Need Scholarship Help? Think Binc!

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Higher education expenses are increasing at a rapid pace. Do you need help slowing that down? Having provided scholarships to booksellers since 2002, Binc can help!

As a former recipient, I have a strong connection to the Binc Foundation Higher Education Scholarship Program. I also am proud to say that a few of my (former) employees or their dependents have received a scholarship as well. I returned to grad school after vowing to “never write a paper again” at the end of my undergrad experience. The Foundation scholarship helped ease the pain of writing! I now give back to Binc in appreciation for the help of more than a decade ago. I am recently inspired by a former grant recipient who has generously donated back to Binc.

As an employer, I know that job satisfaction and retention can be improved by offering higher education assistance. Small business owners cannot afford to offer tuition assistance to their booksellers but the Binc Foundation scholarship can help. The program is administered by Scholarship America using a third-party process to evaluate applicants. Selection criteria include financial need, prior academic achievement and leadership. Eligibility includes current bookstore employees/owners and their dependents as well as former Borders Group employees and their dependents. The scholarship can be used for tuition, room & board, supplies or books.

Reading the thank you notes from previous scholarship winners at the committee meetings is enjoyed by the volunteers. It helps to put a personal feel to the help Binc gives. We love to hear that the Binc Foundation Higher Education Scholarship Program has helped. One recent scholarship recipient wrote:

“The past few years I’ve spent in bookselling have literally changed my life. I’m pursuing an MA and MFA in Children’s Literature because of all the books I fell in love with working at Brazos Bookstore! I wouldn’t know the person I want to be without bookselling, and I hope with my degree, and this award’s help, I can bring more fantastic books to our stores.”
– Liz Wright, Brazos Bookstore

 

Binc’s Scholarship Program opens January 16th

The 2017 Binc Foundation Scholarship program includes $10,000, $5,000 and $3,500 level awards and launches January 16, 2017! Please ensure that you’ve submitted your application by March 6, 2017.

Thanks and good luck!

– Christie Roehl, Binc board Secretary and Program Committee Chair

2016 in Review – Co-Ambassadors Join the Binc Team

Welcome to Part 2 of Binc’s 2016 year in review. You can read Part 1 here.

Co-Ambassadors Come On-board

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In August we received the best 20th anniversary present we could have ever asked for. Board member, and HarperCollins sales rep, Kate McCune worked her magic and brought author, and Parnassus Books co-owner Ann Patchett on board as Binc’s Ambassador. Ann, in turn, asked her friend and colleague author James Patterson to act as Co-ambassador and he accepted! With their combined support, our Co-Ambassadors continue to introduce Binc and our mission to book industry professionals across the country. By increasing awareness of Binc and our mission, our Co-Ambassadors have gotten us on the radar of even more booksellers in need across the country leading to an increase in assistance requests, grants awarded and using their influence, to help generate philanthropic revenue for the Foundation. We are beyond thrilled to have Ann Patchett and James Patterson support our mission to help booksellers in need.

#BankonBooksellers Piggy Bank Auction

In September, Ambassador Patchett’s bookstore, Parnassus Books, held a fundraiser to support their bookseller, Stephanie. Stephanie had been diagnosed with breast cancer forcing her to stop working at the store to undergo treatment. The employees of Parnassus wanted to do something to help Stephanie through treatment, to give her time to heal and financial resources to pay her bills. They reached out to many of their famous friends with an idea to decorate piggy banks and sell them as a fundraiser for Steph, and got back more than 100 piggy banks decorated by authors, artists and celebrities! The BankOnBooksellers auction was off and running! The fundraiser was going so well, that Stephanie wanted to give to other booksellers in need, so Parnassus decided to donate part of the proceeds to Binc! Ambassador Patchett sent us this video, announcing that we would be receiving part of the proceeds

We were beyond grateful at the generosity not only of the Parnassus staff but of the authors, artists and celebrities who created the works of art for the auction! Thank you all! Book People are the Best People.

Regional Fall Trade Show Travel

As the piggy bank auction ended, the Binc staff and board were busy traveling to the Regional Fall trade shows across the country. We started at SIBA in Savannah, GA. Next it was NEIBA in Providence, RI. We then traveled to PNBA in Tacoma, WA. Heartland Fall Forum took us to Minneapolis, MN. In Denver, Co we attended the MPIBA show. Next we went to the NAIBA show in Baltimore, MD. The SCIBA show was held in North Hollywood. Last, but not least, NCIBA wrapped up the season in San Francisco, CA.

