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.”

Take Steps Now to Prevent Utility Shut-off

In August, when the summer sun is scorching, it seems strange to be thinking about heating your home. But the reality is that actions not taken in the summer can negatively impact you as the weather turns cold. When people struggle with utility bills, the thought is sometimes to let it slide. After all, you don’t need heat in the summer. This can end up being a very costly mistake.

All states have guidelines for utility companies, preventing them from turning off power in cold weather. That is good news and ensures that a family’s power can’t be shut off in sub-zero temps and create a life-threatening situation. To compensate for these laws the utility companies have been known to aggressively use their shut-off capabilities in the months preceding cold weather. If your utilities are shut-off, it will cost you, as fines and reconnect fees are added to the amount of the overdue bill.  If you are behind on your utility bills, you could be putting yourself in jeopardy of a utility shut-off.

Don’t ignore overdue utility bills. If you are having trouble with your bills, you have options.

  • Contact your provider to:
    • Try to work out a plan.
    • See if you can get on a monthly plan that averages your annual cost into uniform monthly payments.
    • Ask about utility conservation assistance programs to help you reduce your usage.
  • LIHEAP  has funds available for those households that meet their guideline.
  • Contact the National Energy Assistance Referral (NEAR) project at 866-674-6327 or
  • Your state may have an assistance program

If you qualify for one of these programs, you’ll be able to get future bills reduced—and may be able to spread out payments on past bills.

If you have tried these resources and still are threatened with a utility shut-off, contact Binc and we may be able to help get you back on track.

Don’t Let a Disaster Find You Unprepared

It’s July and that means summer and, unfortunately, the middle of hurricane season.

Hurricanes are now regularly joined by wildfires, floods, tornados and ice storms to wreak havoc on booksellers across the country. Booksellers have been assisted by Binc after their homes were flooded by a hurricane, stores and homes were destroyed in a raging wildfire, having pipes burst or roofs collapse under ice and snow, and all manner of natural disaster. Thanks to our generous donors, both corporate and individual, we have never had to turn anyone away. Binc has been and continues to be a place to turn when booksellers begin to put their lives back together after enduring a natural disaster.

While there are many different types of natural disaster, the preparation is the same. With the help of industry partners and a number of bookstore owners, we have created some tools to help you, your employees, and your store meet whatever Mother Nature has in store.

Last year in conjunction with LIBRIS we rolled out a Disaster Preparedness Checklist. Hopefully, there is already a copy in your bookstore; if not, download your copy LIBRIS_DisasterPreparedness.

Earlier this year we received an email from Sara Hines from Eight Cousin’s Bookstore in Falmouth, MA.

 Because of our situation last year (closed for three months due to massive water damage) and seeing all of the other disasters that bookstores across the country have experienced and because a restaurant across the street from us recently had to call an ambulance for a customer who overdosed during dinner, I am working on increasing our emergency preparedness staff training.

Sara realized that her store needed instructions that were specific to their store. She was looking for a way to train staff on how to manage a situation until the people who know what they are doing arrive. She knew that overwhelming her staff with too much information would be counter-productive but wanted them to be prepared for any emergency. She was compiling an emergency training binder and asked if Binc would take a look at what she had and make suggestions.

What Sara created was an amazingly detailed step-by-step plan to prepare her employees ready for any emergency. We were able to help her organize the information and we are happy to share what we call Emergency 1-2-3. We encourage you all to personalize the pages with important phone numbers, meeting places, contacts and any special processes you use. Then be sure to share the information with your staff. After going over the information with her staff, Sara has it all filed in the store’s Emergency Binder. Every employee of Eight Cousins knows the contents and where to find the binder.

Don’t let your store get caught unprepared, create your personal Emergency Binder today.

Bed bugs. Just the thought is enough to make anyone squirm.

Recently, a bookseller spent months trying to rid their apartment of bedbugs, only to have them return – over and over again. Their whole building was infested. All appeals to the landlord were dismissed. The bookseller’s only recourse was to move out, but they lacked the funds to do so. With their security deposit tied up as they tried to break their lease, and having to continue to pay rent and live in the infested apartment, they didn’t see a way out.

But their bookstore had a Binc poster prominently displayed and the bookseller made the call for help. Because of supporters like you, Binc was able to pay the move-in expenses for a new apartment, providing this bookseller with a safe and healthy home.

Bed bugs know no social or economic bounds and they can set up residence in any home. The sources are numerous – they can be picked up while traveling, brought in aboard furniture, even travel from a neighboring apartment. However they arrive, and wherever they land, the process of ridding your home of them can be grueling.

Residents can take some steps to control an infestation.

  • Find where they are hiding, not just in mattresses and overstuffed furniture. Look along baseboards, hard furnishings, and any dark hidden area.
  • Vacuum carefully and remove the vacuum bag and contents immediately.
  • Steam clean furniture and other surfaces.
  • Put mattress and box springs into a bed bug proof cover.
  • Wash all cloth items in hot water or put in the drier for at least 20 minutes.
  • Notify your landlord immediately.

Most landlords, not wanting bed bugs to spread, will help eradicate the pests. They should work with you to help correct the problem and prevent the spread. They should arrange for professional pest control if necessary. With quick action, the infestation can be minimized.

Nationally the incidents of bed bug infestations are rising (no one seems to know exactly why) and as a result, Binc has received an increased number of requests for assistance from booksellers battling them. The help Binc has provided ranged from helping with eradication costs to assistance for a bookseller to move out of a chronically infested building.

More information on how to prevent bed bug encounters and more about the treatment can be found through the EPA, Texas A&M University, and National Apartment Association.

If you are unlucky enough to find yourself living with bed bugs, give Binc a call.