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Indie bookstores hold steady in tough retail market

Associated Press logo Associated Press 5/30/2017 By HILLEL ITALIE, AP National Writer
FILE - In this May 28, 2015 file photo, signage for Hachette Book Group are displayed at BookExpo America in New York. Publishers, authors, librarians, and book retailers attend the annual publishing industry show. BookExpo 2017 runs Wednesday thru Friday in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this May 28, 2015 file photo, signage for Hachette Book Group are displayed at BookExpo America in New York. Publishers, authors, librarians, and book retailers attend the annual publishing industry show. BookExpo 2017 runs Wednesday thru Friday in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — With retail stores shutting down at the fastest pace since the crash of 2008, the head of the American Booksellers Association is grateful to see business holding steady.

After seven straight years of growth, core membership in the independent sellers' trade group has dropped slightly since May 2016, from 1,775 to 1,757. At the same time, the number of actual locations rose from 2,311 to 2,321, reflecting a trend of owners opening additional stores

Independent sellers will join thousands of publishers, authors, agents and librarians at the industry's annual national convention, BookExpo, which begins Wednesday.

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