BookSense.com and Regional Booksellers Associations Offer Members New Benefit

    Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionSend by emailSend by email

    Six regional associations are working with BookSense.com to offer to their members who have a BookSense.com Web site the opportunity to add their association's regional holiday catalog to their site. It's as simple as adding a link to their content page, said Len Vlahos, director for BookSense.com. "This is just one more fine example of how regional associations and ABA can work together to the benefit of all their member bookstores," he told BTW.

    The idea to offer this new BookSense.com holiday catalog benefit came about last January when a number of regional associations approached BookSense.com and asked if there was a simple way that their members could post the holiday catalog in a click-and-buy format to their site.

    The Upper Midwest Booksellers Association (UMBA), one of the regionals offering its members the online holiday catalog, has maintained a Winter Catalog on its Web site for the past few years, noted Susan Walker, UMBA's executive director. "However, the catalog on our Web site is not a commercial one, you can't purchase books through it," she explained. "We felt if we could work with BookSense.com, this would enable customers to purchase books [through an online catalog]."

    Thom Chambliss, executive director of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association (PNBA) said, via e-mail, that he "found that a number of our members were interested in listing the catalog on their Web sites.... Knowing that the hard part of that effort would be in making the titles clickable for sale on their sites, I asked [Len Vlahos] if they could produce a saleable version for BookSense.com members in the Northwest."

    The result is the new BookSense.com benefit, which now is offered, for a fee, to regional associations as a purchase-oriented page, available for easy addition to any BookSense.com site. Aside from PNBA and UMBA, four other regional associations offer their members the feature: the Great Lake Booksellers Association, the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association, the Southern California Booksellers Association, and the Southeast Booksellers Association.

    Fern Jaffe, owner of Paperbacks Plus in the Bronx, New York, a New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association member, added a link to the association's holiday catalog to her store's Web site the moment the feature became available, she told BTW. That was about two weeks ago. "It's a wonderful enhancement for the Web site and the bookstore," she said. "I wonder why anyone wouldn't do it. It wasn't hard. I was pleased. It was well worth doing."

    PNBA's Chambliss expressed similar sentiments. "It is our sense at PNBA that the more ways we can make the holiday catalog available to our members to enhance their exposure, the better," Chambliss said. "The benefit to members stores is that it provides them with an incredibly easy way to add the entire holiday catalog list to their Web sites, in a click-and-buy format, without their having to pay to have it done…. It's free cross-promotional marketing."

    For more information, or questions regarding BookSense.com's new Holiday Catalog benefit, contact Len Vlahos at (800) 637-0037, ext. 1215, or via e-mail at len@booksense.com.