 24, 2019 -
3:40pm to 4:40pm
Location: 
27 Lower West ACC
Room: 
Picuris/Sandia/Santa Ana

Creating and nurturing relationships with publishers is key to building a thriving business. Panelists in this session will provide an overview of how publishers work with independent bookstores and discuss steps booksellers can take to capitalize on and grow these relationships. Booksellers will learn:

  • Best practices for networking with publishers at industry events
  • What publishers look for in event proposal and how to land the A-List author
  • Best practices for pitching events in person
  • How to keep your relationships moving forward
Sarah Bagby, Watermark Books and Cafe (Wichita, KS); Michael Link, Joseph-Beth Booksellers (Cincinnati, OH); Pete Mulvihill, Green Apple Books (San Francisco, CA); Craig Popelars, Algonquin Books (Chapel Hill, NC); Karen Torres, Hachette Book Group (New York, NY)

Bringing Play and Revenue into the Store: Board Games are Back!

Wednesday, January 23, 2019 -
10:40am to 11:40am
Location: 
220 Upper East ACC
Room: 
Ruidoso

If the thought of playing board games brings up childhood memories of Monopoly and Risk and not much else, you have some catching up to do. Board games are a hot trend and a growing business. And they’ve grown a lot more sophisticated than what you might remember. The popular digital games that have made the leap to board games, the games inspired by viral internet challenges, and the traditional games of your childhood all have something in common: face-to-face social interaction, which is a key component of successful independent bookstores. Come hear from booksellers who have integrated board games and play nights into their sales and events. An independent board game seller joins the panel to discuss the aspects of his business and how booksellers can bring games -- and customers -- into the bookstore.

Victor Briseno, Slice and Dice Pizzeria (Albuquerque, NM); Todd Dickinson, Aaron's Books (Lititz, PA); Andrea Jones, The Galaxy Bookshop (Hardwick, VT); John Ward, The Game Manufacturers Association (Columbus, OH)

Yes She Can: Programs and Partnerships to Empower Women

Wednesday, January 23, 2019 -
2:10pm to 3:10pm
Location: 
220 Upper East ACC
Room: 
Ruidoso

Join your colleagues for a discussion on creating events and opportunities to highlight women's voices in the store and larger retail community. Hear from booksellers who are fostering women entrepreneurs, cross-promoting with women-owned businesses, creating dynamic in-store programming, and more. ABA members know that a diverse business district promotes a thriving local economy, and they are finding ways to ensure their stores, their communities, and their business districts are as dynamic and profitable as possible.

Casey Coonerty Protti, Bookshop Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz, CA); Sarah Hollenbeck, Women & Children First (Chicago, IL); Mary Laura Philpott, Parnassus Books (Nashville, TN); Janet Webster Jones, Source Booksellers (Detroit, MI)

Edelweiss Presents: The New Shelf Report

Friday, January 25, 2019 -
9:30am to 10:30am
Location: 
18 Lower West ACC
Room: 
Cochiti/Taos

Edelweiss+Analytics is excited to present the new Shelf Report, created to help bookstores succeed against competitive pressures by providing unique decision intelligence. This new tool provides benchmarks for your store’s inventory, using the aggregate performance of hundreds of other independent bookstores on four key measures of sales and inventory health – across genres. Join us to learn more about how this tool can help you view your store from the outside-in and point to where you can focus your attention to make sure your inventory is working its hardest for you.

John Rubin, Above the Treeline (Ann Arbor, MI); Joe Foster, Above the Treeline (Ann Arbor, MI)

Thriving as a New Bookstore Owner

Friday, January 25, 2019 -
1:45pm to 2:45pm
Location: 
23 Lower West ACC
Room: 
Nambé/Navajo

If you have been in business for five years or fewer, this is the session for you. Hear from booksellers who will look back over those first critical years and share tips for making it through the next five.

