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
Maya – author, Zibby Books
Christopher, Publisher’s Weekly
Michelle – Holiday House
Nathan – Batch
Sanj – Beacon Press
Sara – Charis
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.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.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.