AdventureKEEN Presents Binc with #ShopLocalLiveLocal Check at #Wi14

In 2018 over 200 bookstores participated in publisher AdventureKEEN’s Shop Local Live Local initiative. As part of the program, AdventureKEEN donated 3% of sales back to the participating bookshops and 3% of sales to Binc, helping booksellers across the country. At the ABA’s 14th annual Winter Institute AdventureKEEN President, Richard Hunt, presented our Executive Director, Pam French, with the check. Thanks to all the participating stores and to AdventureKEEN for this wonderful initiative!

For an independent publisher like AdventureKEEN, the priority list goes like this: payroll, royalties, rent, and printer invoices.   As our Covington KY office sits above, and is tied by a heartbeat to the independent bookstore on the first floor, we know that the priority list of an indie bookseller goes like this: payroll, rent, and publishers/distributors invoices.  Complementary halves of the bookselling whole, indie booksellers and publishers prop ourselves up with gumption and remind ourselves that we’re doing important work for our community, literacy, and readers of all ages, over and above the bottom line.

Because we know emotionally and financially the operational risk and intrinsic rewards of promoting books in today’s world, staff always comes first.  Without them, we simply couldn’t serve our customers.  So when the health and well-being of a store or staff person is challenged, Binc responds immediately.  This is why we are so grateful for the opportunity to donate to Binc and individually to the 250+ independent bookstores who are part of AdventureKEEN’s SHOP LOCAL, LIVE LOCAL program. This “beginning of a beautiful friendship” began in 2017 and we’re looking forward to making an even bigger donation in 2019.  We appreciate Pam, Kathy, Kit et. al. at Binc for the lifesaving work they do, as well as every indie bookstores who took part in our SHOP LOCAL, LIVE LOCAL program that benefits booksellers and their families all across America.  Thanks too to the great people at PGW and Ingram who support our mission to help with their administrative, marketing and sales efforts.

—Richard Hunt | President AdventureKEEN

Binc Executive Director accepts a donation from AdventureKEEN President Richard Hunt at the 14th Winter Institute in Albuquerque, NM.

CoffeeTree Books | Morehead, KY

The Winchester Book Gallery | Winchester, VA

New Board Members Announced

We are excited to announce the addition of three new members to our Board of Directors. Eileen Dengler, Sarah Bagby, and Calvin Crosby bring decades upon decades of book-industry experience and firsthand knowledge of the specific needs of booksellers to Binc.

“As we continue to help booksellers nationwide, we are both honored and humbled to add these three industry leaders to the Binc Board of Directors,” says Binc’s Executive Director, Pam French.

Eileen Dengler is the executive director of the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association (NAIBA) – a position she has held for twenty years. She also brings ten years’ experience serving as the Director of Meetings and Conventions for the American Booksellers Association (ABA). She also ran the annual ABA Convention prior to it becoming BookExpo America. Dengler brings decades of nonprofit and leadership experience and intimate knowledge about the needs of booksellers to support Binc’s mission.

Sarah Bagby is the owner of Watermark Books & Café in Wichita, Kansas where she has overseen three location moves, the addition of a café, and the founding of Watermark Publishing. Sarah served on the board of the ABA, and she also brings extensive leadership and governance skills to Binc; she is a past president of the Midwest Independent Booksellers Association (MIBA) and has also served on the ABA Booksellers Advisory Committee. She currently serves on the LIBRIS board – an insurance company owned by the ABA.
Calvin Crosby has over a quarter century of book industry experience. He has been a frontline bookseller – and in his heart, still is. His broad bookselling experience ranges from merchandising to human resources, store management to marketing, to non-book merchandise buying. He was a long-standing Northern California Independent Booksellers Association (NCIBA) board member and past President of the organization. He was the Sales and Marketing Director for McSweeney’s and now serves the NCIBA as their Executive Director.

As we welcome these three new board members, we also say farewell to board members Anne KubekWanda Jewell, and Deb Leonard who have completed their terms of service on Binc’s Board. Each of these, now former, board members brought ceaseless passion for Binc’s mission, thoughtful decision making to the governance process, and extraordinary dedication to Binc’s mission of serving the needs of booksellers across the nation. Binc would like to thank them each for their commitment and for all the good work they accomplished while serving on Binc’s board.

The Full Binc Board of Directors for 2019:
Executive Committee: 
President – Lori Tucker-Sullivan, Wayne State University
Vice President – Matthew Gildea, Joseph-Beth Booksellers
Treasurer & Chair – Mary Richards, Forest Health
Program Chair – Ken White, Query Books
Secretary – Christie Roehl, Duluth Trading Company

Board Members:
Sarah Bagby, Watermark Books
Julia Cowlishaw, Ingram Content Group
Calvin Crosby, Northern California Independent Booksellers Association (NCIBA)
Eileen Dengler, New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association (NAIBA)
Rockelle Henderson, Rock Inked, Inc.
Kate McCune, HarperCollins Publishers
Annie Philbrick, Bank Square Books
Jen Reynolds, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Chuck Robinson, Chuck Robinson Associates 

Year-End Musings from Binc

The beginning of a new year is a time for reflection on the previous year and anticipation of what is to come. While the work of emergency financial assistance is nothing if not unpredictable, there are certain things that seem to hold true.

Hardships Frequently Come in Multiples

It would be nice if bad luck came in single isolated events, one problem that, once solved, would let life continue on as before. At Binc we know that most often, this is not how real life works. Take for example a serious medical event. The overwhelming bills are bad enough, but a medical emergency is often accompanied by a loss of income as the person recovers. Piled on to the stress of the injury or illness is the worry of how to pay the bills without the income they need to do so.