Danny Caine, Raven Book Store (Lawrence, KS); Brad Johnson, East Bay Booksellers (Oakland, CA); Angela Maria Spring, Duende District Books (Albuquerque, NM); Tom Nissley, Phinney Books (Seattle, WA)

Independent Bookstore Day

Friday, January 25, 2019 -
9:30am to 10:30am
Location: 
220 Upper East ACC
Room: 
Ruidoso

On April 28, indie booksellers will celebrate the fifth annual Independent Bookstore Day (IBD). In this panel, new concepts and a new ordering system will be revealed. Attendees will hear from booksellers who have figured out how to make the most of IBD and increase their sales dramatically. It takes a little effort and imagination, but having a highly successful Independent Bookstore Day doesn’t have to tax your staff or break the bank. Booksellers will learn:

  • How to order and make the most of the IBD exclusive merchandise
  • How to throw a party that will get people into your store
  • How to publicize your store’s party
  • How to take advantage of social media

 

Robbie Egan, Australian Booksellers Association (Kew East VIC, Australia); Bonnie Monnier, Curious Iguana (Frederick, MD); Clarissa Murphy, The MIT Press Bookstore (Cambridge, MA); Samantha Schoech, Independent Bookstore Day (San Francisco, CA); Mary Williams, Skylight Books (Los Angeles, CA)

Industry Trends and Analytics

Wednesday, January 23, 2019 -
10:40am to 11:40am
Location: 
18 Lower West ACC
Room: 
Cochiti/Taos

Industry experts present a review of the most recent data on the U.S. book market with a deep-dive into the latest trends. There will be plenty of new insights to help attendees improve their business in the coming year.

Brian O'Leary, Book Industry Study Group (New York, NY); Allison Risbridger, NPD Group, Inc. (New York, NY); Michael Becher, Industry Insights (Dublin, OH)

Dealing With Difficult People

Thursday, January 24, 2019 -
3:40pm to 4:40pm
Location: 
18 Lower West ACC
Room: 
Cochiti/Taos

The goal of this session is to help bookstore owners and employees learn how to empower themselves to end uncomfortable situations, including harassment, with professionalism and respect. Among other things, the panel will discuss tips for identifying and navigating out of these distressing situations and suggestions for talking points booksellers can rely on while under duress. Booksellers will hear discussions on:

  • Prioritizing personal safety
  • Tips for changing the power dynamic
  • Tips for extricating yourself from a situation in a professional way
  • Learning how to ask for help when needed
Alena Jones, Seminary Co-Op Bookstore (Chicago, IL); Lissa Muscatine, Politics and Prose Bookstore (Washington, DC); Rachel Watkins, Avid Bookshop (Athens, GA); Meg Smith, ABA (White Plains, NY)

Bookstores Launch the Open Discussion Project

Thursday, January 24, 2019 -
3:40pm to 4:40pm
Location: 
32 Lower West ACC
Room: 
Acoma/Tesuque/Zuni

As part of the pilot program of the Open Discussion project, five independent bookstores will be launching reading groups in the fall of 2018 with the goal of bringing liberals and conservatives together to discuss the issues that divide them. The Open Discussion Project is sponsored by the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) in partnership with ABA. NCAC and ABA are inviting booksellers to join the Open Discussion Project when it goes national next year. A panel of booksellers who are participating in the pilot will discuss their experience.

Sarah Goddin, Quail Ridge Books (Raleigh, NC); Bradley Graham, Politics and Prose Bookstore (Washington, DC); Alana Haley, Schuler Books (Grand Rapids, MI); Christopher Finan, National Coalition Against Censorship (New York, NY)

ABC Presents: Crash Course in Kids' Bookselling

Thursday, January 24, 2019 -
3:40pm to 4:40pm
Location: 
23 Lower West ACC
Room: 
Nambé/Navajo

