Bookseller News

ABA President Gayle Shanks Urges Congress to Support Small Businesses

On Monday, February 9, as Congress worked to quickly pass the Obama Administration's stimulus package, American Booksellers Association President Gayle Shanks, co-owner of Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe, Arizona, urged the Congressional leadership to continue its support for small businesses in crafting the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (H.R.1).ABA is also calling on all member booksellers to contact their legislators in Washington as soon as possible to urge support for the bill's small-business provisions.

In her letter, Shanks thanked the Congressional leadership for "recognizing the crucial importance of small businesses and for keeping the small business provisions in the current version" of the economic stimulus bill, and she urged them to remember the "value of small businesses" as they create the final version of the bill. (To read the full text of Shanks' letter, click here.)

A vote on the economic stimulus bill could come as early as Tuesday, February 10. If it passes the Senate, the U.S. Congressional Conference Committee will adjudicate the bill, and there are no guarantees regarding what provisions will, or won't, remain in the final bill. As such, ABA is calling on booksellers to adapt Shanks' letter and send it to their legislators in both the House and the Senate today.

Among other provisions, the economic stimulus bill that passed the House in late January increases the guarantee on Small Business Administration loans for lenders, which will induce commercial lenders to lend while also providing capital for entrepreneurs through a new debt-refinancing program. The bill also contains provisions to unclog frozen secondary credit markets, which in recent months have stopped working, denying private lenders the liquidity they need to make additional loans. Providing this fresh capital to entrepreneurs is expected to result in the creation or retention of 400,000 jobs, more than 15 percent of the jobs the economy shed last year.


Congratulations to three SIBA bookstores that are among the fifteen nominees for this year's Pannell Award. 
Established in 1981 to honor Lucile Micheels Pannell, a model bookwoman and children's bookseller, the Pannell Award recognizes retail bookstores that excel at inspiring the interest of young people in books and reading. WNBA will present this year's award to two bookstores-one general and one children's specialty store-at BookExpoAmerica in New York. Each recipient will receive a check for $1,000 and a framed piece of original art by a children's book illustrator. In addition to the Women's National Book Association, the award is sponsored by Penguin Young Readers Group, a leading publisher of books for young  people.
This year's nominees represent a wide range of stores from all over the country:

...and Books, Too! - Lewiston, ID
As the Page Turns Bookstore and Gallery - Northville, MI
Baker Books - North Dartmouth, MA
Changing Hands - Tempe, AZ
Cowan's Book Nook - East Ellijay, GA
Downtown Books - Craig, CO
Garfield Book Company at PLU - Tacoma, WA
Joseph-Beth Booksellers - Cincinatti, OH
Mrs. Nelsons Toy & Bookshop - LaVerne, CA
St. Helens Book Shop - St. Helens, OR
Schuler Books and Music - Okemos, MI
That Bookstore in Blytheville - Blytheville, AR
The King's English Bookshop - Salt Lake City, UT
Urban Think! Bookstore - Orlando, FL
Wild Rumpus Books for Young Readers - Minneapolis, MN

[From Shelf-Awareness]

This summer children are enjoying a global odyssey at Fireside Books and Gifts in Forest City, N.C. Three Saturdays per month in June, July, and August the store is hosting "Around the World with Fireside Books." Each event focuses on a different country and includes activities inspired by that particular land: story time, crafts, music, food and appearances by authors and other special guests.

The idea came about when store owner Linda Parks, manager Valerie Jones and media specialist Suzanne Ledford were brainstorming for a summer program centered on a theme. "We wanted something that was fun but also educational," said Jones. "We decided it would be interesting and beneficial to expose children to other cultures and show them things about places they might not ever get to visit."

Richmond, Virginia January 22, 2008 Kelly Justice, manager of the Fountain Bookstore since 2000 and independent bookseller since 1989, purchased Fountain Bookstore, Inc. from Louise "Boo" Smythe and Jim Smythe earlier this month. Justice and the Smythes are available for interviews about this transfer of a Richmond institution and its future. (Look folks, this is just far too big a story to put in a press release, so if you want to talk to me about why I feel so passionately about this business that I made the ultimate commitment, send me an email. -k)

From the Shelf Awareness Newsletter:

Holiday Hum: Benediction for Fiction Addiction

It's been a holiday season of change at Fiction Addiction, Greenville, S.C., which opened in 2001 selling used books but whose merchandise has since expanded to include new titles. "Our goal this year has been to make people think of us for gift-giving," said owner Jill Hendrix. Her strategies are working: December sales are up 50% over last year.

Along with significantly increasing new books inventory over the last several months, Hendrix bought a range of gift items like wall calendars, Zarah Co. jewelry and the Peeramid Bookrest, which is especially popular with Fiction Addiction customers. Educational toys from Melissa & Doug are a hit too, particularly the wooden sound puzzles.

Hendrix also joined the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) and participated in the organization's holiday catalogue program. The publication is being used as a bag stuffer, and 1,500 copies were distributed in neighborhoods near the store. "We're gratified by the interest" in the featured titles, Hendrix said. "Since this is our first year as a SIBA member we weren't sure how well they'd do." Top sellers are Jan Karon's novel Home to Holly Springs, the thriller Down River by John Hart, Kate DiCamillo's picture book Great Joy and Hendrix's favorite tome of the season, Star Wars: A Pop-Up Guide to the Galaxy by Matthew Reinhart.

This month Fiction Addiction held its first official signing since the store opened: Jason R. Davidson, co-author of The Boathouse: Tales and Recipes from a Southern Kitchen, appeared on December 14. An article in the Greenville News mentioning the signing two days prior to the event helped enhance turnout---and introduce new customers to the store. "The majority of people who came had never been here before," said Hendrix.

Another first for Fiction Addiction this season was taking part in the Salvation Army's Christmas Angel program. Customers were offered 20% off any in-store purchase they donated to the cause. Hendrix plans to participate again next year.

Among other changes, Hendrix is launching a business book club in January. "I was thinking about New Year's resolutions and decided that I get so caught up in the day to day that I need to make it a point to step back from time to time and think about the business in general the way that I was able to at the SIBA trade show," she remarked. "I thought a business book club might help me do this." She'll be joined initially by at least two other entrepreneurs she met through a networking group, and the inaugural read is Daniel H. Pink's A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future.

Hendrix cites one decision in particular that has aided in achieving the goal of making Fiction Addiction a destination for holiday shoppers. "Joining SIBA and attending the trade show was the best investment I made this year," she said. "The information, ideas, and excitement I received from the show have helped make this our best year ever."--This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.