Dear readers, the end of this week is the deadline for the Brooklyn Business Library's business plan competition, and I still have some elements to pull together. So blogging will be light, if it happens at all.
But just in time, Shelf Awareness linked to three articles about independent bookstores making good.
Explore Booksellers and Town Center Booksellers are among the only local shops lauded for good customer service in an article about the trade-offs of shopping local in the Aspen Times. (Note to self: customer service is a key component of a successful indie.)
The Raven Bookstore in Lawrence, Kansas is getting new owners after twenty years, according to this article in LJWorld. Click on the video link to hear Kelly Barth, a long-time employee who is one of the three new owners, talking about plans for the future, including focusing on the store's strengths and providing space for local writers. (Note to self: the neighborhood is the strength of a successful indie.)
And my hero Betsy Burton speaks in the Deseret Morning News about the King's English, one of the most successful indie bookstores in the country and spearhead of a powerful Local First movement in Salt Lake City, Utah. Her confidence and optimism have shaped the world around her; she's seen growing public awareness of the value of local businesses. (Note to self: the benefits to the local economy are one of the values of a successful indie.)
It's good to be encouraged by such voices as I turn toward what I hope is the real beginning of the process of starting my own independent bookstore. I hope you'll forgive the Biblical quotation, which seems unavoidably apropos as I find myself inspired by the community of booksellers testifyin' about the good work that they're able to do:
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders... and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us."
I'm off and running. See you after the deadline.
P.S. In the meantime, don't forget about the Brooklyn Book Festival this weekend! The lineup is even better than last year -- I'll be there if I possibly can.
Anne Else Reports from Writers' Week
13 minutes ago