News
Opening or Buying a Bookstore?

The training and education you need to prepare for owning and operating your new business is one of the most critical investments you can make. 

Plan to attend the next intensive workshop retreat – Opening A Bookstore: The Business Essentials – March 15-19 on Amelia Island (near Jacksonville, FL).  The week will include key topics from start-up costs and strategies for making a profit to choosing a computerized management system and selecting your opening inventory.  With rave reviews from hundreds of graduates over the years, this program offers you an opportunity to immerse yourself in the book industry and will give you the strategies and contacts to help you launch a successful independent bookstore.

Avoid the all-too-common misconception that a small bookstore can’t be that hard to start and operate. It’s a complex business regardless of size. Take time to train for your new career so you can launch a successful bookstore that is a sustainable business, one that will contribute to your local community for years to come. 

The workshop, offered in spring and fall each year, is facilitated by Mark and Donna Paz Kaufman of the Bookstore Training Group of Paz & Associates and is co-sponsored by the American Booksellers Association. For details, visit  PazBookBiz.com.

ABA President Gayle Shanks today e-mailed bookstore members the news that the Board has offered the position of association CEO to Oren J. Teicher, ABA's current COO. The decision follows current CEO Avin Mark Domnitz's decision to step down. Teicher's appointment is effective June 1, 2009. Shanks' entire communication to ABA members is below.


Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to announce that after a full and thorough search the ABA Board of Directors has offered the position of our new CEO to Oren J. Teicher. We are delighted that Oren has accepted this appointment, effective June 1, 2009. As many of you know, Oren has been involved with ABA and independent bookstores for more than 20 years. At ABA, he has worn many hats. He was our Associate Executive Director, Director of Government Affairs, founding President of ABFFE, and, for the past 12 years, has been our Chief Operating Officer. Oren's knowledge of, and passion for, independent bookselling is well known to booksellers across the country. He has played an integral part in our IndieBound Local First initiatives, and he serves as an advisor to independent business alliance boards and other independent retail trade associations.

The Search Committee consisted of myself; Steve Bercu (BookPeople, Austin, TX); Betsy Burton (The King's English, Salt Lake City, UT); Linda Ramsdell (The Galaxy Bookshop, Hardwick, VT); Michael Tucker (Books Inc., San Francisco, CA); and Lilla Weinberger (Readers' Books, Sonoma, CA); together with ABA's General Counsel, Deanne Ottaviano of Arent Fox LLP. We interviewed multiple candidates after reviewing hundreds of resumes. Though several of the other applicants were very highly qualified, the committee unanimously recommended Oren to the full Board as the right person for the job. His encyclopedic knowledge of everything associated with ABA's past and current programs, coupled with his thoughtful and insightful analysis of how ABA can meet our future challenges, combined to make him our clear choice.

As everyone knows, Oren will be succeeding Avin Mark Domnitz, our esteemed current CEO, who announced this past January that he will be retiring. Avin has served ABA and independent bookselling with extraordinary distinction. I am pleased to report that at BookExpo America this year we will be gathering together to celebrate Avin's many contributions to our industry. Plan on joining the entire book community on Thursday evening, May 28, at 9:00 p.m. at "Hotel ABA" (aka the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge) as we salute Avin and all he has accomplished. Additional details about this celebration will be forthcoming in BTW, but, please, do put it on your calendar right away.

As I wrote back in January in my letter announcing Avin's decision to retire, we are very proud of the fact that under his leadership, ABA has become an organization that is open and responsive to its members. We have come a long way in breaking down barriers to communication while encouraging interaction on all levels among booksellers, publishers, wholesalers, the ABA Board, association staff, and the book-loving world. The Board and Oren are totally committed to continuing and maintaining that kind of organization.

During these extremely difficult economic times, the enormous challenges facing ABA and independent booksellers cannot be overestimated. I am convinced, however, that the association's brilliant and dedicated staff under Oren's knowledgeable and enthusiastic leadership -- along with the remarkable resiliency and entrepreneurial spirit that characterizes ABA members -- will help us through this period and that independent bookselling will not just survive, but will once again thrive!

As recommended several years ago by our Governance Review Committee, details surrounding the new CEO contract will be made available to the membership after they are finalized. The Board wants to assure the membership that the terms of the new CEO's contract will fit well within the norm for trade associations of our size. The hiring of a new CEO is an appropriate time to conduct a review of all of the association's programs and expenses, and the Board has requested that Oren undertake that effort. To that end, I know that he will welcome your ideas and thoughts, so please feel free to contact him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

I want to express my warmest thanks to the members of the Search Committee for the honesty, integrity, and intensity put forth during these past months and for their gracious willingness to put their personal needs aside for the common good of ABA and the bookselling community. The membership should have full confidence in the search process -- it was conducted thoughtfully and fairly.

