Macmillan/Henry Holt Announces Matching Donation Campaign for Me by Elton John to Binc Benefiting Independent Booksellers

Ann Arbor, MI – To celebrate the forthcoming publication of Elton John’s memoir, Me Macmillan/Henry Holt will donate $10 to Binc for every independent bookstore order of 20 copies or more, up to a total maximum match amount of $5,000. All orders placed by independent bookstores before November 15 are eligible for this program.

“We are proud to support our bookselling community and Binc; this program creates an opportunity to do so that we hope will be meaningful to the independent booksellers,”  said Maggie Richards, VP, Henry Holt and Company.

Pam French, Binc Executive Director said, “We are honored to be working with Macmillan/Henry Holt on this innovative fundraising effort. By contributing to Binc, Macmillan/Henry Holt is giving booksellers the opportunity to strengthen the safety net for themselves and their colleagues while doing the daily work of ordering books for their bookshops.”

The Foundation has been able to assist forty-four booksellers and their families and has distributed $103,039 in emergency assistance (as reported by the Foundation at mid-year January 1st – June 30th, 2019), due to the commitment of sustaining partners, including Macmillan. This assistance has alleviated medical debt, provided a safe place to live, afforded booksellers needed medical care, and much more.

Pam French concluded, “We couldn’t do this work without our publishing partners like Macmillan and are grateful for their continued support and creativity. Publishers supporting booksellers make this whole industry stronger.

2019 Macmillan Booksellers Professional Development Scholarship Winners Announced

For the third year, nine booksellers from communities across the United States will attend independent booksellers’ association trade shows with scholarships provided by Macmillan Publishers through the Book Industry Charitable (Binc) Foundation. These Macmillan Booksellers Professional Development Scholarships provide opportunities to diverse booksellers who are traditionally underrepresented within the industry.
The nine winners of the 2019 Macmillan Booksellers Professional Development Scholarship are:
  • GLIBA – Kathy Burnette from The Brain Lair Bookstore in South Bend, IN
  • MIBA – BrocheAroe Fabian from River Dog Book Company in Beaver Dam, WI
  • MPIBA – Denise Chavez from Casa Camino Real in Las Cruces, NM
  • NAIBA – Bennard Fajardo from Politics and Prose in Washington, DC
  • NCIBA – Seth Katz from The Booksmith in San Francisco, CA
  • NEIBA – Read Davidson from Harvard Book Store in Cambridge, MA
  • PNBA – Markie Rustad from Liberty Bay Books in Poulsbo, WA
  • SCIBA – Amanda Qassar from Warwick’s in San Diego, CA
  • SIBA – Deanna Bailey from Story on the Square in McDonough, GA

Each winner will receive a $500 scholarship to help cover the cost of attending their fall regional show.

The Macmillan Diversity & Inclusion Council and Binc’s diversity task force created the Macmillan Booksellers Professional Development Scholarship Program in 2017 as a way to provide booksellers from underrepresented communities direct access to a key resource within the book industry, the Fall Regional Shows.

Applicants, including people of color, LGBTQ people, and people with disabilities, anonymously completed short essay questions which were evaluated by a panel of judges. Winners were selected from each of the nine regions represented by independent booksellers associations: Great LakesMidwestMountains and PlainsNew AtlanticNorthern CaliforniaNew EnglandPacific NorthwestSouthern California, and Southern.

“We were incredibly impressed by the quality of applications for this year’s scholarship. It is heartening to see the passion our applicants have for bookselling and spreading acceptance and tolerance in their communities,” said Malati Chavali, Macmillan Diversity & Inclusion Co-Chair and VP, Publishing Strategy Operations.

The panel of judges included Malati Chavali (Macmillan), Jeanne Costello (Maria’s Bookshop) from Binc’s Program Committee, and Ken White (Query Books) from Binc’s Board of Directors.

Pam French, Binc Executive Director, said, “We are happy to work with Macmillan to bring this opportunity to booksellers for the third year. This popular program not only furthers individual booksellers’ careers by helping them attend their regional tradeshows, the program promotes a more inclusive and diverse industry by giving an opportunity to individuals who are traditionally underrepresented at the shows. Congratulations to all the scholarship recipients. We hope you enjoy attending your regional tradeshow.”

