What revenue streams are people using for increased wages?

Host:  Amanda, Kepler’s


Eric – Mrs. Dalloways

Suzanna – Oblong Books

Roy – Rozzie Bound (“Rozzie” = Roslindale, Mass)

Shelley – Blue Heron Books

Kristin – Hicklebee’s 

Carolee – Kepler’s

Alex – Publisher’s Weekly

Eileen – One More Page Books

Irene & Melissa – Beacon Hill Books

Scott – author

Esme – Firestorm Books

Jamilah – House of Pages

Kristianne – Shelf Awareness

Nick – Libro.fm

Veronica – Word Up

Sandra – author

Kelly – reader

Meghan – BookPeople

Elaine – 

Maya – author, Zibby Books

Pam – 

Christopher, Publisher’s Weekly

Michelle – Holiday House

Nathan – Batch

Sanj – Beacon Press

Humaira – 

Dan – 

Sara – Charis

Kate –

Lara –

Tanya – 

Deb – 

Nasim – Alta Journal


It’s important to share our value with our community. How do we convince our customers of the value of the money spent with us?

  • Kepler’s is going to try to add a surcharge of about 2% to sales during the holidays to support a living wage.
  • Partnering with other small businesses
  • Use ABA’s “Here’s what you just did…”
  • The pandemic caused a massive wave of support for indies, how to sustain?
  • Gently remind customers that you are a knowledgeable human being helping them in-person. Without connecting with you in-person, they may not have discovered this book!
  • People WANT to be there for us.
  • We are producing (often free) event content! Don’t be afraid to ASK for a donation/book sale/a few bucks to help us do this. Ok to be honest with your customers if you are going to pivot to change to paid events. Now is the time.

Income-generating ideas:

  • Readers of e-books can support local bookstores by buying a book to be given away.
  • Book drives for teacher classroom wish lists.
  • Offer the opportunity for people to buy books for schools – a book bundle for different age groups
  • Customer memberships (withfriends.co is one member management suggestion) (monthly memberships = regular reliable income), have some transparency about what your funds go toward.
  • Charging for events (pay what you can is ok, too!) but at least always remind people to buy the book. An invested author making the buy ask is most effective.
  • Patreon (with perks)
  • Don’t lose money on shipping. Give customers the option to pay for shipping.
  • Events – “buy one, give one” – buy an extra book or event ticket to be donated (or a “solidarity copy”)
  • Co-op! – free money, don’t be scared to figure out how to do this (email suzanna@oblongbooks.com for help)
  • Rent out your space for private events.
  • Libro.fm commissions
  • Offer classes & charge for them


16:49:12 From  Eileen McGervey (She/Her)  to  Everyone: we offer the opportunity for people to buy books for schools – a book bundle for different age groups

17:00:16 From  Sandra Janoff  to  Everyone:

Thank you everyone.

17:12:24 From  Kristin Hall, She/Her, Bookseller, Hicklebees  to  Everyone: Maybe whether or not it should be free depends on whether or not a book signing will be involved? If buying a book is expected to be part of a event, there might be more resistance to paid entry

17:20:27 From  Suzanna Hermans (she/her), co-owner, Oblong Books, NY State  to  Everyone: suzanna@oblongbooks.com – Co-op!

17:21:23 From  Suzanna Hermans (she/her), co-owner, Oblong Books, NY State  to  Everyone: The breakout rooms end at 5:30pm ET

17:24:17 From  Roy Karp – bookseller  to  Everyone: We are planning to offer writing workshops and other educational offerings for which we plan to charge fees

17:24:42 From  Sanj Kharbanda /he/him/his  to  Everyone: https://welcometomannys.com/

17:24:57 From  Tanya Mills, Bookstore Leader of The Book Bungalow, Utah  to  Everyone: We’ve offered writing workshops (pre-Covid), charging $50 for each.

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