Another successful in-person board meeting!

We had a great time at our in-person board meeting in early May. The Binc board has more than 360 years of combined book industry experience and most of their amazing work for the Foundation is done remotely. When the opportunity for them to work face-to-face presents itself, incredible things happen.

Before the official meeting, board members visited Ann Arbor bookstores and met with some local book industry supporters for Drinks with Binc.

Our friends from Above the Treeline were among the people who stopped in to see the board during Drinks with Binc!

The in-person meeting featured a brief overview of how the board helped Binc and booksellers through an unprecedented year in 2017. Board members were crucial in fundraising and awareness efforts following a relentless series of natural disasters.

In addition to discussing how the bookseller’s safety net performed in 2017, the board looked to the future of the foundation in 2018 and beyond.

One of the events our board is most excited about is the return of the Bank on Booksellers auction later this year. Bank on Booksellers is a great way to celebrate authors and illustrators while also helping protect booksellers from strife following emergencies. The week-long auction will provide booklovers the chance to win piggy banks decorated by some of the biggest celebrities in the book industry (and some from beyond!)

Judey, one of our incredible volunteers, recently visited Binc HQ with a delivery: The unpainted pigs we will be sending out to authors for #BankonBooksellers. (The full-size pigs are in the box!)

Another development that has our board eager for 2018 is our continuing awareness efforts in the world of comic bookselling. We’ve seen an outpouring of support and outreach efforts from comic industry leaders like Lion Forge Comics and Diamond Comic Distributors, which will go a long way toward ensuring comic book guys and gals from across the US will be able to find relief when the unexpected strikes.

The Binc Board of Directors stopped in to visit Vault of Midnight in downtown Ann Arbor. We’re working hard to make sure comic booksellers know we have their back as well. Pictured from left to right are: (Back) Lori Tucker-Sullivan, Mary Richards, Julia Cowlishaw, Annie Philbrick, Jen Reynolds, Matthew Gildea, Christie Roehl, Ken White, Chuck Robinson (Front) Kate McCune, Anne Kubek, Deb Leonard, Rockelle Henderson, Wanda Jewell. Photo Credit: Kristen Freshley

Board members and staff are also looking forward announcing the launch of the Carla Gray Memorial Scholarship for Emerging Bookseller-Activists. Several of our board members had the pleasure of working with Carla. The memorial scholarship provides an opportunity for someone with fewer than five years of bookselling experience to attend a key industry trade show and to create a community outreach project at their store.

We love seeing our board work together to make the bookseller safety net as strong as possible and look forward to their continued leadership and guidance as we move forward.  Join them in supporting the bookseller’s safety net and make a gift today! 

Shop Local Live Local ALL YEAR LONG

Remember last year’s Shop Local Live Local campaign, where AdventureKEEN supported booksellers across the country by donating all of their profits from the month of June to Binc? We do! Because of AdventureKEEN’s donation, we were able to help four booksellers through one of the most trying years in the foundation’s history.

Richard from AdventureKEEN joined then-supporter-now-board-member Chuck Robinson on Chuck’s Big Ride Redux to personally deliver the funds AdventureKEEN raised with the original Shop Local Live Local Campaign.

After the rousing success of Shop Local Live Local, AdventureKEEN is once again stepping up to help booksellers thrive. For 2018, AdventureKEEN is taking the Shop Local Live Local spirit and spreading it across the year with SHOP LOCAL LIVE LOCAL ALL YEAR LONG. This new campaign means AdventureKEEN is offering a three percent rebate to stores and a matching three percent donation to Binc based on 2018 purchases of all AdventureKEEN titles via PGW/IPS

One of the best parts about this offer is that AdventureKEEN is willing to count all sales from the beginning of 2018, but only for those store that sign up for the program before March 31, which is why we are taking to our humble blog in the hopes of getting the word out before it is too late.

If you’re not familiar with AdventureKEEN’s offerings, they make a great addition to your Local Interest section. AdventureKEEN provides region and state-specific titles to help people get the most out of the outdoors in their community, from hiking, stargazing and birdwatching guides to books to inspire a love of nature in young readers. Shop Local Live Local began with the idea of encouraging people to foster a deeper connection to their community through their local bookstore as well as their local parks, trails and backyards: we’re so excited to see it expand to a year-round mission.

Winter Institute 13 Wrap Up Blog!

Winter Institute 13 was a whirlwind of friends, knowledge and so much fun! Shelf Awareness put together a great summary of the whole event here, but we wanted to share the event from your safety net’s perspective!

One of the first highlights of our adventure was a dinner we hosted at the Majestic Grille. We were absolutely humbled to be in the room with dozens of friends from across the book industry. Our supporters and scholarship recipients were able to connect over their favorite books and a great meal.

“The dinner represented all faces of the book industry coming together to celebrate their foundation,” said Kit Steinaway, program director. “Without their support, we couldn’t have helped a record number of booksellers in 2017.”

Our primary focus during trade shows is talking face-to-face with booksellers at our consultation station – it’s our strongest awareness tool. However, there was still plenty of time to attend some education sessions featuring booksellers and experts from across the book industry and beyond.

Jesse Mecham, author of “You Need a Budget” talk with booksellers about how to hack their salary during an information session at WI13.

Our Director of Development attended “Exploring Innovative Business Models & Funding Options,” where she learned how the creativity that goes into making a bookstore a reality never ceases to amaze. The session discussed crowdfunding, using pop-ups to test markets and gain credibility, and the advantages and challenges of non-profit versus for-profit business models.

