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 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

Binc and Penguin Random House Announce Winner of Indies with Impact

The Binc Foundation and Penguin Random House, the world’s largest trade book publisher, announced today that the Blue Manatee Literacy Project and Bookstore in Cincinnati, Ohio has been awarded the inaugural Indies with Impact prize. Through this award, Penguin Random House recognizes, supports, and strengthens the connections bookstores have with their neighbors by providing funding for the winner’s community-based initiative.
Christine Stotz (PRH), Pam French (Binc), Veronica Valerio (PRH), Jill Burket Ragase, and Amanda Kranias (Blue Manatee).
Binc received applications from bookstores large, small, newly established, and long-time community anchors from all over the United States. Each applicant demonstrated a strong commitment to their neighborhoods. Project proposals promoted book access for underserved communities, community-building work through adult literacy programs, and a variety of reading programs that serve children and teens. The selection committee, made up of industry professionals from Penguin Random House and the Binc Foundation’s Program Committee, selected the Blue Manatee Literacy Project and Bookstore through an impartial, rigorous review process in a pool of excellent applications.

“Supporting independent bookstores is at the heart of the mission of book publishing. Reaching local communities is central to everything we do at Penguin Random House. We are thrilled to congratulate Blue Manatee Literacy Project and Bookstore on receiving this inaugural award and look forward to seeing the success of their initiative,” said Jaci Updike, President of Sales at Penguin Random House.

Pam French, Binc Executive Director said, “This unique collaboration with Penguin Random House will give The Blue Manatee Literacy Project and Bookstore funds to build and grow their program working with students in Cincinnati Public Schools. We are grateful for this opportunity to work with Penguin Random House on Indies with Impact, because of how the prize honors, recognizes and supports the vital role bookstores play in their communities.”

On learning their program had been chosen, Amanda Kranias, Director of the Blue Manatee Literacy Project and Bookstore told Binc, “[This] grant will accelerate the implementation of our Near-Peer mentoring program to a larger group of students, building relationships that boost reading confidence and leadership skills.”

The Near-Peer Mentoring program is a partnership with Cincinnati Public Schools, through which middle-school-aged mentors provide basic reading instruction and skill development to younger readers. The Blue Manatee Literacy Project and Bookstore will supply books to participating students in three to four public elementary and middle schools, and as the program grows, other logistical support to students from public schools across Cincinnati. By creating a project that brings together experts to build literacy programming and providing the underserved readers with the materials needed to participate in the program, the Blue Manatee Literacy Project and Bookstore is setting young readers up for success.

Binc Announces Garth Stein as Author Leadership Circle Campaign Chair

Ann Arbor, MI ­– Binc announced today that Garth Stein has been named Author Leadership Circle Campaign Chair. Along with Binc co-ambassadors Ann Patchett and James Patterson, Stein will help Binc become sustainable so that the foundation can continue to fulfill their mission of providing a financial safety net for booksellers for years to come.

On why Stein is joining Binc, he said, “Binc is an essential organization that supports those who have always supported writers the most: booksellers. It is important for us, as authors, to reciprocate by supporting our compatriots in the literary ecosphere. I am excited to bring awareness of Binc’s mission to my author friends; booksellers are our family, and family is the most important relationship of all.”

Stein is the author of The Art of Racing in the Rain (Harper)—which has sold more than 6 million copies, been translated into 35 languages, and spent more than three years on the New York Times bestseller list. He has also written A Sudden Light (Simon & Schuster), How Evan Broke His Head and Other Secrets (Soho Press), Raven Stole the Moon (Pocket Star Books), and four picture books for childrenHis new role at Binc will focus on increasing awareness and strengthening the booksellers’ safety net through securing financial commitments from fellow writers.

Kathy Bartson, Binc’s Director of Development, commented, “Garth is so well positioned in the industry and he understands how we each have a role to play in sustaining the organization that strengthens the book industry by protecting booksellers. He’s a perfect fit for Author Leadership Circle Campaign Chair.”
Leadership Circle authors (committed contributions in 2019) also include Ann Patchett, James Patterson, Judy Blume & George Cooper, Leigh Bardugo, Gregory Maguire, Aimee Cabo Nikolov, Andrea Thome, Jessica Powell, Jonathan F. Putnam, Amor Towles, Gabrielle Zevin, Jeff Kinney, Christopher M. Finan, and Susan Sands.

