Indie Communication
Upgrades, preparing for the holidays, and more!
Dear IndieCommerce Member,

Welcome to our new monthly newsletter, IndieCommunication!
In order to keep our membership better informed, we will be curating a collection of IndieCommerce news and tips on a monthly basis . 

Our team recently added all active site administrators to our distribution list.  Should you prefer not to receive these mailings, please feel free to opt out at the bottom of this email.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy!
IndieCommerce Staff
System Upgrade to Drupal 7
Beginning November 1st, our team will be entering a 'Code Freeze' on our  installation of Drupal 6.  Essentially, this means that we will no longer process feature requests and only essential bug fixes will be implemented.  This practice will improve system stability and ensure that all of our sites are operating smoothly during the holiday season.

Most importantly, our team will begin working our platform upgrade.


As Drupal continues to grow, every version follows a life cycle of support.  As of January 2013, Drupal 7 became the new stable version, Drupal 8 began development, and Drupal 5 is no longer supported by the community.  Our system is built on Drupal 6, and it is only a matter of time before our installation suffers the same fate as Drupal 5.

Keeping current in standard web practices is increasingly important to being a successful online business.  Drupal 7 is more powerful, efficient, and offers many themes that are responsive in design.  As more customers begin to view the web on tablets and smartphones it is essential to have a site that adapts to the environment it is being viewed in.

While the interface many of you have become accustomed to is changing, we find that the usability of 7 is elegant, and easier to use than it's predecessor.

Our team is also taking this opportunity to overhaul a couple of elements that have been a thorn in the side of many.
  • Search will be completely rewritten- we know that customers have trouble finding what they are looking for, and will restructure the code to provide more accurate results.  We also hope to include Predictive Text and a Did You Mean function.
  • Book data processing will be improved-  All those covers and author bios that are missing? Pub dates that are not correct? We know, it's a major problem.  We're going to rebuild our internal scripts to output information more accurately.

 So, what can you expect? 

  • We'll be working behind the scenes this winter, and IndieCommerce will remain on Drupal 6 through the spring.
  • The Code Freeze will continue until Drupal 7 has been implemented.  We also ask that stores considering a custom theme hold off until the new platform is released. 
  • Our team will be rolling out the new system in small batches, with beta test volunteers being our first priority. 
  • Extensive training and help materials will be provided by ABA Staff.
  • Once all is said and done, you'll have an even better website than ever before!

Our team will continue to keep our members informed as we make progress through the upgrade.  If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact us. 

Biblio Integration Now Available
Many IndieCommerce stores have requested the ability to include used book inventory into our platform.

We now have a new partnership that we hope will resolve the need for http://www.bookweb.org/news/new-affiliate-program-provides-access-millions-used-rare-op-booksused book support online--
 
The American Booksellers Association has teamed up with Biblio.com to  offer a new affiliate program that enables member stores to give their website visitors instant access to millions of used, rare, and out-of-print books from more than 5,000 independent booksellers worldwide.

For more details, please visit this link.
IndieCommerce Institute- A Recap
For those of you who attended an IndieCommerce Institute this year, our team would like to thank you again for participating and for sharing feedback from the sessions. 

We've noticed many of the attending stores are making positive changes to their online storefronts, and hope that the institute provided the necessary tools to accomplish your online needs.

We understand for one reason or another, it was not possible for some stores to attend the workshop.  We'd like to share some of the help materials from the main session--

Please visit ictraining.indiebound.com and click through the tabs to review the content discussed.

Should you have any questions, IndieCommerce staff would be happy to explain any of the materials by phone or email.  If you are attending Winter Institute 9 in Seattle, our team will be available for personalized one-on-one consultations.

We also found that advice from your peers is invaluable!  In the spirit of the Advanced Seminar, we would like to encourage stores to visit the this thread in the Bookweb.org forums, submit their sites for review, and provide feedback for other stores listed.
Did You Know?
How to highlight ABA provided content pages on your IndieCommerce site?

There are a number of pages that exist on every IndieCommerce site-- While we know they are there, some of you, or your customers may not know how to find them. 

The key to accessing the content is in knowing the path of the page.  The path of any given page is the portion of the URL after .com/.

For example, the link to the browse catalog page:
http://ictraining.indiebound.com/browse/book
Has a 'path' of browse/book.

Other paths of note are: indie-next-list, indie-bestsellers, reading-group-indie-next-list, kids-indie-next-list, kobo/help/about, & browse/kobo.

This week, we released the ABC Best Books Catalog on our members' sites.  The path of the page is holiday/ABC/index.html.  Soon enough, we'll be adding holiday content from regional associations; keep a look out in the Message Center for updates.

Now that we've outlined how to find the path of the page, how can you highlight it to your customer?
  • Create a Menu Item- Follow the instructions for Option 2 on this page
  • Create a block, and include a hyperlink to the path.
  • Change your default front page to a designated path.  More details can be found here. (Note: while this can be used for pages built inside of the Drupal interface, like the next lists, it cannot be used for the ABC Catalog).
In This Issue
October 25, 2013
New Developments
Message Center
You may notice a new addition to the administrator toolbar- ABA Message Center.

When we have news regarding IndieCommerce, the menu item will appear in red for a week.  Site admins are encouraged to click on the link for more information.

For example, credit card processing rates recently changed.  Please review the message center entry for additional details.

We hope that, in conjunction with our monthly emails, this feature will help keep our members informed regarding recent updates.
ABC Best Books Catalog
The ABC Best Books Catalog is now available on all IndieCommerce Sites!

To create a link to the catalog, use the path:
 holiday/ABC/index.html

For a review on adding links, see this issue's "Did You Know".
Q&A Spotlight
Q. I'm finding Drupal difficult to navigate, do you have any tips?

A. Yes! Our Help Center on bookweb.org has many reference articles for review.

We also have a New User Guide, as well as a Glossary of terms, and a road map of frequently used pages.

Of course, you can always email staff@bookweb.org with questions, or call us at 800-637-0037 x2.
eCommerce Reads
Pets in Bookstores: A Marketing Adventure

Our friends at Pandora's Books created a new blog-
petsinbookstores.com.
Butter of Farley's Bookshop

The concept is to cross-promote local indie bookstores by posting adorable pictures of in-store pets. 

Animal loving customers can then follow the links to the owner's websites and make purchases online or visit their furry friends in person.  Users can also subscribe to the blog and receive email alerts when new items are posted.

Booksellers wanting to share photos of their pets can fill out this contact form to connect.
Helpful Links
Follow ABA

Thanks for reading!
Questions? Comments? Doing something cool?

Email staff@bookweb.org!
 
All feedback is welcome!  We'd love to know if you have any tips to share with your fellow booksellers.  
 
American Booksellers Association | 1-800-637-0037 x 2 | staff@bookweb.org |  www.bookweb.org
333 Westchester Avenue
Suite S202
White Plains, NY 10604

Copyright 2013. All Rights Reserved.