Booksellers Seek an Exchange of Ideas

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Traffic on ABA's four online booksellers' forums on has always had its ups and downs, but as we slip into the final weeks of summer, it has dropped off significantly, and this is distressing to some ABA member booksellers who view the forums as a vital tool for the exchange of ideas.

Susan Weis of Breathe Books in Baltimore, Maryland, recently wrote to ABA to express her dismay at the lack of participation in the forums and asked that we try "to mobilize the troops." That said, here's our plug for the Idea Exchange (, which is open to ABA member booksellers only, for the exchange of ideas with colleagues and to express opinions to, and ask questions of, the ABA Board and staff.

There are currently four forums on the Idea Exchange: The "Booksellers General Forum," to facilitate the general exchange of ideas among members; the "Ask ABA" forum, to address questions or bring matters of concern to the ABA Board or staff; the "Ask Forum," for stores currently participating in or for those who would like to learn about it; and the "Inventory Control Systems" forum, to share thoughts about available systems.

Forum users must agree to abide by the "ABA Web site Statement, Policies, and Forum Agreement" posted on the site. These policies prohibit the posting of any defamatory, abusive, profane, threatening, offensive, anti-competitive, or illegal statements, information, or materials. To view the complete document, click here.

A login name and password are required to access the forums. To register for the online forums and for access to all restricted areas of, booksellers may simply click here for an online registration form. This form is also accessible by clicking on the "Register for BookWeb" icon at the bottom of the left navigation bar on the BookWeb homepage. Booksellers will be asked to provide a login name, password, and their ABA ID number.