If I were the Boss...II

Today’s business is a Bookstore! yay!
Eysqueen’s bookstore would contain:

-Used books, maybe with a concentration on books about and by different cultures. The classics will always be in stock though, but I’m really interested in what other people (non-whites) think and how they write fiction (thinking about Junot Diaz as I type this).

-Because I read so much and am quick to go on Amazon to order up some books, I have this need to actually see the books and be able to hold them and flip through the pages. I would have computer stations set up so people could research different books and find them in the store AND match Amazon’s price (without the additional shipping fees).

-I would have staff picks, what my staff reads and would recommend.

-I’d have an annex to my store that connected to a comic book store because yes, I am that geek that is still into comics…I might just open an additional store now that I think about it hmmmmmm

-I need a niche though, something special that I could offer the community…maybe reading classes in the back for adults who can’t read. Maybe computing classes as well for those who don’t have any computer training (I worked in a community center where I did just that and LOVED it.)

So how would YOU run your Bookstore? (I’m conjuring up Suga as I write this, hoping she will grace us with her real world experiences. please oh please oh please…)

7 comment(s) thus far...:

The Pretty Brown Girl said...

My bookstore would have a cozy, comfy children's section for kids and their parents/caregivers to kick back and enjoy a wide variety of quality kiddie books. I would have volunteers have a story circle twice a week for group read-a-louds for the little ones AND I'd randomly pick one ES, MS & HS student for a free book each month. :)

Chanel said...

Oooo you just dont know how bad I want to own a book store. Blurbs & Verbs (B & V) would be a mixed space of books/periodicals/magazines for avid readers and a performance stage/cafe for spoken word artists and neo soul bands. I would have well-defined sections in my book store (fiction by women of color, biographies, self-help, poetry, etc), and each section would have a featured book on sale monthly. I'd have a local San Francisco bay area author section and every other month, have an author do readings and autograph singings. I'd sponsor groups of college students yearly and cover there textbooks and supplemental book fees after they've committed themselves to volunteering at B & V on weekends in order to read to school age childen. Oh my goodness the list goes on and on and on. I swear i'm gonna do this one day soon.

The Pretty Brown Girl said...

Chanel just inspired me to name my bookstore: "Turn The Page"

eysqueen said...

great ideas! we can do soooo much with this bookstore...i espcially love the giving back to the community piece. these are the things to write in our business plans when we go to the bank. we can do this ladies!

Crown R0yal said...

i couldn't have a bookstore because i'd be too busy w/ my nose in the books.

for shame.

suga said...

Now that I work in a bookstore, my feelings have flipped upside down about how I would run it. You're right, Tiha. You'd definitely need that extra thing that would get people to come into your store. In my dreams, I picture having a small soulfood cafe, and two extra rooms where businesses could rent space for meetings, small conferences or other events, to generate another source of revenue. Bookstores, especially small ones, are failing miserably, and they were doing so even before the recessio, because of the major stores (like my employer) and amazon or other sites where books are much cheaper. I'd also provide space for local book clubs to meet, for free, which would hopefully generate a profit, since getting groups of book lovers into a book store would most likely result in books being bought lol
I'd also implement a weekly open mic/spoken word night, and try to think of other special events that could some way generate revenue.
Another idea: since my bookstore would primarily focus on people of color, I would try to link up with professors of any of the local universities or colleges, and make sure I have their textbooks at my store so their students could purchase them at a lower price than their outrageous campus bookstore. Many of my Black Studies professors did this when I was in college, forcing us to purchase our books from Marcus Bookstore, which helped the store stay open, and saved us money.

Tiha, I always wondered why my store doesn't allow customers to get on the comps to search for their own books, like our competitor does...until I went to one of our competitors stores and none of the 7 computers were working. An employee told me they were all down because customers don't know how to handle computers...what a great way to lose a whole lot of $. Really sucks, but those are the types of things you'd have to think about.

PBG, you idea about a children's area sounds great. We have one of those, but it is the least favorite department of EVERYONE in my store because parents drop their kids off in that dept like it's the baby sitter and the kids go bananas. So, every two hours, someone is sent over to clean it up..which usually takes an hour or two...only for it all to be destroyed again 15 minutes later lol

I'm telling you, working for my employer changed my opinion about owning my own bookstore drastically...or at least changed my opinion of what I'd offer the public. Maybe if I could cater to people who have the same respect for books that I do, I'd be all right. lol

I still love helping people find books or having an impromptu discussion about an author with a customer...oh and meeting countless authors. Makes it all worth it, really.

eysqueen said...

thanks Suga! I think our bookstore ideas are starting to sound like mini universities for community development...hmmmm....