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Publishers Weekly Bookselling

AWBA Initiatives
Bridget Kinsella -- 1/24/00

The American Wholesale Booksellers Association started off the new year with a few initiatives designed to help its member companies run more efficiently. One of the biggest new AWBA offerings is Credit Watch, which association president Frank Daly describes as an Internet-based credit reporting system. "There used to be an informal network of credit managers," said Daly, also v-p of business development at Baker & Taylor. Credit Watch is a password-protected system through which wholesaler members can easily check the credit history of new customers with other members in the association. "It's a way of speeding up the account-setup process for our members," said Daly.

The AWBA is also developing a standard for publishers submitting title information to its more than 20 wholesaler members. Sally Dedecker, AWBA's managing agent, said the association expects to have standards set in the spring.

Once the standards are in place, wholesaler members will request that all publishers provide the same basic information -- such as title, subtitle, author's full name and more -- to ease ordering. AWBA is consulting the Book Industry Study Group standards and culling information from wholesalers, publishers and sales reps to develop a system analogous to the Wordstock program booksellers use.

In another program, Daly said AWBA members have been working more closely with the ABA on Book Sense. The ABA has begun contacting AWBA members via e-mail to provide them with its list of Book Sense members so that the wholesalers will be prepared to fill Book Sense members' orders, explained Daly. Currently, the AWBA is working on improving its Web site, AWBA.com, and including links to members' Web sites. Customers can then get information from member Web sites about a wholesaler's particular terms and inventory. As one of the largest members of AWBA, Baker & Taylor is extending its Title Source II product to include inventory from other members. So far, Daly said, the B&T subscription service includes K n, Login and Bookman titles.
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