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ABA’s Red and White Boxes Explained

May 5, 2018

I’ve noticed on the back of recent Jane Hawk ARCs that part of the promotional efforts are participation in the ABA White Box. I had no idea what that was so I looked it up:

Each month, the American Booksellers Association sends Red and White Box mailings to member booksellers who have opted into the IndieBound movement, but who gets what depends on a bookstore’s level of participation.

The Red Box, containing Indie Next List fliers and publisher-supplied items such as shelf-talkers, posters, easelbacks, catalogs, special offers, and other time-sensitive marketing materials, typically lands at stores by the middle of the month.

However, to receive the White Box, containing ARCs, galleys, and finished books supplied by ABA publisher partners, by the end of each month, stores must participate in the IndieBound movement in at least two of the following ways:

  • Regularly report to the Indie Bestseller List (at least three out of four weeks monthly)
  • Nominate titles for the Indie Next List (at least one nomination per quarter)
  • Maintain membership in the ABC Children’s Group at ABA
  • Use the ABA IndieCommerce product
  • Create an Indie Next List store display and send a photo that ABA can both share with Publisher Partners and post on the website (at least twice yearly)

The greater the level of participation by a bookstore, the more robust their White Box mailing will be each month.

You can find more details on