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Bookstore Boot-Camp: Learning the Essential Business Skills

Posted By Nicki Leone, Friday, June 16, 2017
Bookstore Boot-Camp: Learning the Essential Business Skills


As much as a passion for books is essential to owning a bookstore, so is learning the business and best practices of bookselling. If you are new to retail management, new to owning your own small business, or new to bookselling, gaining the necessary skills is critical to the success of your new venture.


New owners have the opportunity to learn how to develop a profitable and sustainable business at the workshop retreat, “Owning a Bookstore: The Business Essentials” (also known as “Bookstore Boot-Camp”), August 27-30 in Nashville, Tennessee. 


Co-sponsored by the American Booksellers Association, this workshop is facilitated by Donna Paz Kaufman and Mark Kaufman of The Bookstore Training Group of Paz & Associates, with guest booksellers and trainers to share frontline expertise. Parnassus Books, bestselling author Ann Patchett’s bookstore, will be our bookstore host and the workshop will also feature a field trip to Ingram’s home offices and primary warehouse.

Trainees are required to first complete a self-study online training program to gain an understanding of the start-up investment requirements, learn how to assess the strength of a community to sustain a bookstore, be able to judge location options, and understand bookstore financial dynamics. With video presentations, hand-outs, spreadsheets, and exercises, the online training is designed to provide the fundamentals of the bookstore business.

Then when you join your colleagues at “Bookstore Boot Camp,” you will learn what you need during the start-up phase:  the key elements of store design and how much space you need, how to buy books and non-book merchandise, the disciplines of managing inventory, how to effectively use your bookstore computer system to manage the store, effective and low cost marketing strategies, developing an exceptional staff and more. Booksellers will learn best practices and finely-tuned strategies of the most successful independent bookstores, meet vendors, and become part of the supportive book industry network.

ABA members are eligible for discounted tuition. Workshop registration is limited, so it is recommended that you register early. For details, visit or call 904/277-2664.

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