And by local, I mean Central Oregon.
I took some copies of Led to the Slaughter to Sunriver Books and Paulina Springs Books (Sister's branch.) I wasn't going to do more than mention my book, and if they were willing to take them on, do whatever felt comfortable to them. Even to the point of giving them some copies.
They both took on some copies on consignment.
Once again I was impressed by both bookstores. They are very well stocked, a nice curation of good books, and knowledgeable staff and owners.
I told both of them -- though perhaps not in my own best interests -- that I thought they would do well with a bookstore in downtown Bend. I don't think either of them are interested, though. I'm sure someone will take it on the task someday. If I was just a tad younger and I hadn't already diverted my attention toward writing -- I'd be tempted myself.
But having opened and closed 3 stores, I'm well aware that the reality of starting a business is ten times harder than the planning. And more expensive.
It's not just double the work to have two stores, it's more like triple or quadruple the work.
I could do it, and I'd love the challenge, but I must rein myself in.
Meanwhile, I was reading yet another "expert" on bookstores who made a long list of things he thought he'd do to open a perfect bookstore.
And they were all wrong. They were all way beyond what any one person could do without burning out in a short time, and way too expensive for more than one person to do in a small town. In other words, that beautiful store would be doomed.
I would advise the guy to drop every damn thing on his list and replace it with one bullet point:
Lots and lots of books, good books, used books, mid-list books, quirky books, cult books, favorite books, best-sellers, classics...
You know books. The more books the better. The better the books the better. Fill every possible inch of the store with books, and do nothing but take care of them.
Forget everything else and carry books.
Not that anyone will ever listen to me. The "common wisdom" has gone in the opposite direction, and seems to be unstoppable. Group think is a powerful thing. So new bookstore owners will dissipate huge amounts of time, energy and space on things that will add very few sales to their store, and even if it doesn't hurt them monetarily it will be almost guaranteed to burn them out. It's hard enough to run a business when you keep is simple. Every complication you add, which you then have to continue, makes it that much harder.
Keep it simple and essential, and do a very good job of it. People will respond. You'll live to fight another day. You might even make money.
1 day ago