May 24 – May 30, 2010 Edition Booksellers Association Sees Small Gains in Membership

NEW YORK, NY/AUTHORLINK NEWS/May 24, 2010—The American Booksellers Association reports that its membership numbers are finally turning around after the organization lost nearly a third of its members during the economic downturn. Oren Teicher, CEO of the ABA, which represents independent stores, said "Despite fears of a significant number of store closings as a result of the worst economy since the Depression, the good news is that much of the ABA membership is holding its own," according to the Huffington post.

As BookExpo America gets underway in New York this week, Teicher said the rise, though tiny, signals optimism. Memberships grew from last year’s low of 1401 members to 1410 this year, reversing the huge loss of more than 3,000 members within the past few years.

Teicher credits last year’s turnaround mostly to the smarts of the independent community and a willingness to experiment, such as the literary day camp at BookPeople in Austin, Texas, or the clothing store in the Northshire Bookstore in Vermont. ABA president Michael Tucker, co-owner of Books Inc. in San Francisco, says the economy may have helped some stores, making it cheaper to find retail space in downtown locations.