US indies brave uncertain times at Annual Winter Institute

US indies brave uncertain times at Annual Winter Institute

The 13th Winter Institute, held by the American Booksellers Association (ABA) in Memphis, Tennessee, was vibrant and upbeat as ever. But also unmissable during the three days of education and networking—the hallmarks of what has become the premier bookselling event in the US—was an underlying current of anxiety regarding the sustainability of independent booksellers.

Rising rents, minimum wage levels and long working hours put increasing pressure on bookshops’ economic wellbeing. The ongoing migration of customers to the internet, but also the disparity in profitability between publishers ...

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