IndieBound Bestseller List: A Unique Tool to Spur Sales

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Nothing starts a conversation quite like a list, especially a list of books. And the IndieBound Bestseller List is perfect for doing just that. A growing number of bloggers and tweeters are referencing the list -- creating conversations and generating interest and sales for great books.

In March, Patrick Covington at Accent on Books in Asheville, North Carolina, an Indie Bestseller List reporter, used his blog, Page 854, to explain to readers just what makes the Indie Bestseller lists special. "For a long time, 'the bestseller list' referred to one in particular: that published in the New York Times Book Review. Nowadays, however, there are dozens of such lists in various publications and on various websites," wrote Covington. "Our personal favorite here at Accent on Books is the Indie Bestseller List, which is compiled by Indiebound, a marketing initiative of the American Booksellers Association, of which Accent on Books is a member. For one thing, it is a list in which we have a personal stake: we are one of the 'reporting stores' for the list. Every week we report our bestselling titles to Indiebound, and our figures are combined with those of other independent bookstores to compile the final list. Which leads to the second reason we like it: it is a list that shows specifically what is selling in independent bookstores."

"Independent bookstores are known for being at the forefront of bestselling trends," said Meg Smith, chief marketing officer of the American Booksellers Association. "And each week the Indie Bestseller List reflects the combined knowledge and handselling efforts of booksellers at hundreds of ABA member stores across the country."

Bookstores can leverage the uniqueness of titles on the Indie Bestseller List in in-store displays, on store blogs and websites, and even in Twitter postings. To ensure the list accurately reflect the tastes of indie booksellers across the country, all ABA members are urged to report to the bestseller list each week. The greater the number of participating stores, the stronger the list and the more useful a sales tool it becomes.

Bloggers outside of bookselling find the Indie Bestsellers useful, too. An elementary school librarian looked at what was selling around Easter this past April in 100 Scope Notes, where he presented the Indie Children's Illustrated and Children's Interest lists, with a link to all of the Indie Bestseller lists. This blog entry elicited several kudos for indies from readers around the country.

The Indie Bestseller lists are a great tool for driving sales, whether on a store website, blog, in a shelf-talker, or on Twitter. However, all ABA members have a stake in creating the lists and bringing them to the attention of consumers. Learn how now.