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The fall regional trade shows are all packed full of great author talks, conversations with booksellers, store owners, publishers and distributors. We love seeing old friends and meeting new ones. We can’t thank the Executive Directors of the regional bookseller’s associations enough for welcoming us at the shows and for supporting us through the year. We appreciate everything you do to help!

Borders Reunion – Party with a Purpose

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During our 20th year we wanted to make sure we celebrated and thanked all of our supporters including those who helped to create the Foundation. On October 23rd, Borders alumni, former Borders Group Foundation members and current Binc supporters gathered for an afternoon to catch up, reminisce, and write notes to Foundation friends past and present. Binc’s #1 volunteer, Toni McGinn checked everyone’s badges at the door, just like old times. Bill Edwards and Judy Banker performed on stage for everyone and there was a silent auction for baskets filled with Borders memorabilia, independent bookstore goodies and other book swag. A great time was had by all and attendees wrote over 100 notes to Binc supporters. Many thanks to our volunteer event planning committee Jennifer Hawkins, Judey Kalchik, Mark Brown, Jeanne Joesten and Barbara Kinzer for their time and effort in coordinating and running the celebration!

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Bluffton Book Festival

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Throughout 2016, Binc Board of Directors member, and Rock Inked, Inc. founder, Rockelle Henderson, worked diligently to create a book festival in her hometown of Bluffton, SC. On November 18th and 19th, the Inaugural Bluffton Book Festival was held to benefit the community and all the book lovers in the Bluffton area. The event featured author talks, book signings, food, drinks, live music, read-alouds for children, raffles and more. Part of the proceeds of this fun event were donated to Binc! Kudos to Rockelle and the BBF event volunteers for your hard work in getting this fantastic event off the ground! We’re looking forward to next year!

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Kit Steinaway with BBF Founder Rockelle Henderson and Literacy Center ED, Pam Wall.

YEA Fundraising goal met!

The Binc Foundation continues to move toward becoming an industry sustained organization helping booksellers in need. Thanks to many industry partners, bookstores, and individuals for helping us exceed our fundraising goal for 2016. Our goal was to reach $100,000 – thanks to you we raised $125,000!

Some highlights and special thank you’s go to our Co-ambassadors Ann Patchett and James Patterson. Their work is raising the awareness of Binc and this is good for all booksellers.

Also, notable was the $10,000 gift we received from Ingram Content Group in honor of their business clients. This was a remarkable gift!

Sourcebooks generously offered to match their employees donations for the second year.

We were provided with not one but two matching gift challenges to boost our year end “Think Binc” campaign. Thanks to all of our board members for giving a little “extra gift”.  Our second matching gift challenge “Pay it Forward” was created by a very grateful past grant recipient and her partner. They wanted to give back and pat it forward so other booksellers could be helped. Both challenges helped to raise over $14,000!

Thank You!

Thank you to everyone that made 2016 such a successful year for Binc. From our board to our donors or our industry supporters to the booksellers that we are here to help, we are not able to fully express our sincere gratitude for your support and effort in helping us fulfill our mission to make the book industry stronger. We can’t wait to see what exciting things 2017 will bring and we are inspired and ready to work even harder to help book people.

Booksellers tell what Binc means to them

These booksellers are proud to support the Binc Foundation and the work we do to provide assistance to bookstore employees in need. Thanks to all the booksellers that appear in this video for their support of the Foundation and for helping us to spread the word!

This post is a reprint of Binc’s dedicated Shelf Awareness Issue from March 30, 2016. To learn more about the Binc Foundation and how we help booksellers you can read the full article, here.

The Best of NEIBA’s Fall Show

I attended NEIBA’s Fall Trade Show in Providence, RI September 20th – 22nd. Great author talks, conversations with booksellers, store owners, publishers and distributors were too numerous to mention them all, so here are my top 10:

  • Meeting Binc scholarship winners Liz & Russ DeFonce from Moose Maple Books  in Saranac Lake, NY. We started talking books, but wandered off into gardening, birds and furniture making. (Check out the gorgeous furniture Russ creates as Bookman Designs)

NEIBA's Fall Trade Show Liz-and-Russ

  • Andrea Beaty’s presentation of the many “secrets” hidden in the illustrations to her new book, Ada Twist Scientist. It is like a scavenger hunt for fans of her books!
  • Having booksellers, stores and publishers find their names on our giant donor banner. Everyone likes to see their name in print. Getting to thank our donors in person and fill them in on what their donations have accomplished is something we love to do.

