A Roundup of ABA Team Efforts During the COVID-19 Crisis

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As the implications of the coronavirus outbreak continue to unfold, the team at the American Booksellers Association has been working hard to advocate for bookstore members and share critical information. Here are some of the initiatives underway at ABA:


  • Advocating for small business relief and educating members about available assistance though emails, calls, daily updates, biweekly open forums, and the Coronavirus Resources for Booksellers page on BookWeb
  • Meeting with the House Small Business Committee, the Senate Small Business Committee, the Small Business Administration, and Senator Rubio’s office
  • Sending letters to House and Senate leadership, small business committees, and governors asking for small business financial relief
  • Discussing digital copyright issues during COVID-19 with the Independent Book Publishers Association
  • Developing a list of general and region-specific resources about unemployment, grants, loans, and business services 


  • Meeting with publishers, Ingram, Bookazine, and affiliate partners daily to discuss current operational and supply chain issues and advocate for relief and better terms for members
  • Managing changes in Indie Next Lists and monthly box mailings due to the coronavirus disruption
  • Talking with publishers about action items for author to support indie bookstores


  • Monitoring cash flow and revising projections
  • Monitoring the ABA endowment
  • Monitoring and negotiating limits related to IndieCommerce credit card processing and Ingram fulfillment
  • Changing ABA’s IndieCommerce credit card processor
  • Working on dissolving Libris
  • Reviewing all affiliate agreements and vendor contracts

Member Education and Communication


  • Creating a children’s bookseller virtual event for summer 2020
  • Revising the 2020 Children’s Institute contract for 2021
  • Planning for Winter Institute in Cincinnati in 2021
  • Researching virtual event platforms, best practices, and possible partnerships for ABA and members
  • Researching the future of conferences, including new liabilities, best practices, and new protocols
  • Exploring ideas for beyond BookExpo

Press Interviews

  • Bloomberg, Boston Post, Time, AP, Shelf Awareness, Publishers Weekly
  • Designing and running a full-page Wall Street Journal ad featuring the phrase “Buy Local Now, Enjoy Local Later”
  • Working on C-Span Book TV episode featuring the coronavirus’ impact on indie bookstores


  • Managing a surge in online shopping and new IndieCommerce/IndieLite contracts
  • Adding hardware online (web servers and balancers) and upgrading the IndieCommerce database
  • Fielding over 200 tickets and 30 calls a day from IndieCommerce and IndieLite users
  • Beginning the process of integrating POS vendors and IndieCommerce
  • Converting to live inventory Ingram updates
  • Adding an export feature for New York Times bestseller reporting
  • Creating a donation button and digital gift card module
  • Increasing presence of Indie Next List titles on IndieCommerce sites

#SaveIndieBookstores Campaign

Booksellers are encouraged to reach out to ABA with any questions or concerns related to the COVID-19 outbreak.