What We Learned at Ci7

Pittsburgh, PA June 2019

I love going to industry tradeshows and conferences and Ci7 in Pittsburgh was one of the best (and most intense) I’ve been to yet. On my first day in Pittsburgh, I did the full-day bookstore tour where a busload of booksellers and other industry folks visited five of Pittsburgh’s growing and beloved indies: Mystery Lovers Bookshop, Spark Books, City of Asylum, White Whale Bookstore, and Classic Lines Bookstore. It was awesome to see these bookstores in person (the majority of which are less than four years old) and the growing literary community in Pittsburgh. There was another tour which was also offered where people visited indie bookshops in the north side of the city and surrounding suburbs. Opening a bookstore is often both a risk and the realization of a lifelong dream, and it is our core mission at Binc to support these intrepid entrepreneurs and their hard-working employees.

One of the most important Binc-related realizations that I took home from this gathering of booksellers was that even though Binc has been serving US booksellers’ emergency financial needs since 2011, there are still misconceptions about what Binc does, who qualifies for assistance, and what kinds of events Binc can help with.

Booksellers do not have to donate or “belong” to Binc to qualify for assistance—ever.

The first thing I often have to clear up when getting into a discussion with a bookseller who is mostly unfamiliar with Binc (oh you’re from that bookstore charity), is that Binc is not a membership organization. Booksellers do not have to donate or “belong” to Binc to qualify for assistance—ever. Binc is a nonprofit foundation funded and supported by a community of caring and generous donors from across the industry (i.e. authors, publishers, frontline booksellers, bookstore owners, the ABA, and regional associations like NCIBA and NEIBA) and we serve all people working full-time or part-time in a brick and mortar bookstore for over 90-days. We serve frontline booksellers, comic book retailers, owners, managers, buyers, events coordinators, and shift leaders. If you work in a bookstore—Binc is your foundation. There are no membership fees or costs, and there never will be.

Another misconception I often encounter at trade shows or when I’m visiting bookstores is that Binc assistance applies only to the bookstore itself or the bookstore owner. This is also not the case. If a tree falls on your house, and you work in a bookstore year-round, it’s possible that Binc can help. Due to donations from across the industry, Binc is able to help with a vast range of emergency events that effect booksellers’ lives outside of the bookstore where they work. Binc has helped pay for addiction treatment, vital medications, preventing eviction, repairs after a tornado partially destroyed a home, funeral expenses for a loved one, relocation for domestic violence survivors, dealing with bed bugs, and 100s more qualifying events. If you’re not sure if your situation qualifies, and you’re struggling financially after something unexpected happened in your life, call us. We’ll talk you through our simple application process and do our best to get you some relief.

If you’re not sure if your situation qualifies, call us.

Sometimes when I tell people about Binc they ask, “So what’s the catch? Do I have to pay the money back? Do you tell everyone I needed assistance?” The honest answer is that there is no catch. You never have to pay the money back (the assistance is in the form of grants, not loans), and our financial assistance programs are 100% confidential and judgment-free. We take your situation as it is and do our best to work with you and help you find a way out of it so you can get back to normal as quickly as possible.

At Binc we believe in the power of the indie bookstore in a community and the value of the people who work in that bookstore who every day make the store what it is. Binc is here for the children’s book buyer who is selecting the books on the shelves to reflect and at times challenge their community, the events coordinator who is always staying late and working weekends and moving that shelf out of the way for the 100th time, the aspiring writer and frontline bookseller who is trying to make her bookseller’s hourly wage work in New York City, for the new bookstore owner with a young family who has big dreams about building something great and valued for their community. Binc is here for each of them in times of great need. I always tell people, I wish that nobody ever needed Binc, but I also know that’s not the world we live in. At least it’s good to know if you need a little help during an emergency, that Binc will be here to help you find your way through a crisis. Then afterward, you can keep slinging those books and sharing your favorite stories with your customers and doing the incredible work of selling books and connecting readers with the stories they so urgently need to hear.

Kate Weiss was a frontline bookseller and book buyer for over ten years and is currently the communication and marketing coordinator at the Book Industry Charitable Foundation.

Binc Foundation and Macmillan Diversity Scholarship Returns

The Binc Foundation and Macmillan Publishers announced today that they would be offering the Macmillan Booksellers Professional Development Scholarship for the third year in a row. Nine scholarships in total will be awarded to booksellers from underrepresented groups to cover the cost of travel, lodging, and meals (up to a maximum of $500) to attend a fall regional show for NEIBA, SIBA, NAIBA, MPIBA, NCIBA, MIBA, SCIBA, GLIBA, and PNBA.

