Literati Bookstore Hosted Ann Patchett at a VIP Reception in Benefit of Binc

Literati Bookstore hosted an intimate meet and greet with New York Times bestselling author Ann Patchett, followed by a talk and Q&A at Rackham Auditorium in Ann Arbor, Michigan on October 14th.

VIP guests had an opportunity to speak to Ann and have their books signed and personalized before her event at Rackham Auditorium in downtown Ann Arbor.

A big thank you to HarperCollins Publishers, Mike and Hilary and all the book ninjas at Literati Bookstore, and Kate McCune.

The Anatomy of Financial Assistance Grant

How does the process work? That is always one of the first questions we hear from booksellers, and one we are happy to answer over and over again. Our goal is to make asking for help as easy as possible, always keeping in mind the physical and emotional state of the bookseller who is reaching out to Binc.

“We are so very grateful for the kindness and empathy Binc extended to us.”

When requesting assistance from Binc, here is what to expect:

1) A bookseller who has experienced an unexpected event causing them to be unable to pay household bills begins the process in one of two ways:

a) Downloading an application from Binc’s website and submitting it to help@bincfoundation.org, faxing it to 734-477-2806, or sending it by mail.

b) Contacting Binc via phone (866-733-9064) or email (help@bincfoundation.org)

2) Binc’s Programs Manager Kit or Kate our Communications Coordinator will contact the applicant to answer questions and to request any additional information or supporting documents that are needed. We understand and respect that the bookseller is going through a very personal experience and we strive to always be compassionate and caring.

“I was embarrassed about my situation, but Kit completely understood and never made me feel bad about myself. I cannot thank Kit and the Binc community enough for their assistance.”

3) The Applicant submits documents to verify the specific event and the need. (i.e. pay stub, bank statement, doctor bills, lease) Binc requests only the minimum number of documents needed to verify the request.

4) A blind summary (no names or locations are included) of the situation and the request is written up and submitted to the Binc Program Committee for approval. The volunteer committee members have 24 hours to respond to the request.

5) After the request has been approved, Binc will contact the bookseller to arrange for payment of the bills. Typically bills are paid to vendors on the bookseller’s behalf and not to the bookseller directly.

“I contacted them and was amazed with the kind and quick responsiveness of their team. Once I provided all the information they needed in order to examine the situation and determine whether they could help, the swiftness of their response seemed almost immediate.”

6) Once the bills are paid the bookseller will be notified and given all relevant confirmation and/or tracking numbers related to payments.

7) Binc will supply the bookseller with the contact information for national and local resources meant to help augment the assistance received from the Foundation.

Your privacy is very important to Binc. All requests and all information collected is kept in strict confidence. The Executive Director and Programs Manager are the only people who know the identity of applicants. Binc will never divulge the identity of an applicant without their express permission.

“Don’t ever hesitate to pick up the phone after an unexpected whammy and call them. They want to help. They are there to help and they can help.”

The Forge Fund for Comic Retailers

Rick Johnson, Annie Philbrick, David Steward II, Devin Funches

ST. LOUIS—Just before the doors opened to this year’s pop culture spectacle at the Jacob K. Javits Center, David Steward II and Annie Philbrick of the Book Industry Charitable Foundation (Binc) greeted a room full of retailers at the Diamond Comics breakfast with the introduction of The Forge Fund, a renewal of their partnership to support direct market retailers and their employees in times of hardship.

Lion Forge has donated $100,000 of seed money to Binc to establish this special fund for comic shops. In addition to this initial investment, going forward, 5% of proceeds from select titles will go to Forge Fund, with this week’s release of the Gail Simone’s Catalyst Prime series Seven Days to be the first in the program.

“The Forge Fund expands a vital financial safety net and enables the Binc Foundation to help more comic book retailers across the country,” said Binc Executive Director Pam French. “Our most recent survey results let us know that one in five store employees have experienced a personal financial crisis within the past twelve months. This new fund gives the Foundation the ability to assist those working in the comic book industry who are facing financial emergencies today and in the future. Our thanks and gratitude go out to Lion Forge for recognizing this need in their community and taking action to help.”

“Comic shops and their employees are the reason we are all here, and the assurance that we can continue to evolve our customer base and grow the readership of this medium we ALL love so dearly,” says David Steward II. “As the industry finds itself in a time of transition, and in the wake of recent natural disasters, we knew that we had to do something meaningful to help. It’s for those reasons that today, we introduce the evolution of our partnership with Binc, and ‘The Forge Fund.’ I also would like to personally encourage other publishers to join us in this effort, as this is an investment in the future of our industry.”

The Binc Foundation provides confidential financial assistance to comic retailers and booksellers, who have a demonstrated need arising from severe hardship or emergency circumstances. Retailers and their families who are suffering from financial challenges due to illness, death in the family, expenses associated with escaping domestic violence, homelessness prevention, natural disaster recovery and more now have a place to call when help is needed.

Retailers, look for titles in Diamond’s PREVIEWS catalog carrying The Forge Fund logo, and visit the Binc website for more information, on how you or your employees can access this program. Publishers, join Lion Forge in supporting our retail partners by contributing to the Forge Fund today!

Applications Open for the Carla Gray Memorial Scholarship for Emerging Bookseller-Activists

Applications opened today, September 1st, for the Carla Gray Memorial Scholarship for Emerging Bookseller-Activists.

One bookseller will have the life-changing experience to attend two amazing bookselling events as well as receive a grant to make their community stronger. This scholarship is focused on finding new readers and ensuring access to books that improve readers’ lives while integrating bookstores even more fully into their communities. Applications will be accepted through 10/21/2019.

