July 30, 2019
New president of the American Booksellers Association
by Christina Cerio
According to Ed Nawotka reporting for Publisher’s Weekly, Jamie Fiocco just started her term as the American Booksellers Association board president. Fiocco is the owner of Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and, according to the interview with PW, is excited and eager to help ABA grow.
Her plans for her presidency include hiring a new CEO for ABA, as the current CEO is retiring in December of this year. Fiocco also noted she would like to continue to grow ABA membership, which she expects will bring in additional challenges as the idea of what a bookstore should be is changing. For example, newer stores and younger booksellers are frequently enthusiastic about joining ABA and becoming part of the broader bookseller community, but they also expect more specialized programs and education along with membership bonuses like mentorship and financial assistance.
Fiocco clarified that ABA is not in a position to offer financial assistance directly to stores (she suggested Book Industry Charitable Foundation for these needs) but instead reminds booksellers that ABA will be a bookstore advocate for better discounts and terms with publishers. She did point out that in order to best assist bookstores deal with financial pressure, the ABA needs accurate data from booksellers to use as a tool to find solutions and talk about the issues intelligently.
PW finishes with a quote from Fiocco: “I’m there to listen.” Booksellers, it sounds like you’re in good hands.
Christina Cerio is the Manager of Direct Sales & Special Projects at Melville House.