The State of Independent Bookselling on Covid-19

4G9A2825 Sell Online Like A Creative Genius   

The American Booksellers Association has about 2,500 member stores mostly independent brick and mortar stores. Although a big chunk of the membership has not really spent much work on their online storefront, as booksellers adapt to online business models in a fraught global economic moment, the coming months of transition could determine whether independent bookstores survive. The Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic has not just put a hold on bookstores storefronts but it will forever change the community events and operations of bookstores.

As of this writing 2 or 3 states in the 50 US States has started a phase re-opening on non-essential stores. A bookshop is always a place for community, belonging and refuge. I remember in 1998 when we started selling used and antiquarian books, customers who were die hard book lovers would be excited in flipping each book from the dust jacket to the different pages of a book in excitement. This pandemic experience will changed certainly some habits on how we browse or maybe how long we have to even decide going through all those pages meanwhile in the absence of a vaccine.

I also remember in very early 2000 when i was conversing with friends that we have started experimenting on the online book marketplaces while at the same opening up our own web store maintained by a former bookseller. At that time the mighty “A” was the talked of the book selling industry’s advocacy on how everyone can compete selling used books for a penny. We went through a lot in these marketplaces being made to adhere to exuberant marketplace selling fees and commissions not to forget the un-equal  and un-bias adhering to rules and regulations being implemented by the operators of these marketplaces.

Sometime 2007, I met with my small staff to announced we will spend a good time of our resources to slowly build our own website, brand and presence. I didn’t really have a very good response as then our online exposure was mostly bleeding us with expenses instead of profits. This also was a time that if you don’t have the financial means to heavily spend on CPC, SEO, Adwords and Social Advertising your not gonna even show up in the internet search. Sad to say even today this end expenditure game still persist.

For us, the one good thing we got  is maybe because we have been online for all these years, were kinda old in that manner that we actually have regular customers and visitors or our sites nowadays and we also show up on organic internet searches.

In the years since Amazon opened its online bookstore in 1995, the books market has evolved. Major chains, like Borders and Book World, have disappeared. Amazon now accounts for more than half of all book sales, and three quarters of all books or e-books bought online, according to Codex, a book audience research firm. Over the last five years, Amazon’s market share of all books has jumped 16%.

The Covid-19 pandemic with the shelter in place on major states the last 2 months had affected the entire US economy. Booksellers must take this as an online opportunity to start or strengthen their presence. Although we have some good ideas on curbside pick-up or delivery, the cost of doing business would be lesser if you could generate more online sales while establishing your brand. Amazon Prime, Fresh and Pantry has slowed down on their delivery as they focus on essential items for Covid-19.

Now is the best time for booksellers to use this to take orders online, pack, fulfill and ship as fast as one can using this as leverage. Although we know it also slows down even own fulfillment in our closed stores or houses due to safety precautions on social distancing and the like, the good news is that were also educating now the online book buyers that it’s about time they give their business and loyalty to the independent online booksellers.

Despite that grim statistic, Book Scan’s most recent weekly report shows the book industry managing relatively well. According to Book Scan, year-to-date sales are down 1.3 percent by unit and 3.2 percent by MSRP (manufacturer’s suggested retail price). Though unit sales fell 6.6 percent overall in the five weeks spanning the COVID-19 disruption (March 1–April 4), they recouped by 6.9 percent during the week of March 29–April 4. The New York metropolitan area, which plunged 15.7 percent overall March 1–April 4, surged ten percent March 29–April 4, and the Chicago/IN area had a 20.5 percent increase that week. Among Book Scan’s top 99 demographic areas, nearly a third reported flat or positive sales—not ideal but perhaps better than expected.

So if you haven’t really spent much time in your online storefront as bookstore owner, now is the time to do so. I’m optimistic as well that finally brick and mortar stores will  finally have a change on one’s gradual thinking that “”online bookstores are indeed essential to the survival of the independent book selling industry””.

Alex Esguerra

Founder

ADLE International

Affordable Books versus Cheap Books

Conceptualizing the vision of Affordable Books in 1998 had it’s own pros and cons. The idea of having books “Affordable” especially for students, low income groups, seniors and disabled people indeed was the main idea behind the ideology. Although, the other part of it was keeping in mind that we are still a business needing profits to exist, thus we strive to offer the affordability concept but pricing enough to make some profit for operational expenses and the cost of doing business.