I know that all booksellers, along with our book industry colleagues, will want to join the Board in congratulating Oren on becoming ABA's new CEO and to wish him well in his new position! These are challenging times, but by working together we will continue to create the literary landscape in this country, build our local economies, and bring books to readers.

Warm regards,

Gayle Shanks
ABA President
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Changing Hands Bookstore
6428 S. McClintock Dr.
Tempe, AZ 85283

ABA President Gayle Shanks Urges Congress to Support Small Businesses

On Monday, February 9, as Congress worked to quickly pass the Obama Administration's stimulus package, American Booksellers Association President Gayle Shanks, co-owner of Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe, Arizona, urged the Congressional leadership to continue its support for small businesses in crafting the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (H.R.1).ABA is also calling on all member booksellers to contact their legislators in Washington as soon as possible to urge support for the bill's small-business provisions.

In her letter, Shanks thanked the Congressional leadership for "recognizing the crucial importance of small businesses and for keeping the small business provisions in the current version" of the economic stimulus bill, and she urged them to remember the "value of small businesses" as they create the final version of the bill. (To read the full text of Shanks' letter, click here.)

A vote on the economic stimulus bill could come as early as Tuesday, February 10. If it passes the Senate, the U.S. Congressional Conference Committee will adjudicate the bill, and there are no guarantees regarding what provisions will, or won't, remain in the final bill. As such, ABA is calling on booksellers to adapt Shanks' letter and send it to their legislators in both the House and the Senate today.

Among other provisions, the economic stimulus bill that passed the House in late January increases the guarantee on Small Business Administration loans for lenders, which will induce commercial lenders to lend while also providing capital for entrepreneurs through a new debt-refinancing program. The bill also contains provisions to unclog frozen secondary credit markets, which in recent months have stopped working, denying private lenders the liquidity they need to make additional loans. Providing this fresh capital to entrepreneurs is expected to result in the creation or retention of 400,000 jobs, more than 15 percent of the jobs the economy shed last year.

WNBA ANNOUNCES PANNELL NOMINEES  

Congratulations to three SIBA bookstores that are among the fifteen nominees for this year's Pannell Award. 
 
Established in 1981 to honor Lucile Micheels Pannell, a model bookwoman and children's bookseller, the Pannell Award recognizes retail bookstores that excel at inspiring the interest of young people in books and reading. WNBA will present this year's award to two bookstores-one general and one children's specialty store-at BookExpoAmerica in New York. Each recipient will receive a check for $1,000 and a framed piece of original art by a children's book illustrator. In addition to the Women's National Book Association, the award is sponsored by Penguin Young Readers Group, a leading publisher of books for young  people.
 
This year's nominees represent a wide range of stores from all over the country:

...and Books, Too! - Lewiston, ID
As the Page Turns Bookstore and Gallery - Northville, MI
Baker Books - North Dartmouth, MA
Changing Hands - Tempe, AZ
Cowan's Book Nook - East Ellijay, GA
Downtown Books - Craig, CO
Garfield Book Company at PLU - Tacoma, WA
Joseph-Beth Booksellers - Cincinatti, OH
Mrs. Nelsons Toy & Bookshop - LaVerne, CA
St. Helens Book Shop - St. Helens, OR
Schuler Books and Music - Okemos, MI
That Bookstore in Blytheville - Blytheville, AR
The King's English Bookshop - Salt Lake City, UT
Urban Think! Bookstore - Orlando, FL
Wild Rumpus Books for Young Readers - Minneapolis, MN

[From Shelf-Awareness]

This summer children are enjoying a global odyssey at Fireside Books and Gifts in Forest City, N.C. Three Saturdays per month in June, July, and August the store is hosting "Around the World with Fireside Books." Each event focuses on a different country and includes activities inspired by that particular land: story time, crafts, music, food and appearances by authors and other special guests.

The idea came about when store owner Linda Parks, manager Valerie Jones and media specialist Suzanne Ledford were brainstorming for a summer program centered on a theme. "We wanted something that was fun but also educational," said Jones. "We decided it would be interesting and beneficial to expose children to other cultures and show them things about places they might not ever get to visit."