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Learning As You Go

Updated: Jan 7, 2021

Remember how you felt when preparing for the arrival of your first child? Eager. Terrified. Excited. Overwhelmed. Focused. Perhaps, downright obsessed. Well, that's how I've been feeling ever since starting on this adventure. It turns out birthing a bookstore is much like having a baby minus the trip to the hospital.

So many things to consider. Finances. Inventory - books and sidelines. Space. Lease agreement. Publishers. Store layout. Business plan. Interior decorating. Lighting. Flooring. Shelving. Marketing. Community connections. Social media. Ordering. POS systems. All kinds of planning and envisioning what the space will look like. And, exploring other bookstores to get inspiration.

Some of the anxiousness of opening a bookstore was alleviated when I attended the Heartland Fall Forum, a bookseller event in Cleveland organized by the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association and the Midwest Independent Booksellers Association. There were a bunch of helpful workshops and author presentations, book signings and table talks, a two-day book expo with free books and great information from publishers. One of the highlights was seeing the much anticipated new book from @ErinMorgenstern, author of my favorite book #thenightcircus. Her new book, #astarlesssea, arrives on news stands on November 5th. I can't wait!

We also toured three wonderful and uniquely different independent bookstores - Appletree Books, Visible Voice Books and Loganberry Books. It was fun to see how each indie approached displaying their books. But, the best part was meeting other booksellers. I have never met so many welcoming people who wanted to see every other person in the industry succeed. It was inspiring and reinvigorating. And, provided a much-needed boost when I was worrying about how I'm going to make this happen. So, thank you #indiebooksellers!

What has been consuming your mind lately?

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