New books are the lifeblood of a bookstore, a room full of books. How do you keep your passion and stay on top of the season, make discoveries?

Host: Patricia Nelson

Participants: Madi Mullen, Missy from Katy Budget Books, Diana Montano, Hannah Harlow, Nasim Ghasemiyeh, Kristianne, Kelly Munn

Notes

  • Bookstores have to do so many things – but bringing in the new books, the discipline of it, are sales rep relationships outdated? Etc. or anything related to this topic
  • Patricia: Recently at an in-person trade show in my area, it was amazing to be there in person
  • With a small room, one bookseller, one rep, became a talk supporting being new to book buying. Missy shared her participation in NAIBA’s bookseller certification (generously available through MPIBA) on using buyer tools etc. Such a curriculum might expand to a larger industry program, maybe a requisite component in working towards establishing value in bookselling as vocational lifework (recalling working with a German coworker decades ago who had two years of professional bookseller training).
  • Patricia talked a little about deep changes in how buying works, the complexity of information management, the flattening of catalog description in the topology of Edelweiss, what helps assure clear position; judgement and intuition.
  • As essentially a two person talk, the session stayed personal. Missy discussed her Texas store’s support of a children’s author whose books were removed from school library and appearance cancelled pending review. They rallied support, sold the book, while balancing points of view in the community, bold and generous. The book restored, the author invited back.
  • Other participants – as an outsider to buying process journalist Nasim Ghasemiyeh asked about Edelweiss program. Others were in and out of room, little or no comment.
  • Perhaps such a discussion could be rephrased; in the context of surviving as a small business with the crushing problems of real estate, access to capital, offering competitive and fair salary and benefits – what is the heart? The sense of meaningful work and purpose is generated by books. Most meaningfully, Missy said “a bookstore needs to feel like home.”
  • Missy: New to book buying in the last year or so – just with a few publishers to start
    • Taking inventory management training, teaching me how to organize myself and a plan, so I can better manage my time to figure out book buying strategies

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