How to report your store's sales
Stay relevant in the minds of publishers and prove the strength of the indie sales channel
Report Sales to ABA
Gathered every week by the ABA (in conjunction with BookScan), the national Indie Bestseller list aggregates sales figures for ABA’s member bookstores throughout the country. A print-ready version of the national list is available on ABA’s IndieBound page to post in your store. Those figures are further divided into regional lists.
Reporting is both easy and confidential. Just choose one of the three ways to report:
The vast majority of stores choose the BookScan reporting method because it’s nearly automatic and drawn directly from your POS, and you also contribute to BookScan’s important sales data, which drives publishing decisions.
The BookScan compatible POS systems include:
- Book Manager
- Square One/iMerchant
- Word Stock
However, as long as the system is capable of creating the report in the necessary format, BookScan can also use independent and other point of sale systems. Contact email@example.com directly for instructions and to receive the appropriate software bridge.
If reporting via BookScan, transmit the weekly report no later than 10 pm each Monday.
ABA Manual Entry or File Upload
If reporting via the ABA manual entry or file upload methods, create a login and password for the ABA reporting area on BookWeb.org. (You will need an ABA ID number to create the account, so if you’re not yet an ABA member, please join ABA.)
Your report should include sales that week beginning 12:01 am Sunday through midnight Saturday. Transmit the weekly report no later than 3 am EST each Tuesday via the ABA reporting site. The reporting site opens each week at midnight Saturday.
Reporting Sales to the New York Times
The New York Times Bestseller Lists, posted on the web on Wednesday nights and published every Sunday in the print Book Review, reflect sales reported by vendors offering a wide range of general interest titles. The sales venues for print books include independent book retailers; national, regional and local chains; online and multimedia entertainment retailers; supermarkets, university, gift and discount department stores; and newsstands.
It’s increasingly important for independent booksellers to make their voices heard on a national level. Please, demonstrate the importance of the indie sales channel by reporting your sales to this important national outlet for book news.
If you do not yet report your sales to the New York Times, you can submit a request for an application. If accepted, you would be expected to send your confidential report with sales from the previous Sunday-to-Saturday period by noon on Tuesday Eastern time each week.
Reporting stores receive the following:
- Every Tuesday, you’ll receive an email letting you know what titles will be covered in the Book Review that weekend, giving you advance notice to order these titles for your loyal readers.
- You’ll also receive the Times Digest with the pdf containing the Bestseller Lists hours before they appear online and 10 days before they are listed in the print Book Review.
Frequently Asked Questions
Maual Entry FAQ
- Do I need to enter titles when reporting manually?
No. Titles are displayed for your convenience only. There is no need to enter titles manually, as all of this information is already stored in our database. You only need to enter ISBNs and quantities, and our system will do the rest.
- There is no title shown for an ISBN I entered. What should I do?
There is no need to do anything when this occurs. Occasionally, when an ISBN is entered into our system which has never been used before (such as a brand-new book) it will appear without a title listed. ABA E-Commerce Solution staff check these ISBNs and enter all of the necessary data before the bestseller lists are generated each week.
- Which option should I choose: category-entry or straight-entry?
You should choose whichever option is easier for you based on the format of your POS system's reports. Some POS systems report based on category, and some do not. If your reports are already sorted by category, you may want to use the category-by-category entry method. Similarly, if your system doesn't sort your sales, the straight-entry option may be the better choice. Your final decision about which method to use should be based on whatever makes reporting easiest and fastest for you.
File Upload FAQ
- Do I need to sort the records in my upload file by category?
No. The records you uploaded will automatically be sorted into the correct categories by our database. Your file needs to contain only ISBN numbers and quantities sold.
If you are entering your sales manually, you have the option of either entering by category, or by a single list. You are free to use which ever method best suits your needs. If you opt to manually enter sales in the single list, they will automatically be sorted into the correct categories by our database.
- My confirmation screen shows that some records were not loaded. Is something wrong?
This represents items which do not have valid ISBN's. They may be non-book items, remainders, or even extra characters in your upload file. Almost every sales file will have a certain number of these items, so a message that some records weren't loaded should not be considered a problem. However, if this number seems disproportionately large, you should manually check your file in a text editor to make sure there is nothing wrong with the data.
- I pressed "upload" but nothing seems to have happened, or my browser icon is spinning but nothing else seems to be happening. What should I do
Normally, while the upload is in progress the animated browser icon will be moving to let you know that the file is being transferred. Once the transfer is complete you will be taken to a confirmation screen. If you are connected to the internet via a dial-up connection, or are uploading a large file, this process may take several minutes.
If the upload process appears to have stalled for an extended period of time, please check to make sure your upload file has been generated properly. Sales data should only include items sold with a quantity of one or more. If your upload file is larger than 500 Kb, it is likely that there is erroneous or zero-quantity data contained in it.
- I received a confirmation that the upload is complete, but the number of records uploaded appears incorrect.
You should manually check your file in a text editor (such as Windows Notepad) to verify that the file contains the correct data. If everything appears to be correct, contact technical support for additional help.
- I accidentally uploaded a file with incorrect data. How can I correct my sales information?
If you generate and upload a new file with the corrected data during the same reporting period, the new file will automatically overwrite the older one. (This MUST be done during the same reporting period).
- I have to report for multiple stores, but each has its own file. What should I do?
In order to upload separate files, you need to log-out of the system and log back in with a different ID, created using the other locations' ABA member numbers. Multiple files uploaded using a single login name will overwrite each other. If you do not know the ABA numbers for the other locations, please contact technical support for assistance.
- How can I contact technical support?
Email Peter Reynolds at firstname.lastname@example.org