Scenario: your store's children's bookseller is out sick and not one general bookseller has even an inkling about kids’ books. Never fear! Geared towards general booksellers with ZERO experience in the kid’s department, children’s frontlist booksellers on this panel will provide a crash course to prepare any bookseller to head into the children's department. In the session, general booksellers will learn:

  • Key phrases to use when selling a kids book
  • Important questions to ask a child and a parent when selecting a book
  • Signs to look for when selecting a book (shelf talkers, inferences from the cover)
  • Basic important information to always have in their back pocket
  • Where to look for recommendations
Cathy Berner, Blue Willow Bookshop (Houston, TX); Meghan Dietsche Goel, BookPeople (Autsin, TX); Sara Grochowski, McLean & Eakin Booksellers (Petoskey, MI); Christy McDanold, The Secret Garden (Seattle, WA)

Using ABACUS as a Budgeting Tool

Thursday, January 24, 2019 -
3:40pm to 4:40pm
Location: 
19 Lower West ACC
Room: 
Isleta/Jemez

ABACUS is a yearly benchmarking survey that gathers essential information and insights on bookstore financials. This unique and actionable data is key to a store’s long-term viability, as it can be used to create budgets and analyze important business questions. Bookseller panelists who regularly submit to ABACUS will explain how they have been able to implement changes based on their ABACUS report. In this session, booksellers will learn:

  • How to read key lines in an ABACUS report
  • How to recognize and make changes in bookstore financials
  • Important points to consider when making short- and long-term budgets based on ABACUS data

Information on how and when to submit your data to participate in the ABACUS report

Michael Becher, Industry Insights (Dublin, OH); Jamie Fiocco, Flyleaf Books (Chapel Hill, NC); Dan Cullen, ABA (White Plains, NY)

ABC Presents: Experiential Reading — Graphic Novels Shape the Way Young People Read

Friday, January 25, 2019 -
9:30am to 10:30am
Location: 
19 Lower West ACC
Room: 
Isleta/Jemez

Graphic novels can be a useful springboard into reading for reluctant readers, but they can also serve as a vehicle to launch readers into the symbiotic relationship between text and visuals. In this session, attendees will learn from booksellers and experts:

  • How the role of graphic novels has evolved in the bookstore and literacy
  • How to have a productive conversation with staff and customers about graphic novels
  • Types of programming that highlight and elevate the genre
  • The importance and impact of the representation of diverse characters in graphic novels
  • What the current educational terrain looks like and how bookstores can work with school libraries to incorporate graphic novels into the curriculum
Justin Colussy-Estes, Little Shop of Stories (Decatur, GA); Ashley Delacqua, University of New Mexico (Albuquerque, NM); Lee Francis, Red Planet Books & Comics (Albuquerque, NM); Javier Ramirez, The Book Table (Oak Park, IL)

Dazzling In-Store Displays

Friday, January 25, 2019 -
1:45pm to 2:45pm
Location: 
27 Lower West ACC
Room: 
Picuris/Sandia/Santa Ana

You only have a few seconds to attract—and hold—a customer’s attention, so it’s critical that you get it right if you want to turn a browser into a buyer. From the whimsical to the thought-provoking, store displays done right tell a story that taps into a customer’s needs—needs for entertainment, introspection, fantasy, connection, and more. Booksellers who are skilled at telling stories through engaging displays will present tips and visuals on how to make an eye-catching in-store displays that turn browsers into buyers.

Tess Coats, Spur Line Supply Co. (Albuquerque, NM); Luisa Smith, Book Passage (Corte Madera, CA); Katie McGinley, Wild Rumpus (Minneapolis, MN); Meg Smith, ABA (White Plains, NY)

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About ABA

The American Booksellers Association, a national not-for-profit trade organization, works with booksellers and industry partners to ensure the success and profitability of independently owned book retailers, and to assist in expanding the community of the book.

Independent bookstores act as community anchors; they serve a unique role in promoting the open exchange of ideas, enriching the cultural life of communities, and creating economically vibrant neighborhoods.

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