Bookseller School Teaches Fundamentals of Independent Bookselling

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As part of its extensive educational programming at BookExpo America (BEA), ABA is sponsoring a three-day booksellers school facilitated by Donna Paz and Mark Kaufman of Paz & Associates. "Fundamentals of Independent Bookselling: Strategies for Opening & Growing a Profitable Business" will be held from Wednesday, June 2, to Friday, June 4, at Chicago's McCormick Place Convention Center.

In an era where there is more retail space than ever before devoted to selling books -- plus the presence of Internet retailers -- sustaining and growing a profitable bookstore business requires that each person in a management role fully understand the fundamentals of running a business. Then the bookseller's own knowledge of the community and a highly personal touch can be infused to create a tangible competitive edge.

This comprehensive three-day course is geared toward those who are considering opening a bookstore or buying an existing store, current booksellers who still feel "new to the business," booksellers new to management and leadership roles, booksellers aspiring to management positions, or book industry professionals who want a better understanding of book retailing.

School programming on Wednesday, June 2, begins with a morning session from 9:00 a.m. - noon, "Welcome to Bookselling: Strategies for Opening a New Bookstore," in Room S105D. Though the morning session is listed as optional, it is considered a must for any bookseller new to retailing, and will touch on how much it costs to open a store and the many steps involved in setting up shop.

From 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m., also in Room S105D, there will three sessions: "Bookselling in Today's Business Environment," "Marketing in Today's Retail Climate: Developing & Communicating a Tangible Competitive Advantage," and "Let's do the Numbers: Improving Bookstore Profitability."

On Thursday, June 3, from 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. in Room N426A/B, there will be the "Marketing Plenary Session" featuring the father of "Guerrilla Marketing," Jay Conrad Levinson (to read an interview with Levinson, click here). From 10:15 a.m. - noon, "Marketing 101: Creating a Marketing Plan" will be held in Room 402A, and from 1:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. in Room S106 will be the sessions "Inventory: The Lifeblood of the Business" and "Creating an Exciting Place to Shop."

On Friday, from 9:00 a.m. - noon in Room S106, attendees will learn from the collective wisdom of veteran booksellers in the session "Growing a Successful Bookstore Business." In addition, before heading out onto the trade show floor, vendors and booksellers will discuss how to make the best use of time on the show floor.

Tuition is $350 per person and includes registration to the trade show and free events. To register for this program, visit; call Kristen Gilligan at (800) 637-0037, ext. 1286; e-mail:; or fax registration to Kristen at (914) 591-2724.

Booksellers who have attended past schools are invited to a "Booksellers School Reunion" on Saturday, June 5, from 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. in Room 404D.