Hence, we shy away from using “Cheap” as we are not the cheapest place like the mighty name in the bookselling industry. Yet however we are not expensive like the drop shippers or antique book dealers trying to make that high bucks.  With this in mind though our flagship, www.affordable-booksonline.com and the rest of our online portfolios like www.usedbooksworld.com  strives to still offer the best prices specially for out of print and hard to find books as well as bestsellers and textbooks.

So looking at it, we are in between on pricing but were  niching on prompt delivery, customer service  and high quality books offered and described. And as any fledgling independent bookseller, there’s a lot of tough times and challenges simply to exist but the joy of doing what we do and the love of books keeps as going each day on our store and online.

Now on our 18th year, a lot has happened and transitioned in the industry including mobile apps and online advertising. I do however thank our loyal customers through the years who has continuously patronized us over the years through thick and thin. If not for them were probably not in cyberspace by now yet we have prevailed. The best part of it is that our online stores nowadays exist on their own which is really hard without the big box bookselling marketplaces we used to all belong and whom has the advertising dollars and pool of books from online booksellers.  Today we have streamline our participation on book marketplaces to the more specialized ones in tune to our concept of “affordability”.

As we go through our 18th year, our staff at ADLE International wishes to extend our special thanks to all of you.

Alex Esguerra

 

 

 

Audacity: How Barack Obama Defied His Critics and Created a Legacy That Will Prevail -On the Street 1/17/2017

One of this years bestselling books to hit the shelves a day after we remember  Martin Luther King is another Audacity Book on Barack Obama’s Yes We can Campaign. It talks about how he strive to pursue his presidential slogan after 2008 amidst his detractors, critics and political enemies.

We will carry this book on the day after MLK at Affordable Books On Line.  An unassailable case that, in the eyes of history, Barack Obama will be viewed as one of America’s best and most accomplished presidents. Written by bestselling author Jonathan ChaitPublisher:  Custom House, Review Quotes:
Chait offers a well-organized, clearly written case that will be valuable to future historians in their assessments. –Kirkus Reviews”

Over the course of eight years, Barack Obama amassed an array of historic achievements. His administration saved the American economy from collapse, expanded health insurance to tens of millions who previously could not afford it, negotiated an unprecedented nuclear deal with Iran, helped craft a groundbreaking international climate accord, reined in Wall Street, launched a fundamental overhaul of our education system, and formulated a new vision of racial progress. He has done all of this despite a left that frequently disdained him as a sellout, and a hysterical right that did everything possible to destroy his agenda, even in instances when they actually agreed with what he was doing before Obama was the one doing it.

While the last historic achievement “Obamacare” is now the ultimate first to be repealed by the incoming administration and Congress, Barack H. Obama is optimistic that it’s revision will still be geared ultimately to the initial goal of providing health insurance to millions of Americans without medical coverage when it was originally conceptualized.

His first act in 2008 was to bail out the auto industry as the precursor to his legacy in stabilizing the great recession in modern time. Now, as the page turns to possibly the most dangerous Commander in Chief in our history, Jonathan Chait, one of America s most incisive and meticulous political commentators, digs deep into Obama s record on major policy fronts the economy, the environment, domestic reform, health care, race, and foreign policy to demonstrate why history will judge our forty-fourth president as among our greatest. Chait explains why so many observers, from cynical journalists to disheartened Democrats, missed the enormous evidence of progress amidst the smoke screen of extremist propaganda and the confinement of short-term perspective. He also reveals why Obama s accomplishments will last despite the reactionary effort by Donald Trump and the Republicans to extinguish them. And in its resounding defense of Obama s tenure, Audacity both makes clear his victories, and what we need to fight for next.

This will be a great reading book in time for the inauguration of the 45th President, Donald Trump on January 20 while watching Barack and Michelle Obama’s historic farewell send of in Marine One from the White House lawn.

