The Binc Foundation would like to thank everyone who donated to our 2016 Campaign to Sustain in the month of May. With your help (all 32 of you!) we were able to raise funds that will be used to grant financial assistance to booksellers from across the country facing financial crisis.
If you haven’t already heard, this Saturday, April 30th, is the second annual Independent Bookstore Day. 400 bookstores around the country will be holding events, author signings, providing yummy food and selling specially created merchandise available only on this special day celebrating Indies.
What if donating to Binc was quick, easy and still benefited booksellers across the country in times of financial hardship? It already is! Bookstores like Books Inc. and Maria’s Bookshop have found an effective and convenient way to help support Binc by starting voluntary recurring payroll deduction programs at their stores. These programs allow bookstore employees to donate a small amount from each paycheck to Binc in order to help Binc fund programs to assist their colleagues in need. These small amounts from many booksellers add up to big help for someone facing a financial hardship.
From October 6 to 8 the Rhode Island Convention Center was home for the New England Independent Booksellers Association’s (NEIBA) annual fall meeting and trade show. Pam was pleased to represent Binc at the show, where education, networking with other booksellers and previewing new books were essential parts of the event.
On Saturday, May 2, 2015 the first national Independent Bookstore Day will be held. After the success of California Bookstore Day last year, the event is expanding to include more than 400 bookstores across the US with the support of the regional bookseller associations and the ABA.
Stacy Mitchell, from the Institute for Self-Reliance, gave the audience at this fall’s Heartland Fall Forum a pep-talk about the popularity of buy local campaigns. Interest in local businesses and what they can offer to their communities is on the rise. In many areas local businesses are opening at a higher rate than non-local businesses. More and more it is becoming apparent that Americans want to live in cities and towns with a strong indie presence. People want to get back to basics, create a more personal environment and the makeup of their communities matter to them. These tighter knit communities include grocers, hardware stores, restaurants, pet stores, and yes, bookstores too. Stacy sees this as a backlash to the decades of impersonal big box stores that have pushed out the more traditional mom and pop operations.
Are you a publisher’s sales rep, sidelines provider, author, or a book lover who regularly visits bookstores?
If you are, you can help Binc spread the word to booksellers about the assistance available from the Foundation. In the past three years, our staff, board & committee members, and supporters have personally visited more than100 bookstores. We can use your help reaching even more bookstores across the country! We know for a fact that a personal visit to a bookstore improves the odds that their employees will take advantage of our services. We realize that the help we provide can seem like it is too-good-to-be-true, that is where corroboration by a real person comes in to play. The value of having our message reinforced by publishers, industry representatives, authors and supporters is priceless.
“Many people have claimed that literature can change lives. But few individuals lived and experienced life more committed to this belief than Karl Pohrt. He not only believed that literature provided the opportunity to inhabit and experience the lives of others—thereby more deeply understanding the human condition—but he also believed that in doing so writing and reading became transformative, political acts. For there is no greater agent for peace and understanding than reading the literatures of others.”
– Jeremy Chamberlin, Editor-in-Chief/Publisher Fiction Writers Review
While visiting family in West Virginia over the Thanksgiving holiday, we made our way to Shepherdstown, a small college town, and discovered Four Seasons Books. Of course we had to go into the bookshop and explore. As we were checking out I handed the clerk my business card and was about to explain about Binc, but didn’t get a single word out. The clerk saw the logo and jumped in with “I love what you do!” And then she went on to tell me all about our scholarship and emergency assistance programs. This was one of the best Thanksgiving moments I’ve ever had.
Opening a bookstore is a daunting task, even for someone having broad bookselling and book industry knowledge. Just like our partners at Paz & Associates, Binc is dedicated to helping book people thrive in an industry that can be a challenge.
This post on the Paz & Associates blog from October offers some insight on how to make it as a bookstore owner.