Association News
A letter from our director

"Whether or not sales were up, flat, or down, independent bookstores worked tirelessly to keep their bright light shining at a time when it feels like we need them more than ever--and I don’t say that lightly. We always need bookstores, but in a year when we were confined to our homes, disinformation flared, Amazon deprioritized books, and our country desperately needed to read about antiracism, bookstores were there for us as an unwavering refuge in the storm.
I'd like to say thank you to booksellers and everyone in the industry who reinvented their work again and again. Each book we bought felt like one more brick laid on the path to a better world."

Featured Bookstore
How did you come to own an independent bookstore?
It has been a dream of mine since being the most bookish of children to spend all my days surrounded by books. When I met a friend in school who shared that dream I married him. Now, many years of work in healthcare and two children later, I decided to just go for it. Pandemic be darned, fear be darned, self-doubt and anxiety be darned. Our lovely little town needed a bookshop and I was the person to give it one.

Industry News
Abraham Associates ownership transfer
Abraham Associates announces that Stu Abraham has transferred ownership of the rep group to longtime sales rep John Mesjak, effective January 4, 2021.

New group principal John Mesjak says, “Stu and I have been working on this change of ownership for more than five years, but the Coronavirus pandemic provided us time and motivation to finalize the details and agreements. Our goal has always been to make sure that the stability of our rep group, our responsibilities for our client publishers, and our relationships with our booksellers around the midwest, continue into the future.”

As part of the ongoing transition plan, Stu will continue to work for the group for several more years, handling select accounts and projects. The group’s overall territory and account coverage will remain the same.

Stu Abraham says, “Even though it’s a difficult time in the book trade right now, reorganizing our group under John’s leadership will allow us to support our client publishers and our accounts well into the future and I am excited for the new year and working with John, Sandra, Emily and Ted.” 

Abraham Associates is an independent sales rep group providing sales and support to publishers and sideline & gift product creators, covering accounts in 13 states in the Midwest. The group was founded by Stu Abraham in 1992. New group head John Mesjak joined the group in 2007. Our current sales reps and staff also includes Emily Johnson, Sandra Law, and Ted Seykora.

News and updates from Abraham Associates can always be found at our web site:

Abraham's list of client publishers can be found at:
From ABA
Register for Winter Institute, hosted virtually February 18-20 (so sorry we won't be seeing you, Cincinnati!), Deadline: January 29

Complete the financial survey, which helps guide the ABA on what to focus on in 2021. Deadline: January 18
The Independent Bookstore Day catalog of exclusives goes live this Friday, January 15

This year’s exclusives include books by Stephen King, Nikki Giovanni, Jeff VanderMeer, Kawai Strong Washburn, Nigella Lawson and many more. Place your orders using the online order form on the newly updated

No orders of exclusives are necessary to participate. However, stores that wish to participate must sign up and agree to celebrate in-store and/or online on Bookstore Day. Sign up to participate using the order form to assure your store receives all IBD information, marketing materials, and is included on the searchable map. Deadline: February 5
Stores in the News
Unbound Book Festival
Author, Skylark Bookshop owner, and festival founder Alex George announced this year's schedule for the Unbound Book Festival, coming out of Columbia, Missouri. It's 100 percent online, so this year everyone can tune in enjoy enjoy this book programming from one of our very own booksellers.
How bookstores are coping
Red Balloon Bookshop and Next Chapter Booksellers are featured in Shelf's ongoing series.
Bookselling Spotlight: The Raven Book Store

Enjoy an interview with Raven Bookstore owner Danny Caine by Claire Kirch, Midwest correspondent for PW.
Midwest Independent Booksellers Association
1375 St. Anthony Ave, Suite 202-3
St. Paul, MN 55104

Carrie Obry, Executive Director

Kate Scott, Program Specialist