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  • Listening to those not on the list say “Our name should be there.” I was happy to explain all the donation options to ensure that next time around, their name will be listed!
  • Seeing our Binc magnets and bookmarks on the table at the HarperCollins booth! I’m not sure who in their group put them out, but THANK YOU!
  • Talking to a variety of people about joining our committees and adding their knowledge and enthusiasm to the Foundation. There is a real interest in helping Binc continue to help book people.
  • Staying at the Providence Biltmore, a gem of a hotel, built in the 1920’s. The ballroom was an amazing venue for the Awards Dinner!
  • Listening Elizabeth Strout after receiving the President’s Award. I am a real fan of Olive Kitteridge and My Name is Lucy Barton.
  • Meeting so many great new-to-me authors and adding too many books to my to-be-read pile. In full disclosure; this happens at all of the trade shows, it isn’t unique to NEIBA.
  • Enjoying a lovely back road drive down from Boston and visiting An Unlikely Story, Annie’s Book Stop and Ugly Dog Books along the way. Bookstore to bookstore is my favorite way to travel.

Thank You NEIBA!

A big thank you to Steve Fischer, Nan Sorenson and the NEIBA board for including Binc in NEIBA’s fall trade show again this year. I always look forward to the chance we have at the regional shows to address the membership and update booksellers on the state of their Foundation.

Next stop . . . Tacoma!

Kit

Pigs, Ice Cream and Sea Turtles, Oh My!

2016 Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance trade show is a huge success!

Side Trip to Bluffton, SC Home of the Bluffton Book Festival

Pam, Kathy and Penny traveled to beautiful Savannah, GA for the recent SIBA trade show. On Thursday, Kathy and Pam drove to Bluffton, SC to meet with Binc board member Rockelle Henderson about the upcoming Bluffton Book Festival to be held on November 18 &19. Rockelle is the founder of the event, whose mission is to raise money for two non-profit organizations that support literacy, education, reading, authors, bookselling and the publishing community as a whole and to bring awareness to local and national literary talent in the process. Binc is thrilled to be one of the beneficiaries of the festival. While in Bluffton, Rockelle and Binc stopped in at The Storybook Shoppe which will be holding events during the Festival. Follett will be the official bookseller. Thanks to Rockelle, and all everyone involved, for putting the festival together.

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Bank On Booksellers Piggy Bank Auction

Thursday also marked the kick-off of The Bank on Booksellers piggy bank auction, created by Parnassus Books to support their bookseller, Stephanie, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in April of 2016. They reached out to a few of their friends with this idea for Step, and got back over 100 piggy banks decorated by authors, artists and celebrities! The auction is going so well that they decided to donate part of the money raised to Binc to help all booksellers across the country. If you are interested in bidding on a pig, check out the Bidding Owl auction site.

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That evening, the whole SiBA group ventured out to Tybee Island via trolley for a party at author Mary Kay Andrews island home, Ebbtide. There was a ton of delicious food to eat from her soon to be released Beach Party Cookbook, and everyone enjoyed it in her simply delightful island home. Many thanks to Mary Kay and her team for their southern hospitality.

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Friday Bookseller Education Sessions

Early Friday morning, booksellers gathered for breakfast and the SIBA Annual Meeting before heading into education sessions for the majority of the day. Education sessions ranged from southern women sharing what they’d learned during their time in the book business to an update from the ABA on The New Localism Data first shared at Winter Institute 11. After the education sessions, everyone greeted new writers who have books coming out in the first half of 2017 during the 180 Days Party, a SIBA tradition. The SIBA Supper showcased four excellent authors over dinner, and the Shoe Burning Show offered Spoken Word artists and Southern Soul Music to a tired but happy bookselling crowd.

The Show Gets Underway With Ice Cream

Saturday saw the opening of the trade show floor – split into 2 sections – where booksellers flocked to the Binc table after 3:00pm for ice cream treats. SIBA members stepped up back in May and took the 20 for 20 fundraising challenge and won the award for the most participants from any Indie bookselling association during Binc’s spring fundraiser. As a thank you for such huge support, Binc treated the crowd to ice cream in the afternoon.

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Celebration Sunday

This year’s theme for SIBA was “Savannah by the Sea” and in honor of that theme Binc hosted a fundraiser on the show floor on Sunday morning where participants purchased a blinking Sea Turtle pin for $20, in honor of Binc’s 20th anniversary. At the end of the show everyone played the game Heads or Tails, either picking “heads” or “tails”, then Kathy flipped a coin and if their choice was correct, a they could move to the next round.