Pam French, Binc Executive Director, said, “We are delighted to welcome Garth Stein as our inaugural Author Leadership Circle Campaign Chair and are eager to welcome more authors to our incredible community of supporters. We are grateful for all of our author and illustrator supporters—for their generosity, industry leadership, and creativity. Writers and their publishers are strengthening the booksellers’ safety net through virtual author visits, royalty donations, volunteering their time, decorating piggy banks, and more. It couldn’t be a better time to welcome Garth Stein to Binc. We are seeing an increased need for assistance and need a corresponding increase in support, so booksellers will continue to have a place to call when they need help.”

Over the past year, authors have developed innovative ways to support the booksellers’ safety net. Former Google executive Jessica Powell is donating print royalties from her new book The Big Disruption: A Totally Fictional but Essentially True Silicon Valley Story (Medium). Author of Love is the Answer, God is the Cure (Inspirational Books), Aimee Cabo Nikolov with her publisher, donated $5 for every copy of the book sold through April 30th. For a minimum donation of $100 to Binc Gabrielle Zevin, author of The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry (Algonquin Books) will speak to book clubs, schools, and libraries for a half hour via Skype or phone. Jeff Kinney, author of the series Diary of a Wimpy Kid and owner of the independent bookshop An Unlikely Story Bookstore & Café, hosted a gameshow-style trivia fundraiser on the Friday before Independent Bookstore Day at An Unlikely Story.

Writer, Binc supporter and volunteer, and author Jonathan F. Putnam wrote to Binc saying, “When I first learned of Binc and its mission, I was immediately drawn to the organization and wanted to know how I could help. I’m very proud that Binc has appointed me to its Finance and Governance Committee as one of the first authors to serve on the organization’s oversight committees.” On a recent book tour to promote his new book Final Resting Place: A Lincoln and Speed Mystery (Crooked Lane Books)Putnam discussed Binc with booksellers and audience members at each stop on his tour. He also donated a generous portion of his royalties to Binc which his publisher matched.

On why #1 New York Times bestselling author Leigh Bardugo donates to Binc she wrote, “At every stage of my life, I’ve benefited from the work booksellers do and the communities they build. Donating to Binc gives me a chance to turn my gratitude into something worthwhile and to make sure readers know there’s an easy way to make sure their local booksellers thrive.” Bardugo’s publisher, Macmillan Publishers, matched her generous donation.

Anyone interested in learning more about contributing to the Book Industry Charitable Foundation can contact Kathy Bartson at 734-471-0201 or

Binc’s Qualifying Events Explained

A qualifying event can often be easily explained. It’s easy to understand how a serious medical could create an overwhelming financial hardship for a bookseller. Some of the other qualifying events are more complex. In a series of blog posts (with accompanying downloadable posters) we will dig deeper into a number of qualifying events to explore the many ways Binc can help booksellers in times of need.

Loss of Household Income Downloadable Poster

Loss of Household Income

Easily the most complex of Binc’s qualifying events is the Loss of Household Income category. This category encompasses a variety of personal events that can lead to household financial hardship, preventing the bookseller from being able to pay essential expenses. Let’s explore examples of unexpected situations that could lead a bookseller to apply for assistance under Loss of Household Income.Childcare or Eldercare

  • A bookseller is the parent or legal guardian of a child or the primary caregiver for a parent or relative in their household.
  • An emergency need arose for child or elder care (i.e. weather-related school closing, illness of child or elder).
  • 50% or more of the bookseller’s scheduled weekly income was lost due to the emergency.

Death in the household

  • A bookseller experiences the sudden death of a wage earner residing in their household.


  • The bookseller or another wage earner in the household experiences illness or injury that requires them to be off work for a prolonged period of time.

Disruption of business

  • A store is forced to close unexpectedly due to disaster or severe weather.
  • 50% or more of the bookseller’s scheduled weekly income was lost due to the emergency.

Divorce or separation

  • A bookseller’s spouse or partner leaves the household and does not provide financial support due to divorce or separation.
  • A bookseller experiences the loss of court-mandated child support.
  • In some circumstances, the unexpected loss of a roommate can qualify for assistance.

Job loss of partner or spouse

  • A bookseller’s spouse or partner loses their job through no fault of their own.
  • The bookseller has a second job and it is lost through no fault of their own.
    • The loss of a bookseller’s job at the bookstore does not qualify.

For any application to the Binc Foundation the following criteria apply:

  • The declared loss of income must cause the bookseller to be financially unable to pay essential household expenses.
  • In many instances, up to three months essential expenses may be provided if there is sufficient evidence that financial equilibrium can be achieved during that time.

If you are still wondering if your circumstances apply – call or email. Binc 866-733-9064 or