Plenary Notes, Oct 18-19, 2021

October 18 Opening Remarks October 18 Evening News October 19 News and Announcements October 19 Closing October 18 Opening Remarks Praven Madan’s introduction HELLOOOOO EVERYONE! WELCOME.  Thank you all for joining us today for, what we hope, will be a pivotal gathering for bookstores and our communities. My name is Praveen Madan and for my… Continue reading Plenary Notes, Oct 18-19, 2021

How can community bookstores self-organize to help themselves?

Host:  Paul Wright Participants: Betsy Weitzman, Jasmine Valandani, Kelly Stromberg, Malcolm Margolin, Nialle Sylvan, Paul Wright Notes: Is there an owner version of unionizing? What about ABA and BinC? Why re-invent the wheel when wheels already exist? On the other hand, do these organizations really serve the kind of business needs booksellers at this event are… Continue reading How can community bookstores self-organize to help themselves?

What do we love about what we do, and how can we do more of that?

Host:  Jessica Stockton-Bagnulo, Greenlight Bookstore (Brooklyn, NY) Participants: Kevin Smokler (author), Angela Pursell, Jessica Palacios (Once Upon A Time), Ben White (Macmillan), Sarah Pishko (Prince Books), Rebekah Shoah (Boogie Down Books), Maryelizabeth Yturralde (Creating Conversations) Notes:  Kevin: Clarification –  what makes the situation dire?  Jessica S: Not the lack of bookstores, but the lack of… Continue reading What do we love about what we do, and how can we do more of that?

Sustainability: What would a sustainable future for existing and new community bookstores look like?

Host:  Paul Wright Participants: Notes:  Defining Sustainability. Living wages, distinct from other retail jobs. Growing the pie to be able to afford this.  This definition has changed. It used to be not having to ask for financial support. Now it’s just being able to have a sound, trusted, predictable budget.  Enhancing customer base, symbiotic relationship… Continue reading Sustainability: What would a sustainable future for existing and new community bookstores look like?

What does the bookstore of the future look like? Wrong answers only (or maybe absurd answers too)

Christie Olson Day, Gallery Bookshop Participants: Another participant – Kim Patch, Rozzie Bound, Boston Notes:  We all came up with bad ideas of terrible bookstores of the future “Sharing” home libraries with the bookstore as the trading post, taking a cut Pick a review journal and have those books in stock, charge a subscription fee… Continue reading What does the bookstore of the future look like? Wrong answers only (or maybe absurd answers too)

How do you keep bookstores running in a time where distribution houses are shutting down?

Host: Akanksha Vyas Notes:  In the pandemic many distribution houses have started shutting down. Small, independent bookstores do not have direct connections with the publishers, nor do they have the staff or bandwidth to maintain those relationships. It is also important to note that distributors will take books back, where publishing houses will not.  Is… Continue reading How do you keep bookstores running in a time where distribution houses are shutting down?

How does the “reimagined bookstore” exist in the current climate alongside more traditional models? What questions come into play as we move forward?

Host: Lisa – Buffalo Street Books Participants: Notes:  Is the reimagined bookstore in conflict with more traditional models? Some of the models will be non-profit. The non-traditional stores already exist in this community. Nontraditional stores are doing their thing already. The non-trad stores are already doing many of things we’re discussing. The same things aren’t going… Continue reading How does the “reimagined bookstore” exist in the current climate alongside more traditional models? What questions come into play as we move forward?

What big big changes can we make to re-envision the bookstore business? Maybe something based on a co-op or for-good corporation?

Host:  Brad Participants: Bradley Jones, Esme Joy, Laura Larson, Tanya Mills, Nick Johnson Notes:  How do we re-envision? – a new business model? Different branding? Branding: How do we brand the concept of an in-person book store? How are we different than being just a place to buy books? What is the story? How can… Continue reading What big big changes can we make to re-envision the bookstore business? Maybe something based on a co-op or for-good corporation?

What concrete steps can we take to pay staff a living wage in traditional brick and mortar bookstores?

Host: Kim at Third Place Books Participants: Kim Hooboer of Third Place Books, Sara Look of Charis Books and More, Amber Norris of Left Bank Books STL, Alex Green of Publisher’s Weekly, Scott Minor (Bookish in King of Prussia PA), Anna Thorne, Amber Norris (Left Bank Books), Roy (Rozzie Bound), Pat Mullins (Bliss Books), Chris… Continue reading What concrete steps can we take to pay staff a living wage in traditional brick and mortar bookstores?

How do we define our niche in our community as we’re dramatically changing business models?

Host: Anna Brown, Katy Budget Books Participants: Jason Boog (Fable), Margie Franzen (Wanderlust Bookshop), Susan C (The Book Keeper), Brittany Caine (Kepler’s), Emil C (River’s End), Daniel O’Brien, Jasmin Brooks (Bookery Manchester), Kirsten Hess (Let’s Play); Eric Besner (Fable), Jhoanna Belfer (Bel Canto Books) Notes:  Jason Boog: Discussed how Fable works Would it benefit indies… Continue reading How do we define our niche in our community as we’re dramatically changing business models?