The application period opened on June 15th and will close on July 15th, 2019.

One of the recipients from 2018 Julie Jarema from Avid Bookshop in Athens, Georgia told Binc, “Thanks to the Binc/Macmillan Booksellers Professional Development Scholarship, I was able to attend my first SIBA Fall Trade show in Tampa. Without the scholarship, I wouldn’t have been able to travel to meet other booksellers; listen to an amazing lineup of lectures and panels; and get excited about the upcoming books! It was a great introduction to the larger bookselling community.”

“We have received such overwhelmingly positive responses from recipients of past years, and are delighted to continue our partnership with Binc,” said Macmillan Diversity & Inclusion Co-Chairs Malati Chavali, VP, Publishing Strategy Operations and Angus Killick, VP, Associate Publisher, Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group. “We believe the program is exposing a new and diverse generation of booksellers to a critical industry forum for exchange of ideas and knowledge, and setting a path for a healthy future for independent bookselling.”

“The Binc Foundation exists to help booksellers thrive,” said Binc Executive Director, Pam French. “By working with Macmillan Publishers to bring diverse voices to regional trade shows, we’re enriching conversations and improving the bookselling industry as a whole.”

Booksellers can find out more details and apply at https://bincfoundation.submittable.com/submit/141545/2019-macmillan-bookseller-professional-development-scholarship. Applications must be completed by July 15, 2019.

To be eligible to apply for a scholarship;

  1. Applicants must fall into one of the following categories:
    1. People of color, defined as people of African/African American, Asian/Pacific Islander, Latin American, Middle Eastern, or Native American/Indigenous descent.
    2. People who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer.
    3. People with disabilities (includes but is not limited to physical, sensory, cognitive, intellectual, or developmental disabilities, chronic conditions, and mental illnesses).
  2. Applicant’s store must be a member of one of the regional independent bookseller organizations.
  3. Applicant must be a regular part-time or full-time employee of the bookstore.
  4. Applicant must be currently employed and have 90 days of continuous employment with the bookstore.

The applicant will answer three brief essay questions and the winners will be anonymously selected by a panel composed of Binc board members, booksellers, bookstore owners, and a representative from Macmillan Publishers.

Binc Announces 2019 Higher Education Scholarship Recipients

Anah Redding, Colin Blumer, Mary Glenn, Sophia Glenn, Hannah Guter, Rebecca Keith, Anna Leedy, and Samantha Melton

Eight recipients have been selected to receive a total of $29,500 in scholarships as part of the Book Industry Charitable (Binc) Foundation’s 2019 Higher Education Scholarship Program.

The recipients were selected from fifty-one applicants. Winners are attending colleges and universities in California, Florida, South Carolina, Illinois, Alabama, Utah, and Michigan. They are studying a vast range of subjects from music, nursing, psychology, marketing, graphic design and more.

Susanne Blumer, owner of the bookstore Sassafras on Sutton in Black Mountain, North Carolina told Binc, “We were thrilled to learn of Colin’s scholarship! Binc was one of the first to call me when the roof of my bookstore collapsed last December and now they are helping us with our son’s college. We love Binc and we love this industry!”

Seven (7) $3,500 scholarships were awarded to dependents of booksellers and one (1) $5,000 Karl Pohrt Memorial Scholarship was granted to a current independent bookstore employee who has overcome learning adversity or is a non‐traditional student.

The Binc Higher Education scholarships can be used for tuition, fees, books, supplies, and room and board. Since 2001 the Foundation has supported the educational goals of more than 700 booksellers, granting over $2 million in awards.

Providing financial assistance to help booksellers’ families achieve their educational and professional dreams is a rewarding part of maintaining the bookseller safety net, according to Binc Executive Director Pam French. “For eighteen years Binc has helped ease the cost of a college education for booksellers’ families. Reading about the scholarship winners and their educational goals is always inspiring,” she said. “A big congratulations to all of the students!”

Scholarship America (Scholarship Management Services) conducted the third‐party academic selection process to evaluate the scholarship applicants. The evaluation process utilized selection criteria including financial need, prior academic achievement, and leadership capabilities (including participation in school and community activities) as well as work experience, a statement of career and educational goals and objectives, and unusual personal or family circumstances.

Further details about the scholarship recipients can be found here. Information about how bookstore employees’ dependents can apply for the 2020 Higher Education Scholarship Program will be released early next year.

2019 Higher Ed Scholarship Winners