Congratulations to Ruth Breiphol from The Book Seller in Birmingham, AL for correctly picking heads or tails and winning the grand prize of $500! Thank you to everyone who purchased a Sea Turtle pin and to everyone who sold them. A special thank you to our sponsor for the event, University of North Carolina Press who donated funds to pay for the fundraiser, ensuring that all the money raised would go directly to helping Binc support booksellers. We are happy to report that Binc raised just shy of $2,000 from the fundraiser.

Once again, Wanda Jewell and her team did an excellent job organizing and running the show and all of the events. It was a great kick-off to the season. We are excited to see y’all again next year in New Orleans!

What We All Can Do to Help Binc Help Booksellers

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Individuals and stores can easily contribute directly to Binc, which has a 20 for 20 Challenge, encouraging donors to give at least $20 and make it a monthly, automatic deduction.

Helping Binc Help Booksellers

Several companies have helped Binc raise funds in various ways. At Books Inc., which has 11 stores in the San Francisco Bay area, employees can contribute to Binc through payroll deductions, which are matched by Books Inc. up to $100 per employee per year. Books Inc. director of operations Andy Perham noted that the deduction program was “super easy to set up through our payroll processor.”

Ken White originally brought Binc to the attention of Books Inc. managers. Perham remembered, “We were all immediately impressed by Binc’s mission and have been even more impressed in the subsequent years as we’ve seen what Binc is able to do both in providing financial assistance to booksellers experiencing a financial crisis and in the scholarships they are able to provide.”

Similarly, Sourcebooks partnered with Binc for its annual holiday drive: each time a Sourcebooks employee made a donation to Binc, the company matched that donation, and then one of Binc’s donation partners also matched the contribution. Sourcebooks national sales manager Heidi Weiland commented: “We were thrilled to participate, and based on the response we received in 2015, we will absolutely partner with Binc again in 2016. We can’t wait to see what we can accomplish together!”

Weiland noted that in working regularly with independent bookstores, “I have found it to be a universal truth that booksellers are constantly assisting their customers, community members, friends and family with issues outside the realm of books and reading, making a huge impact in their community. These same booksellers are often reluctant to ask for help when they are the ones in need of assistance. This is why Binc is so crucial. Whether they find out about a bookseller’s need through industry professionals, bookstore patrons or community leaders, Binc is there and ready to help.”

A Unique Way to Fund-raise For Binc

Chuck Robinson, co-owner of Village Books, Bellingham and Lynden, Wash., raised money in an unusual way: in a bike ride last year from Washington to Illinois for his 50th high school reunion, he decided to raise money for three communities important to him. One was his home community of Bellingham, the second the community in Illinois where he grew up, and the third was “my community of booksellers all across the country,” he said. “I took pledges for foundations that represent each of these communities, including Binc. By the beginning of November, Binc had collected more than $6,700 from those pledges.

He added: “Many of those dollars came from others in the bookselling and publishing communities, but many came from folks in Bellingham and elsewhere who value books, bookstores, and the people who work in them. I would urge everyone who shares those values to contribute in some way to Binc. I guarantee that you, too, will be happier.”

This post is a reprint of Binc’s dedicated Shelf Awareness Issue from March 30, 2016. To learn more about the Binc Foundation and how we help booksellers you can read the full article, here.

Ken White Tells Why Binc’s Help is Essential to Booksellers

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Ken White, Binc board member and founder of Query Books

We know the profit margin on books is slim. Our bookish world is teeming with smart, talented, independent people who could be making twice as much money somewhere else. But we don’t, because there’s something soul-less about selling stuff you don’t care about. We are purveyors of culture, and that’s as glamorous as being a movie star…minus, of course, the ball gowns and limousines.

So what happens when that glamorous but limousine-less bookseller runs into unexpected financial crisis? From, say, catastrophic hospital bills after a necessary procedure, or escaping an abusive domestic situation? If a bookseller has been living paycheck-to-paycheck, as many of us have done, there might not be much savings in the bank to pay that off. They may be forced into a situation where they have no resources to pay the bills and get back on their feet. That’s where Binc can lend a hand.

Binc Helps a Fellow Bookseller

 
I’ll give an example from one of my early experiences working with Binc. A bookseller (whose identity is known only by two people on staff) missed a few days of work due to a heart attack. Yes, a heart attack. And that bookseller, God bless ‘em, was already back at work a few days later. Between the medical bills and lost income, they were having trouble paying other important bills. Binc was able to step in, get their bills paid, and protect them from further hardship caused by the emergency. I’m proud of this bookseller who soldiered on, and I’m proud of Binc for helping a bookseller pay their bills during a rough spell.

