The American Booksellers Association is announcing the creation of a Bookseller Relief Fund to assist booksellers affected by Hurricane Katrina. Contributions to the fund will be accepted, and ABA is seeding the relief fund with an opening donation of $25,000.
Checks should be made payable to Bookseller Relief Fund and sent to ABA's office at 200 White Plains Road, Tarrytown, NY 10591. Please write "Bookseller Relief" on the outside of the envelope.
"Our hearts go out to all those devastated by Katrina, and we want to do whatever we can to help. We know many in the book industry feel the same way, and are looking for ways to offer assistance," said ABA CEO Avin Mark Domnitz.
Several stores from around the county have also indicated their willingness to house and/or employ booksellers whose stores are unlikely to be able to reopen anytime soon. For a list of offers, go to www.bookweb.org/read/8067. Anyone willing to take in or to employ a displaced bookseller is asked to contact ABA's director of special projects, David Walker, at (800) 637-0037, ext. 6612 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABA members needing business-related advice in dealing with the effects of the hurricane are encouraged to contact Domnitz [(800) 637-0037, ext. 6610 or email@example.com] or Walker. Earlier this week, ABA sent an e-mail to all member stores in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi offering to talk to suppliers about extending credit terms for unsold or damaged inventory or about getting re-supplied with books. (For a related story about Katrina's impact on the U.S. Postal Service, UPS, and FedEx deliveries, click here.)
ABA has already been in communication with a number of the major publishers and national wholesalers that have expressed a willingness to help booksellers in any way they can and that have assured the association that booksellers in the affected areas need not worry about trying to get in touch with them.
Watch for more on the relief effort in upcoming editions of BTW.