A new monthly Indie Next List e-newsletter, powered by Shelf Awareness, will be available this fall free of charge to ABA member stores to offer to their customers. The newsletter will feature all of the month’s Indie Next List titles with bookseller quotes and “buy now” buttons that lead directly back to the sending store’s website for purchases. The newsletter, which will also be branded with the store’s logo, includes an interview (from Bookselling This Week) with the author of that month’s number-one title. (Samples of the September newsletter can be seen here and here.)
Participating stores will retain ownership of their mailing lists, and customers will not be added to any other lists. Replies to the e-mail will go directly to the sending store’s e-mail address.
The Indie Next List monthly newsletter will arrive in customers’ inboxes on the first Thursday of every month. Participation in the first year is limited to the first 150 qualified stores to sign up. A store’s start date may vary depending on the number of signups for the program. Signup for the e-newsletter program is via a form on BookWeb.org.
“The American Booksellers Association is delighted to be working with our friends at Shelf Awareness to make this new Indie Next List e-newsletter available to our members,” said ABA CEO Oren Teicher. “Their knowledge and experience successfully disseminating quality e-mail newsletters to consumers is well established, and we’re hopeful this new service will focus additional attention on each month’s Indie Next List selections while driving increased traffic to store websites and growing sales.”
Booksellers who participated in a beta test of the Indie Next List newsletter were pleased by their customers’ reactions. “We had several customers stop by the store just to tell us how much they enjoyed receiving the newsletter, and to see some of the books,” said Kenny Brechner of Devaney, Doak & Garrett Booksellers in Farmington, Maine. “It had clearly introduced them to the idea of a handselling community of independent booksellers. The newsletter strongly succeeded in its twin missions of helping to establish the Indie Next List brand, and of selling books.”
At The Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia, Kelly Justice said, “In spite of my initial skepticism about the Indie Next List e-newsletter, I have not only received orders from these mailings, I have received thank-yous from grateful customers. I think that the quality of the Indie Next List presentation is so high that it is incredibly enjoyable to view. The newsletter looks so good, in fact, that I was inspired to overhaul all of my [store’s] e-mail communications and make things look better and the content more valuable. “
“Having tested the new electronic version of the Indie Next newsletter for three months, we consider it to be a success,” said Jon Purves of Politics and Prose in Washington, D.C. “ The monthly e-mails are well presented and incorporate our store’s branding, offering a new avenue to direct customers to our retail website and highlight frontlist titles.”
To sign up for the monthly Indie Next List e-newsletter program, stores should complete the form available here and follow the directions to upload materials. Booksellers can also stop by the ABA booth at the fall regional trade shows to see samples of the Indie Next List e-newsletter and to learn more; questions can also be e-mailed to ABA Senior Program Officer Joy Dallanegra-Sanger.