2020’s award will be the second Carla Gray Memorial Scholarship awarded by the Friends of Carla Gray Committee and the Binc Foundation. The scholarship is awarded annually to a single bookseller with at least one year but fewer than five years of bookselling experience, who has not attended an industry tradeshow or an ABA sponsored event.

The winning bookseller will be awarded a year-long scholarship for professional development, which includes: travel and hotel for attendance to Winter Institute, travel and hotel for attendance to their regional tradeshow, and a stipend to fund a community outreach project.

Jenna Johnson (Friends of Carla Gray Committee) said, “We are so heartened to see the continuing support for this scholarship program and are excited to help new booksellers imagine ever more ways to engage and inspire their communities. We are looking forward to the new round of applications and to watching Carla’s enthusiasm and can-do spirit live on through these emerging leaders.”

“The Binc Foundation is honored to commemorate Carla’s legacy by offering this scholarship as a way to honor Carla for the beloved friend and book lover that she was to all who knew her,” says Pam French, Binc’s executive director. “We look forward to learning about the winner’s community project and meeting them in person at next year’s Winter Institute.”

Booksellers can apply at https://bincfoundation.submittable.com/submit/145144/2019-carla-gray-memorial-scholarship-for-emerging-bookseller-activists

The application period runs from September 1 to October 21, 2019.

Criteria and Eligibility

  • Applicant has at least 1 year but fewer than 5 years of bookselling experience.
  • Applicant is willing and able to commit one year to complete the requirements of the scholarship and intends to remain employed at the designated bookstore until the completion of the community outreach project.
  • Applicant’s store meets the criteria of “bookstore” as defined by Binc policies. (Please email info@bincfoundation.org if you have a question about your store.)
  • Applicant’s store is a member in good standing of the ABA and their regional trade association.
  • Applicant is a regular part-time or full-time employee of a bricks & mortar bookstore.
  • A maximum of one scholarship will be awarded each year.
  • Applicant may receive this scholarship only once in their tenure as a bookseller.
  • A bookstore may receive this scholarship only once.
  • Bookstore owner agrees to partner on the community outreach project.

This scholarship and its recipients will celebrate and honor Carla’s boundless enthusiasm for the books themselves, her delight in pairing the right book with the right reader, and her unwavering faith in the bookselling community.

If you would like to honor Carla’s legacy with a donation to this scholarship fund and help change booksellers lives, you can do so here: https://secure.donationpay.org/bincfoundation/?source=carlagray.

Denver Publishing Institute Connects Industry to Community

This article was originally published by the University of Denver on August 27, 2019

The Denver Publishing Institute (DPI), now in its 44th year, is emphasizing the voices of booksellers through a scholarship program made possible by DU, Sourcebooks and the Book Industry Charitable Foundation (Binc). Kate Kenney (center) is the event coordinator at Bank Square Books and a newly minted graduate of the Denver Publishing Institute.

After earning her MFA in creative writing at Western Washington University, Kenney sought out what she most loved—working with books. It was at the Boulder Bookstore that Kenney first found out about the Denver Publishing Institute.

“I found a flyer in the breakroom and thought this would be a really great opportunity. I wouldn’t have been able to attend DPI without the scholarship and I’m so grateful to be here. Every time I hear a speaker, I think about how much it’s going to help me as I move forward.”

The Denver Publishing Institute provides opportunities for students, publishers, librarians and young professionals like Kenney to experience a wide range of what the industry entails. This four-week immersive program is centered around workshops, lectures and special sessions led by top professionals drawn from the world of book publishing. As a core part of the program, students make connections, build professional networks, receive career support and get to interact with industry leaders in both formal and informal settings.

Denver Publishing Institute

Jill Smith, the Director of the Denver Publishing Institute, explains the breadth of the program. “Students come to us from all around the country. For the first time this year, I put up a map and had students put a pin where they wanted to find a job. We’ve always had a sense that they come from everywhere and go back everywhere, but where is everywhere?”

“Just by looking at the pins,” Smith continues, “they can see that they are forming a widespread network through DPI. This is one of our strengths.”

What unites these individuals is a shared belief in the power of books to impact people, an idea captured in Sourcebooks’ motto: “Books. Change. Lives.” Sourcebooks is one of the largest independent publishers in the U.S., publishing 400 books a year across most genres.

Todd Stocke, editorial director, explains the company’s investment in the voices of booksellers like Kenney. “We come from roots of both marketing and bookselling. We have a client-focused approach to our publishing model, with ‘client’ encompassing our authors, our readers and our retail partners.”

Bookselling is integral to a full understanding of the publishing world, says Stocke. “A lot of times publishing folks like to stay in their own heads, when where their heads should be is in a bookstore because that’s where people are buying their books. At Sourcebooks, we’ve worked hard to retain that mindset over the years.”

Stocke lectures on “Digital Innovations in Publishing” with a focus on how digital technologies open possibilities across the book industry, including booksellers in a brick-and-mortar store.

“The core of what I talk about is change positivity—folks being open to what is beyond what they already know. Publishing used to be a linear process, but now we can experiment with the entire process along the way; from its origins to how it takes shape as a finished product.”

Talks like Stocke’s that embrace the full range of the book industry, are a primary strength of what the Denver Publishing Institute offers its students, says Smith.

“What I love is being able to present the entire book publishing ecosystem and having students come and learn about everything. It helps them find where they fit best into the whole system.” Smith continues, “Going through the program, they might realize a career path they never previously considered. It’s a beautiful thing to see students find their path.”

Kenney agrees, noting the broadened perspective she’s gained during her time at DPI. “I was surprised going through the program how much booksellers talk about all of this but we don’t think about it as someone’s job. We’ll be shelving books and say ‘great cover,’ or we’ll comment on someone’s author photo—we see the whole industry as booksellers, but we don’t know it. Here at DPI we get to engage every part of publishing.”