Opening a Bookstore

    Bookselling is a wonderful and fulfilling profession. ABA can help you become a savvy business-owner, too. Learn about business plans, store design, staffing, and positioning your business for success in a competitive marketplace. Here are some suggestions to help make your dream of owning an independent bookstore a reality:

    Becoming a Provisional ABA Member is a smart first step for anyone considering opening a bookstore. Provisional members have access to a wealth of information, tools, and expertise. From the Book Buyer's Handbook (fully searchable directory of publisher's terms, specials, and co-op offers), educational events and materials, bookseller forums and networking, the ABACUS financial benchmarking survey, and sample business plans, ABA has what you need to prepare yourself for bookstore ownership.

    Requesting ABA’s "Opening a Bookstore" Kit is easy and free. Just email ABA's new-bookseller liaison, Catherine Cusick and provide her with your name, email address, mailing address, potential store location and name, if applicable, and where you are in the process (are you on the verge of opening a bookstore? Halfway there? Or just thinking about it for now?). ABA will send you a digital kit of valuable information: news articles, vendor names, research on important topics, and an Opening a Bookstore checklist.

    Joining Your Regional Association is a great idea, too. Regional associations offer a specialized, local focus, plus regional promotional and networking opportunities, trade shows, and more. See the listing of regional trade associations at the bottom of this page.

    Next Steps....

    Sign up for Prospective Booksellers School, facilitated by Paz & Associates. This information-packed bookselling experience features workshops on finances, store design, inventory management, marketing, technology, and more. ABA members receive discounts for workshop tuition and guidebooks.

    Formulate a Business Plan. Your exploration of bookselling will benefit from a good reading of the information provided by the Small Business Administration on its website. From business plans to legal concerns, this is a wonderful stop for an overview and resources.

    Another great resource is The Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE). The organization’s hundreds of nonprofit chapters help link thousands of experienced business professionals with entrepreneurs every year. SCORE’s website has numerous articles and resources on a range of small business topics.

    Have questions? Contact ABA's new-bookseller liaison, Catherine Cusick at 800-637-0037 x7566.