There’s a lot to go over today, so I’ll get right to it:
The application deadline has passed. All eligible bookstores will receive a check in mid to late May! We still have a few more days to accept donations. Please help us spread the word about the donation deadline and the final fundraising events:
- Today! Rick and Becky Riordan are still matching donations, dollar to dollar, up to $100,000!
- Tonight! Shannon Hale, author of the Austenland series, hosts a reunion of the cast and crew of the 2013 Austenland film in support of #SaveIndieBookstores. Watch it on ABA’s YouTube channel starting at 8:00 p.m. ET. #AustenlandReunion
- Wednesday! A John Grisham and Stephen King virtual event to promote both Camino Winds and If It Bleeds and to support of #SaveIndieBookstores. Live on Stephen King’s YouTube channel on April 29 at 7:00 p.m. ET.
- Thursday! The #SaveIndieBookstores donation deadline is 11:59 p.m. on April 30.
- Saturday! We’re in the final stretch of the Bookscan Challenge, which ends May 2. Archipelago, Beacon, ECW, Grove Atlantic, Steerforth, and Tin House are donating 100 percent of the profit of select backlist titles (as a multiple of weekly Bookscan unit sales). You can promote these titles online or over the phone to drive sales and donations!
- Monday! May 4 at 9:00 p.m. ET is the last My Brilliant Friend viewing party. Join Elena Ferrante’s translator, Ann Goldstein; Europa Editor-in-Chief Michael Reynolds; novelist and short-story writer Lauren Groff (Florida, Fates and Furies); writer and editor Maris Kreizman (The Maris Review); and author and poet Ian Williams (Reproduction) for an informal online conversation about Ferrante’s novels and the HBO adaption of My Brilliant Friend. The conversation will be followed by an exclusive reading by Goldstein from Ferrante’s new novel, The Lying Life of Adults. Then, if you have HBO, stay in the virtual “living Zoom” to watch the final episode of My Brilliant Friend.
- #SocksForBinc, Libro.fm’s partnership with artists to support the indies, continues!
- We’ve provided digital assets for you to use to spread the word for the final days of #SaveIndieBookstores.
- Thank you! So many people have generously donated to this campaign. Some are listed on the #SaveIndieBookstores donor page, and some donated anonymously. We are incredibly grateful to all of them. We are also incredibly moved by the number of booksellers who donated to the fund, and the bookstores who didn’t apply for the money because they felt that other bookstores might need it more.
Some parts of the country are starting to open back up as shelter-in-place mandates are lifted. Many stores in these areas are reporting that they do not plan on opening fully to the public yet, despite being allowed to do so. For some, the plan is to adhere to CDC guidelines and scientific evidence, rather than government policy, for when it’s safe to open fully again. Some are continuing the hybrid operations they began under shelter-in-place: curbside pickup, shipping, and delivery. We’ll keep you posted as we hear from stores about how they’re making these difficult decisions and how they’re proceeding.
We appreciate stores updating us about their EIDL and PPP experience by emailing us at email@example.com.
ABA is working on sourcing and partnerships to acquire face masks for stores. Stores may need masks for their staff and to sell to customers. Ingram is currently backordered for face masks on iPage; stores can still place backorders. This will demonstrate demand and help encourage Ingram to order more. Ingram is also trying to source hand sanitizer for stores. (Protective Masks, Product Code: 826750090029, US SRP: $7.50.)
Watch Out for Fraudulent Internet Orders
The IndieCommerce team is seeing a significant increase in fraudulent online orders. Most of these have only one red flag: the bill-to and ship-to addresses don’t match. We strongly encourage stores to call and verify those orders. If you’re unable to reach someone at the number provided, it’s a good indicator that the order is fraudulent.
Another red flag is the customer’s IP address. If the bill-to and ship-to addresses don’t match, stores should check where the IP address is located to see if it matches either the bill-to or ship-to address. The IP address is printed at the top of every order.
There have also been a few fraudulent textbook orders. Some of these are large orders (which are always good to call and verify) and some have been small orders. If your store is not in a college town or doesn’t normally receive textbook orders, we encourage you to call and verify these orders as well. It also helps to train staff who process your online orders on what to look for, not just on individual orders but on how orders compare to one another.
For example, one store reported noticing multiple smaller orders from the same IP address but different bill-to and ship-to addresses. It may help to understand where these fraudulent orders come from: There are bad actors who sell books online. They take orders from customers and get paid. But they get the books for free from you by ordering books from your store with a fraudulent credit card then having them sent to their customer.
Please refer to the Fraudulent Order section on BookWeb for more information and please notify indieCommerce if you receive fraudulent orders. This helps us warn other stores about similar fraudulent orders.
It’s critical right now that publishers hear from bookstores — about your store’s operating status and about your store’s financial status. Many publishers are offering assistance on a case-by-case basis, but we’re still hearing reports from publishers who are not hearing from bookstores. We strongly urge you to contact both your credit rep and your sales rep to let them know what’s going on. These conversations don’t have to be difficult. You’re just offering them information. That information will potentially help the publishers help you, and it will help the publishers have context when ABA meets with them next week for our annual publisher meetings.
ABA is here for you. Please reach out if there is anything we can help with. We are an incredibly creative, resilient, supportive industry. We’ll get through this, together.