'Enthusiastic Response' at SIBA Show to ABA's Kobo Deal
Booksellers attending the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance trade show in Naples, Fla., over the weekend exhibited a "strong interest" in and "enthusiastic response" to the American Booksellers Association's recently announced deals with Kobo and Ingram to replace Google as an e-book solution for indies, according to ABA CEO Oren Teicher.
"They get it," he said. "Based on what we learned here, I have every confidence that the 400 stores we had projected with Kobo will happen." Teicher added that among the booksellers who indicated they would take advantage of the launch incentives being offered for the purchase of 10 Kobo devices (five Glo and five Mini) before October 20, "at least half went beyond the initial order."
One of them was Sally Brewster, owner of Park Road Books, Charlotte, N.C., who said she had also "talked four or five booksellers into upping their order. I think this is a great opportunity to get into the e-book game for us. It's a no-brainer. It lets our customers know Kindles are not the only game in town. I'm really excited about it. The ABA worked out a great deal with Ingram."
At an education session held Friday to further explain the digital option now available for ABA members, Teicher began with a cautionary note: "I should say at the outset that all of this is unfolding as we speak. There are still details we're working out."
During that session, and throughout the weekend, SIBA booksellers continued to ask ABA representatives at the show clarifying questions about the program and to offer suggestions.
"We're going to learn as we go and Kobo is going to learn," Teicher said. "They are not static. They realize that dealing with indies is different from dealing with large corporate headquarters."--Robert Gray