So maybe you remember me mentioning the Brooklyn Business Library's business plan competition, which I entered with a crazy plan for an independent bookstore in Brooklyn. The winner of the competition gets $15,000 to use toward starting up their business, and runners-up get lesser financial prizes or service packages from local vendors.
Well, late last week I got a call to tell me I'm a finalist. (!!!)
I still have a presentation to make to a panel of judges on the 28th (which sounds like a cross between a dissertation defense and those prepared speeches I did in junior high), and there's no guarantee I'll take home the prize or even a secondary one. But what an incredible confidence booster it has been to realize that it's not just fellow book nerds who are enthusiastic about this idea. There are some Brooklynites out there who don't think I'm completely nuts, too, and allow for the possibility that I might have something to bring to our community. I'm grateful, and newly excited about the future.
Speaking of community, I'd like to officially invite all you younger booksellers and publishing folks to our fourth (or fifth?) quarterly ELNO - Emerging Leaders Night Out. This is your chance to meet others of your age and outlook who work in the field of books. Network, mingle, throw your head back and laugh engagingly, or just look around and realize that you're not alone. The shindig will be held Wednesday, November 28, from 7 to 9 PM at the beautiful HousingWorks Used Book Cafe on Crosby Street; visit HousingWorks' website for directions. It costs nothing to get in, and HousingWorks is offering happy hour prices on beer from its cafe all evening. And rumor has it there will also be some comp copies of books donated by publishers for young booksellers, and perhaps even some authors to class up the joint. You can email me here if you have questions or you want to RSVP. And learn more about Emerging Leaders here. Hope to see you at the bookstore!