In fact, Binc gave away nearly $55,000 in financial assistance grants in 2015. Binc also gave away over $220,000 in scholarship money for professional development and higher education, some of that for college tuition, and also a number of scholarships to book industry trade events.

No matter our background, there may come a day for any of us when we have to struggle to stay in the business we love. Sometimes a little help is all it takes to sustain a life in books. That’s why I love Binc; it’s the safety net for booksellers.

Many thanks to Binc board member, Diversity Task Force champion, and Query Books founder, Ken White, for sharing why he feels Binc is essential to the well-being of booksellers across the country.

Reps to the Rescue

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Meg Sherman and Kate McCune – Binc’s SUPER-REPS!

Two sales reps have been a major help in spreading the word about Binc to bookseller accounts and are now encouraging other reps to do so, too.

Kate McCune

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HarperCollins field rep Kate McCune worked in bookselling before joining the publisher 14 years ago. “I spent so many years being a bookseller and working with booksellers that I know a lot of people don’t have a cushion,” she said.

McCune, who is also a Binc board member, initially heard about Binc at trade shows. “My kinship to booksellers kind of made me predisposed to work with Binc,” explained McCune. She also felt that it was critical to support independent booksellers. “This channel is hugely important,” she said. “I think it’s crucial that we’re there to just help people have the lives they want to have and not have it go off the rails. It feels like a no-brainer to help out on that front.”

In 2014, McCune and Kit Steinaway put together small, one-sheet kits for sales reps to take on calls. The idea, McCune explained, is for a sales rep to talk about Binc for just 30 seconds to a minute and leave behind some literature. McCune has found that a low-tech, face-to-face method, which she called the “pony express way,” seems to be best for spreading information about Binc among both booksellers and sales reps.

Meg Sherman

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Meg Sherman (along with many other bookfolk), in a Binc video of support.

Likewise, Meg Sherman, a sales rep at Norton, who was an independent bookseller for 13 years, is a major advocate for Binc. “Strong booksellers need stronger bookstores need a stronger book industry,” she said.

“When booksellers aren’t able to come to work because of things going on in their lives, when they’re worried about how to pay their bills, they might leave [the industry] to take another job that they’d rather not take,” she continued. “Anything we can do to help with that and keep those stores strong means a stronger industry and stronger communities.”

After a series of historic floods in Colorado in 2013, she took notice of Binc’s work. “They had worked with several booksellers at Boulder Book Store to help them in midst of the floods,” recalled Sherman. “It was so immediate that they got on my radar.”

Ever since, Sherman has been advocating for Binc. Sherman’s territory as a sales rep covers seven Western states, and while giving rep talks around the region she takes time to mention Binc and the sorts of things they do for booksellers. And if she hears about a struggling staff member while speaking with store owners, Sherman doesn’t hesitate to mention Binc. Sherman has also begun talking to other sales reps about advocating for Binc.

Sherman said has consistently been struck by Binc’s multi-faceted efforts, which include providing grants to offset bills, advocating on behalf of booksellers while dealing with hospitals, insurance companies and similar institutions, and providing scholarships to booksellers to attend regional and national trade shows. “It really impresses me.”

We want to thank Kate and Meg for their support of the Foundation and for all they have done to get the word our about our mission and programs. They are truly our Binc SUPER-REPS!

This post is a reprint of Binc’s dedicated Shelf Awareness Issue from March 30, 2016. To learn more about the Binc Foundation and how we help booksellers you can read the full article, here.

Binc’s Diversity Task Force Initiative

Diversity Task Force

In our previous blog post, part of Binc’s dedicated issue in Shelf Awareness, our new Diversity Task Force Initiative was introduced. Thanks to the hard work of our Program Committee members, including Query Books founder Ken White, Binc is working to actively support diversity in the book industry. Here is a brief description from Ken on the direction and progress that the committee has made so far.

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Binc’s Scholarship Help and New Programs

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At the Tattered Cover during WI11 in Denver: Scholarship winner Chris Hsiang from Compass Books with Pam French.

Binc has helped a variety of booksellers and their families help pay for higher education and provided key scholarship programs to booksellers attend industry events. Andrea Jones, who recently became co-owner of Galaxy Bookshop, Hardwick, Vt., was able to attend Winter Institute 11 in Denver because of “the generous scholarship from Binc,” she said. “During the week in Denver, I learned from other booksellers and industry professionals, but also from the wonderful representatives from Binc. It was really nice to hear that in this very exciting and rewarding world of bookselling, there are people dedicated to working to help others so they can continue to share great books and knowledge, support writers and publishers, support communities in the free exchange of ideas.”

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