This book’s ISBN: 0062426974 and UPC: 9780062426970

Hardcover
Physical Description: xxii, 240 pages : 9.50 H x 1.00 D x 6.50 W inches 0.94 lb

Audacity: How Barack Obama Defied His Critics and Created a Legacy That Will Prevail Hardcover – January 17, 2017 by Jonathan Chait

Alex Esguerra

ADLE International

Our 2016 Affordable bestselling books

Some of ADLE International’s Affordable Books on line most bought bestsellers this year.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child  –  curse

The Hidden Life of Trees – trees

Fantastic Beast – fantastic

Star Wars Rogue One – One Secret Mission – tsecret

When Breathe Becomes Air – air

The Underground Railroad –  underground

The Gene –   gene

The Undoing Project –  undoing

ADLE International started from a lof of humble beginnings, successes, pitfalls, and mistakes as any struggling start-up home based small business enterprise.

The story of Affordable Books and ADLE International encompasses the life stories and struggles of persistence and determination of it’s founder, author, writer, blogger

philanthropist, Alex Esguerra.

As a major brick and mortar online independent retailer, the storytelling begins with smallbusinessmentors  in 1999. Fresh from the collapse of an export and etock market empire after being hit by the 1998 Asian Economic Crisis which led to the stock market collapse in 1999, a ever persistent entrepreneur roam the parks of Vancouver, B.C. homeless, hungry and struggling for survival.

However, faith, hope and determination persisted when a struggling Alex still managed to register ADLE International as a sole proprietorship in Salem, the capital city of the state of Oregon, USA.

 

Spotlight: American Booksellers Association

indie

The ABA, American Booksellers Association has been the backbone of the bookselling industry especially Indie Bound and Independent Booksellers.

“Founded in 1900, the American Booksellers Association is a national not-for-profit trade organization that works to help independently owned bookstores grow and succeed. ABA’s core members are key participants in their communities’ local economy and culture, and to assist them, ABA provides education, information, business products, and services; creates relevant programs; and engages in public policy and industry advocacy. The Association actively supports and defends free speech and the First Amendment rights of all Americans. A volunteer board of 11 booksellers governs the Association. ABA is headquartered in White Plains, NY.” Excerpt for the American Booksellers Assn website.

There are different tiers and membership levels in the ABA. It is also known for Advocacy Issues and Free Expressions such as pressing issues affecting a new or current bookseller, Issues like Sales Tax, Minimum Wage, Healthcare, Small Business Working Capital and even the fight on the Amazon monopoly as well as big box businesses.

With the onset of Amazon rules the Internet as well as policy and legislations that affect every bookstore owner today, one cannot find the cruel challenges faced by a small independent bookseller without the conglomerative efforts of the ABA.  There are also the professional chapters under the association’s umbrella. Though, there are other associations in the books industry aside, we know for a fact that ABA is indeed the main umbrella in terms of organization.

At Affordable Books @ ADLE International we extremely proud having ABA on our backs. The Indies first program and the different learning bookselling institute had help us increase our knowledge base and education. And proudly we can say that the American Booksellers Association is our association per se.

Alex Esguerra

 

 

 

 

Affordable Books for All

Such a big mission for making books affordable for all.

  • Today’s Amazon monopoly on books seems to be a hard task on making books affordable.
  • Why is that when Amazon seems to be the cheapest site to buy books?
  • Yes and No. it’s huge drop ship wholesale sellers might be dominating the cheapest price on new and used books. Yet, when your scouting that one hard to find book and the quantity is almost none, these same people are Gods pricing such books as “Gold”. Sometimes looking at one book can be $500 to $3000.
  • As collectible as it may be it’s plain hoarding not to say will a real antiquitarian book collector really buy such a book?
  • So literally the destruction on independent booksellers are we’re trying to make that small profit to survive on a new or used book but it’s impossible to compete as these sellers are selling way lower that the price we buy them from publishers and wholesalers. How they do this is a long explanation but nevertheless it’s their way of doing business.
  • And again for the hard to find out of prints with considerable value valued at the priced of gold is another discussion.

So Affordability for us is competitive pricing while creating that book value, great service and personal buyer connection.

Yes the saga still continues on these monopolies but we’re here to stay our own saga at Affordable books