An Update From ABA’s CEO on Progress Towards a New E-Book Solution

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Dear ABA Member Bookseller:

Following the busy days of BookExpo America, I wanted to give you a brief update on a very important issue: ABA’s implementation of a new e-book solution for indie booksellers. 

As I noted in my report at the Annual Membership Meeting at BEA, the American Booksellers Association completely understands the importance of your ability to continue to offer your customers a convenient and competitive way to purchase e-books. Quite simply, you have our assurance that well in advance of Google’s January 2013 termination of their reseller program there will be a new e-book solution in place for ABA member stores.

Unlike 2010 — when ABA and Google entered into our agreement — today there are many more companies operating in this arena, offering a number of options for indie booksellers regarding e-books. 

Since learning of Google’s decision in April, we have been talking to every potential partner, as we aggressively work to launch a new program. So you know, we have spoken and met with literally dozens of companies, and have been evaluating all of them in light of three key criteria: whether they can meet the necessary timetable, whether they have sufficient financial resources, and whether they will be able to fulfill their commitments for the full term of our partnership. Throughout this process, we have received significant input and feedback from the Digital Task Force, the Booksellers Advisory Council, and the ABA Board.

Our goal is to have the new e-book solution in place by the fall, in anticipation of the upcoming holiday season, and we fully expect it will be a program that will offer options to all ABA members whether they use IndieCommerce or not.  

It is our intention to work with our colleagues at the regional booksellers associations to create multiple opportunities at this year’s round of fall trade shows to introduce our new program. And, in addition, as reported elsewhere in this issue of BTW, ABA will host a special IndieCommerce Institute in early September. 

Putting the new e-book solution in place as quickly as possible is ABA’s number-one immediate goal. And, while we understand that the lion’s share of your sales are still in print books — and will remain so — we also know that your ability to sell e-books to your customers is an essential component of your store’s offerings. 

In the coming weeks, should you have any questions regarding the e-book solution for ABA members, please feel free to contact either ABA’s Technical Director, Matt Supko, or ABA’s Director of Member Technology, Neil Strandberg. And, as always, never hesitate to contact me as well.

Warm regards.

Oren J. Teicher, CEO
American Booksellers Association