Friday, May 12, 2006

We've decided to forget all about it

Just in case our regular readers have noticed we haven't been keeping up to date on all the nitty gritty of what's been going on, you're right. We have decided to forget all about it. We're going to forget all about it for a whole week while we're on holiday. We booked this a while back as a 'we probably won't get one for a while' last chance. But when Mark's company asked him to also do one last trip to Indonesia before the end of May, the holiday has been not so much a sunny peak to look forward to at the beginning of summer as looming like a big dread deadline on the horizon (OK, not quite that bad). So have we been panicking? Panicking? Has the fact that we still have no loan agreement with the bank been bothering us? Or the fact that we still haven't had confirmation from our wholesaler that they actually want us to sell their books? Have we been on stock compiling raids at every neighbouring bookshop? Have we spent hours compiling a beautiful list of wonderful books we want to sell that seems to be growing easily by the day that we probably won't even have room for, let alone will be able to afford? Have we packed for the holiday? When are we leaving? In about an hour. Did the Rebel Bookseller arrive hot from America just in time to be essential holiday reading (yes!)? I think 'frenzy' might describe quite well what has been happening in our household. So perhaps I'd better go and finish that packing. Don't worry if you don't hear anything more for a couple of weeks. It's all going really well and is so exciting and I think a week by the pool might actually be the good idea we thought it would be. We really appreciate all the help and comments and suggestions for books and other groovy stuff to have in our shop. We'll look forward to reading all your latest ideas when we come back.

5 comments:

  1. Hey, Rebel Bookseller just won the 2006 Independent Publisher Book Award in the category "Writing & Publishing"! Now I have to work up a hot agit-prop strategy to work the booksellers' convention next week. What's a troublemaker to do? Hmmm.

    Enjoy your week!

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  2. Hi,
    Enjoy your holiday break. I'm sure everything is going to work out well ... if we can see it, we will get it. I was just thinking that you should definitely think about a public relations plan for the opening of the shop. Don't forget you local BBC station, who I'm sure would do a piece about a new independent bookshop opening, especially when there are so many questions about the survival of said shops. A media plan will be crucial here. It might even pay to employ a press officer (you can find them cheap when they are freelancers; some local who knows how to pull strings and get yo in the press). I'm suyre you've thought about that. Remeber though, don't just settle for adverts in the paper, you've got to get in the actual news. This is the best kind of marketing .. think of a "news hook" and make some headlines!

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  3. Congratulations on the award Andy -we're about halfway through the Rebel Bookseller (I'm blogging from inside the hotel reception at the moment), so Nic and I are buzzing with ideas of marketing activities for our return.

    I think the best thing about the book so far is the lack of "how-to rules" (apart from the general ADA and SMOWS ones of course). A book I still re-read once a year is an American 'success' book (of which I have quite a collection) called "Life Is Tremendous" By Charlie Jones. In it, he says the important question is not to know 'how' but 'why'. Once you know why, you'll work out the how for yourself. I think that's what your book does brilliantly, by providing lots of anecdotes and examples and energy to turbo-charge our search for the how-tos.

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  4. Oh I so glad you're finding it useable! I'm at the big booksellers/publishers show in Washington D.C. this weekend pushing the book at my publisher's booth and there are a surprising number of people who are either in the process of opening a bookstore or who have just opened one. This seems different to me from last year's show, in this way. One guy told me first exactly what I'd been telling other people: the chains have wiped out so many indies that there are now lots of neighborhoods that want an indie store. He's opened 4 in the last five years and is doing very well.

    I did speak with a publisher from England who told me there are several small indies around Oxford that she finds very boring and unhelpful. She asked me what I would do if I had control over Waterstones right now! I came up with the idea of decentralizing it, so it was a collection of separate stores, and transforming these into consumer-owned co-operatives. (Or possible employee-owned cooperatives.) There's an enormously successful academic bookstore near University of Chicago that's entirely owned by past and present students: Seminary Co-op Bookstore. Having the customers own the store is a great way of ensuring loyalty, and also of bringing in the capital. (www.semcoop.com)

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  5. I thought I just left a comment but it seems to have disappeared, so I will try again :-)

    Dear Nicki and Mark: I am a published author whose day job used to be library reference. I love librarians and booksellers and think you are brave to want to open a bookstore and I wish you much, much good luck.

    Please let me know when you open and I will gift you with some of my books. You can reach me at drmwk@juno.com My web site is www.jomanningbooks.com

    Cheers, Jo Manning

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