NEW YORK — It could all change quickly, but independent booksellers again have good news to report as the publishing industry prepares for its annual national convention, BookExpo America.

Core membership of the American Booksellers Association rose by 55 over the past year, from 1,512 to 1,567. It’s the third straight increase for the independents’ trade organization after years of double digit and triple digit declines brought on by superstore chains and online sellers such as

The independents have stabilized even as the economy suffers and the market shifts dramatically from physical stores to digital purchases. The Borders superstore chain shut down a year ago and Barnes & Noble Inc. has been increasingly emphasizing its Nook e-reading device.

Borders’ fall, of course, has been part of the independents’ good fortune, association CEO Oren Teicher acknowledged in a recent interview. But he also cited a nationwide movement to buy from local stores, falling real estate prices and lower costs to create and maintain websites. Sales figures for 2012 are encouraging as Teicher shared statistics compiled by Nielsen BookScan, which tracks around 75 percent of print sales. The number of books sold through mid-May by around 500 ABA stores increased by 13.4 percent compared to last year.

“We are more than holding our own,” Teicher said.

Thousands of booksellers, publishers, authors and agents are gathering this week at the Jacob K. Javits Center for BookExpo America, a three-day convention that ends Thursday. Featured speakers include Stephen Colbert, Michael Chabon, Zadie Smith and Jimmy Fallon.

Several events will focus on Russian publishing, and literary history will be made when Natalia Solzhenitsyn, widow of Nobel laureate Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, unveils her husband’s archives. Rock stars also will be on hand: Patti Smith, winner of the National Book Award in 2010 for her memoir “Just Kids,” will interview Neil Young, whose memoir “Waging Heavy Peace” comes out in October.

Independent stores still don’t approach the presence they had 30 years ago, when membership in the American Booksellers Association was more than 3,000. Their share of total sales is well under 10 percent, and stores continue to close.