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WORD: Online community for supporters of indie book retail launches
Edited Press Release

The IndieBound.org community, a gathering place for supporters of indie retail businesses, has now launched, the American Booksellers Association (ABA) announced. IndieBound, a movement to celebrate independent bookstores and to encourage shopping locally, kicked off in June and has become a strong presence in nearly a thousand independent bookstore locations across the country.

The community site lets consumers share information about indie retailers (including locations and specialties), comment on community issues, offer book recommendations, and exchange personal communication. Visitors are encouraged to add stores to the national indie retailer map, to become fans of stores, and to connect with like-minded indie enthusiasts.

"The mission of the IndieBound.org community is to help people across the United States share and find great independently-owned businesses," said ABA chief marketing officer Meg Smith. "By connecting indie-conscious people with local businesses, we're working to strengthen the health of Main Streets. Thriving local economies make for sustainable communities and happy residents." Smith stressed that the community site is "a work in progress. We're planning on rolling out new features and new content on a regular basis over the next six to 12 months."

Responding to both the consumer shift towards shopping at independent retailers and the growing emphasis on the ideas of localism and sustainability, ABA launched IndieBound at BookExpo America 2008 in Los Angeles. Growth of the movement is evidenced by the many ABA members sporting "Eat Sleep Read" and other banners, and displaying the Indie Next List (monthly book recommendations from indies across the country) and the Indie Bestseller List. The movement has been embraced by many bloggers, authors, publishers, and other indie retailers during its initial rollout to the public.

"Independent booksellers in stores of all sizes are proudly telling their customers and other indie retailers that 'we're IndieBound,'" said ABA President Gayle Shanks of Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe, Arizona. "Locally owned, indie booksellers introduce readers to great new writing, contribute far more to the health of their local economies, and play a crucial role in maintaining the unique character of their communities."

The IndieBound.org community can be found here.

About American Booksellers Association

Founded in 1900, the American Booksellers Association is a not-for-profit trade organization devoted to meeting the needs of its core members -- independently owned bookstores with storefront locations -- through education, information dissemination, business products and services, and advocacy. ABA exists to protect and promote the interests of independent retail book businesses, as well as to protect the First Amendment rights of every American. The association actively supports free speech, literacy, and programs that support local and independent retail shops. A board of nine booksellers, representing thousands of members, governs the Association. ABA is headquartered in Tarrytown, New York.


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