As 2014 came to a close, a number of MIBA booksellers looked back and recounted some of the standout events that defined their year. The following list comes from newsletters we’ve received in the past few years, but is no means and extensive list of the accomplishments and defining moments from around our region. Take a look, and if you’re inspired to share a moment that you feel defined your 2014, let us know about it at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What do indie bookstores do for their community? Here’s a truly remarkable answer to that question. Left Bank Books (St. Louis, MO) responded to the unrest in Ferguson by giving back in a big way. Reported by BTW, Left Bank held a holiday book drive for Airport Elementary School in the Ferguson-Florissant School District. The drive was truly a success. Left Bank’s customers purchased a book for every child at the school: 326 of them.
How did Left Bank do it? Was there a benefit to them? Co-owner Jarek Steels tells us more.
“Our children’s buyer, Sarah, selected the books for each classroom. We made ornaments with a child’s name on each of them and their grade and a book they could receive. The customers chose whichever ornament(s) they wanted to sponsor and we sold that book to them, then wrapped the book and put the child’s name on it. It was really a win for everyone. We sold books, the customer had an easy way to donate to a good cause, and the kids get quality children’s books.
Thank you Left Bank for encapsulating the civic duty inherent in an independent bookstore.
Booksellers: Keeping track of publishers’ on-going specials, especially for backlist, can be daunting. When you are ready to place an order on Monday morning, you can’t find that darn email that lists the promotion. Our friends at NAIBA compile this information in an excel spreadsheet and email it to buyers on Monday mornings. We’d like to share that information with you. Please email Carrie with the names and email addresses of the book buyers on your staff who would like to be on this distribution list. You will receive an email every Monday morning containing an Excel spreadsheet compilation of special offers and their deadlines.
For example, here is the list of special offers for the week ending 1/6/2014.
Publishers: Get your special offers in front of the booksellers at the time they are placing orders. All you need to do is assign someone to 1) receive a reminder email from NAIBA every Wednesday, and 2) reply with your current specials by Friday. NAIBA will provide a link to a Google Form for you to fill out. NAIBA will forward this compilation of special offers to the regional associations every Monday morning, and MIBA will forward it to our member booksellers. Sound good? Please join the program by emailing Eileen Dengler. Let her know which staff member would like to be on this distribution list.
- See more at: http://midwestbooksellers.org/2014/01/stay-on-top-of-publishers-special-offers/#sthash.VnwYLrTJ.dpuf
If you walk into Fireside Books and Gifts in West Bend, Wisconsin, you’ll see a sign alerting customers that the owner is retiring and the store is for sale.
“Our accountant told us not to do that,” jokes Gary Christianson, “not to worry the customers, but we decided against it. Since we put up the sign, we’ve been getting great support and have found about half a dozen interested buyers.”
Christianson got serious about selling his store this past fall after experiencing a series of personal health challenges. He started the process by sending a notification to Wisconsin-area bookstores and using the ABA classifieds, but it’s the simple in-store sign he posted in November that resulted in a half-dozen interested parties.