Each month, the American Booksellers Association sends member booksellers Red and White Box mailings, but who gets what depends on a bookstore's level of participation in the IndieBound movement. The Red Box, known as the "Monthly Marketing Action Kit," containing Indie Next List fliers plus publisher-supplied items such as shelf-talkers, bookmarks, posters, catalogs, and other time-sensitive marketing materials, typically lands in all IndieBound bookstores by the 15th of the month.
However, to receive the White Box, containing galleys, ARCs, and finished books supplied by ABA publisher partners, by the end of each month, stores must participate in the IndieBound movement in at least two of the following ways:
- Regularly reporting to the Indie Bestseller List (three out of four weeks monthly)
- Nominating titles for the Indie Next List (one nomination per quarter)
- Offering the ABA gift card product
- Using the ABA e-commerce product
- Creating an Indie Next List store display and sending a photo that ABA can share with Publisher Partners and post on the IndieBound.org website (twice yearly)
The quarterly Children's White Box will also be sent as long as a bookstore participates in at least two of the ways mentioned above.
"Our Publisher Partners have come to rely on the White Box mailings as an effective and efficient way to get galleys and other materials into the hands of indie booksellers," said Mark Nichols, ABA senior director of publisher initiatives.
Carl Lennertz, vice president of independent retailing at HarperCollins, agrees. "The White Box is an integral part of every indie-oriented book's marketing campaign," Lennertz explained. "And we are, less and less, sending any reader's copies out any other way."
Jennifer Swihart Voegele, marketing director for Consortium Books Sales & Distribution, said, "Consortium publishers greatly appreciate the Red and White boxes as quick and relatively inexpensive tools to showcase independent books to independent booksellers. IndieBound offers open and direct access to booksellers that is especially meaningful to independent publishers."
Any ABA member store not currently receiving White Box mailings can start receiving them by participating in ABA's marketing programs in any two ways as outlined above.
New bricks-and-mortar ABA bookstore members that sell some amount of new books will automatically receive the Red Box. New stores will be exempt from the White Box requirements for the first three months of membership; however, to continue receiving White Box mailings after that time, they must participate in the ABA Marketing Program as described above.
Booksellers with questions about the Red and White Box mailings should contact Nichols at firstname.lastname@example.org.