Financial assistance is not based on one event or one moment in time. It is all about how that moment will impact household financial stability today and for the months to come. This is why Binc considers all the events happening in  and uses a multi-pronged approach to get the bookseller’s household back on firm financial footing. Helping booksellers to negotiate their medical bills and/or negotiating and paying bills on their behalf is the first step. Once the bills are under control, Binc focuses on the bookseller’s other household expenses. Can those be covered while the bookseller is off work? Will the time needed for recuperation put the family in danger of losing their home or having their utilities shut off? Only by looking at the big picture can Binc plan the best method to really help the bookseller and their family for the long term.

Disasters Happen in Spite of Our Preparation

You could have the best plan in place and have checked off every box on Binc’s Disaster Checklist, but bad luck can still strike. As we saw this year, Mother Nature is fickle, spreading snow and ice storms, hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, and wildfires across the country. When natural disasters strike, they can create both a short- and a long-term need. In the short-term those impacted may need lodging, food, clothing and medicine to get them through an evacuation in the first hours after a disaster strikes. Longer term problems may include damaged or destroyed homes, or in the case of Paradise, CA, the destruction of an entire town. Bookstores may also be damaged or closed during disasters and even when they reopen it is often to very few customers as the community rebuilds. Once again, the need comes in multiple forms: immediate disaster assistance, replacement and rebuilding expenses, and loss of income in the aftermath of the disaster. Binc is ready, willing, and able to help in all of those situations.

Booksellers are Hesitant to Request and Accept Help

If you want to drive a Binc staff or board member crazy, tell us that you didn’t apply for assistance because “someone needed it more”. We hear this too often and are constantly telling booksellers that their need is as important as another’s. We get it, booksellers are a proud and independent bunch. That is what makes you all so good at what you do and the pillars of your communities. But every now and then, even the strongest pillar needs a bit of support to keep it strong. So, if life knocks you down, let Binc help you back up. You will be stronger for allowing your community of book people to give you a hand. And you will be in a better position to help someone else on another day.

Book People are the Best People

We continue to be amazed by the willingness of book people to help each other and the imaginative ways you accomplish this. Every natural disaster or story of a bookseller needing help is followed by a cry across the industry of “How can we help?”. We see this help every day come in different forms, whether it is a publisher writing a check, a trade association holding a fundraiser, a bookstore donating a portion of a day’s sales, or a bookseller making a small donation with every paycheck, that is the power of book people helping each other.

We appreciate the calls and emails we get alerting us when someone is in need of help. The bookselling industry is a family of like-minded folks who understand that it is the community that matters. We are proud to be a part of this community and grateful that you have embraced Binc as your foundation.

Here is to a happy and healthy 2019.

A Unique Opportunity to Attend the Denver Publishing Institute

The Book Industry Charitable Foundation, in collaboration with Sourcebooks and the Denver Publishing Institute, announce a new scholarship opportunity for booksellers interested in exploring a career in the publishing side of the industry. Applications for the scholarship to attend the Denver Publishing Institute in Denver, CO will be accepted from December 15th, 2018 through March 8th, 2019.

This scholarship includes, tuition, housing and meal plan, and up to $2000 to cover travel and lost wages.

Eligibility is open to US booksellers who meet the following criteria:

  • Be employed at a brick and mortar bookstore at the time of application and for the duration of the program.
  • Have their store owner or manager’s permission to be absent during the four weeks of the program.
  • The bookstore must be owned by an entity deriving a substantial portion of its income from the sale of physical books.
  • Must have worked in the bookstore for at least 90 days.
  • Intend to remain employed in the book industry.

The application and selection process is as follows:

  • Applicants must apply and be accepted through DPI’s regular application process and pay a $65 application fee.
  • A separate scholarship application must be uploaded to the online application as a supplemental document and submitted before February 27, 2019.
    • A Binc Selection Committee will choose the winner from those applicants based on their resume, personal statement, and references.
      • The Binc Selection Committee will be made up of three members of the Binc Board of Directors and Program Committee members.

The scholarship, worth up to $7,000, will be distributed as follows:

  • Binc Foundation will pay DPI directly for tuition to the program on the winner’s behalf.
  • DPI will provide housing and meal vouchers to the winner.
  • Up to $2,000 for travel and lost wages will be reimbursed to the winner.
    • Winner will submit receipts for travel expenses to Binc.
    • Compensation for lost wages will be based on the average hours worked for the 90 days preceding the date of the award and will need to be verified by the store owner or manager.

The Denver Publishing Institute (DPI) is a 4-week-long summer program (July 14 – August 9, 2019) at the University of Denver. DPI is taught by industry professionals who work for trade, university, textbook, and independent publishers throughout the country. Recent graduates have gone on to work at Sourcebooks, Harper Collins, Penguin Group, Oxford University Press, Chicago Review Press, Pearson, and McGraw-Hill. Course and lecture topics include book marketing, manuscript editing, copyediting and proofreading, digital marketing strategies, the role of the bookstore, and many more.

“After years of working as a bookseller, attending DPI expanded my understanding of the book industry in profound ways. From learning about the variety of careers in publishing to having a leg up in landing the interview for my dream job, I can soundly say that the program’s benefits are still with me years later. Most of all, I’m so grateful that DPI’s in-depth programming and exceptional speakers enabled me to be so much more effective on my first day at Penguin Random House than I would have been otherwise. DPI changed my life, and I’d do it all over again if I could!”

Justin Goodfellow, DPI’12, Sales Manager, Penguin Random House

What We Are Reading, Gifting, and Listening To at Binc

Pam French | Executive Director

Kathy Bartson | Director of Development

 Kit Mundus Steinaway | Programs Manager

Joan Noricks | Office Coordinator

Kate Weiss | Communication Coordinator