IndieNext Deadlines

The IndieNext list published by the American Booksellers Association (ABA) is a fantastic sales tool. At the very least, you should make the brochure available to your customers and put the books on display. (You don’t have to read all of the books… trust your fellow booksellers!)

It would be good for your bookstore, however, if you submit nominations to the ABA, because to have your nomination featured is another selling point to your customers.

Looking at the nomination deadline schedule’s timing is a little difficult to get your head around. From what I can decipher, the deadline for the monthly blurb will fall on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or 5th of the month… whichever of those days falls on a Friday or Tuesday. The next deadline is for March 2014, and nominations are due tomorrow, January 3rd. But don’t panic! If you’ve read something that will be published in March or after, write a couple of conversational sentences and send them to or complete the nomination form. The folks at the ABA will even take care of spelling, grammar and punctuation.

For future nominations, rather than trying to figure out the new deadline each month, I recommend thinking about the nomination the month prior. Many of us are deadline oriented, and the end of the month is easier to remember than the beginning. Or better yet. Are you reading a book right now that’s not due for a while? Write it up and send it early. It’s off your plate, and the ABA will be hold onto it until the appropriate deadline. Then the next time I send a reminder, you can pat yourself on the back.

Remember to remind your staff of the deadlines as well. If they’re daunted about writing a nomination, ask them to tell you about the book and jot it down for them.

Finally, remember to copy your rep when you press send.

Here’s a complete list of 2014 Indie Next List Deadlines.

300 Seconds: The Media List

The beginning of a new year seems to be an appropriate time to clean things up. Today you should take a look at your media list. Did Jane Smith retire? Did Sam Jones move to a different market? It truly takes just a few minutes to call the folks on your list to verify that the contacts you have are still appropriate.

Once you’re finished, add an “Updated 01/02/14” footnote, then save it as a PDF. Now it’s ready to send to any publicist who might be sending an author your way.

If you don’t have a media list, it doesn’t take much time or effort to create one. Just jot down the list of media outlets in your area, including newspaper, radio, television, etc. Write down any names with whom you’re already familiar. Include their names, title, e-mail address, phone and fax numbers, and mailing addresses. Be sure to include multiple names for different specialties (book page, children & family writer, etc.) I recommend calling the radio and television stations to ask for the news director’s name because they tend to change often. When you call, explain who you are and that you’re updating your media list. Creating a new media list might take a *few* 300 second sessions, but it will be worth it.

#shelfie: Kristopher Jansma

#shelfie: Kristopher Jansma

Oxford Dictionaries named “selfie” the word of the year. Just this week, linguist Ben Zimmer mentioned it as he discussed options for the American Dialect Society’s word of the year on NPR’s All Things Considered. Both organizations mentioned the spin-off “shelfie”. So, what’s a shelfie? Well… it’s a peek inside your soul! It’s a look at who you are through your bookcase.

Introduce your customers to the concept. Post this #shelfie on your Facebook page or other social media. This #shelfie belongs to Kristopher Jansma, author of The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards, which will be released in paperback on February 25th. The books in the background? Research for his forthcoming book due out in 2015!

I posted another #shelfie of Kristopher on the Books & Whatnot Facebook page, so you have choices if you’d like to post one. Be sure to follow Kristopher on Facebook, and hand-sell the heck out of The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards.

IndieNext Shelf Talkers

Do you use the IndieNext Shelf Talkers from the American Bookseller Association? The January 2014 selections are ready for you to print and display. And if you use ShelfWiz, they’re ready, too. Here are links to the dated shelf talkers and the undated shelf talkers.

300 Seconds: The Front Door Test

You have just 5 minutes for marketing today? Here’s something you can do with those 300 seconds. Walk though your front door as if you’re the customer. What do you see?

  • Dirt? Cobwebs? Obstructions?
  • Does anything look tired?
  • Are your hours clearly marked?
  • Do you offer events? Is that clear to your customer?

Even if you do not have the time to fix problems, you’re well on your way because you’ve identified them. Think about a plan of action and then attack as you have the time.