“Book people are passionate about finding ways to get books into the hands of people in their communities and they will do whatever it takes to accomplish their goal,” she said.

In addition to attending some great information sessions, we were honored to have executive director Pam French included on a panel of professionals discussing how booksellers can best prepare for an emergency.  During the panel, booksellers and store owners shared examples of their experiences and reinforced the need that advanced planning helped in their response efforts.

“Both of the store owners on the panel, John Cavalier and Valerie Koehler spoke from experience,” Pam said. “After the flooding in John’s neighborhood, he became involved with his local planning commission and is working to identify and update flood zones and emergency response proceeds.”

The emergency preparedness panel also featured a bevy of information from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“The FEMA representative provided and overview of how FEMA works and a list of online tools that can be used for emergency prep,” Pam said.  “One useful tip I learned is FEMA has an app that can be customized to any zip code and provide a lot of helpful information including a list of local emergency shelters.”

We were so honored to be named the designated charity of Winter Institute by the ABA. Their recognition elevated awareness of how Binc can help booksellers through emergencies and made it possible for an incredible fundraising event. The first ever Winter Institute game of Binc Heads-or-Tails was exciting, fun and brought everyone together to illustrate just how committed the book industry is to taking care of our people. The best part was raising enough money to help at least four booksellers!

“The energy in the room was amazing,” Kit said. “One of the few things that could entice a bookseller to get out of a signing line (for a few minutes, anyway) for their favorite author.”

Trade Show Season Comes to an End

 

The 2017 fall trade show season has come to an end. Trade Show season is a crucial time for the Binc team since our most effective tool for awareness is talking to booksellers directly. It was great to see so many friends from all across the book industry, from IBAs to the ABA and everyone in between.

We’ve been incredibly busy helping booksellers after hurricanes, wildfires and through all of the other emergencies we’ve helped with for more than 20 years. Even so, we wanted to take a minute to share some of our favorite memories from the 2017 Trade show season

Our Program Director, Kit Steinaway, said her favorite memory came from early in the season, at the SIBA gathering:

“My favorite memory from this year’s trade show season was the sight of so many booksellers having fun together playing a rousing game of Heads-Or-Tails. We spend a lot of time helping booksellers through their most dire moments, to see so many of my favorite people just having a great time was amazing.”

Director of Development Kathy Bartson’s favorite part of travelling to trade shows is the warm reception Binc receives from all of the Independent Bookseller Associations, and how their support helps Binc help more booksellers.

“We wouldn’t be where we are today without the support of the IBAs. The good will they have put out for us for all these years is paying off because booksellers are learning they can turn to us for help.”

Joan Noricks recently joined the Binc team as Office Coordinator. She and fellow newbie Adam Gac joined Kit for the Heartland Fall Forum. She was wowed (and a little exhausted) by the experience.

“I knew we were going to be meeting a lot of wonderful booksellers, but who knew I was in for personal capacity building? The programming was amazing, especially listening to so many authors and wanting to read all their work – not to mention strengthening my upper body carrying all those various tote bags of books.”

Communications Coordinator Adam Gac had this to say:

“THIS IS AMAZING. I can’t wait to get back to the office to make a blog post about how incredible it is to spend time with so many brilliant booksellers.”

The northern California show kicked off while many of the wildfires were still burning, Executive Director Pam French was there, talking with booksellers about the needs of their communities.

“Being with book people and in particular witnessing their resiliency and compassion for each other was inspiring. This is why Binc exists, to help booksellers help each other when the unthinkable happens.”

We can’t wait to see everyone again next year. (And at Winter Institute!)

Getting Creative: Binc supporters help in unique ways

One of the best parts about working to provide a safety net for booksellers is the immense amount of creativity in the book industry. Book lovers and businesses don’t just offer their financial assistance, they think of new and creative ways to leverage their skills to best help Binc help booksellers.

In the past few weeks, we have experienced an outpouring of creative support from companies and individuals across the book industry.

Ingram Content Group offered Binc a burst of support and awareness with their #IngramForIndies campaign during the week leading up to Independent Bookstore Day. The campaign quickly surpassed its goal of more than 40 shares and retweets well before the Bookstore Day deadline and Binc received a $4,500 donation and increased visibility as a result. To top it off, Ingram hosted a raffle benefiting Binc on Bookstore Day at Parnassus Books in Nashville.

#IngramForIndies combined digital awareness, fundraising and a swell soiree (Courtesy Photo/Ingram Content Group)

Ingram isn’t alone in providing creative corporate support for the bookseller safety net. Take Basil Software, for example. The company has been long-time Binc supporters. But this year Basil found a creative way to help Binc even more. Basil is offering a one-time donation for every one of their customer stores who joins as a $20/month sustaining donor during our Campaign to Sustain.

Creative giving doesn’t stop with corporate supporters. Binc Ambassador Ann Patchett has offered an autographed copy of her latest award-winning novel Commonwealth to anyone who becomes a minimum $20/month sustaining donor.

The first 80 people to join Binc as a $20/month sustaining donor during Campaign to Sustain will receive an autographed copy of Ann Patchett’s latest novel!

Bookstores can also partner with Binc to help spread awareness and raise funds. Bank Square Books and Savoy Bookshop and Café recently provided Binc with several copies of Neil Gaiman’s latest book, Norse Mythology. Current sustaining donors who successfully encourage their friends and family to join during Campaign to Sustain will be entered for a chance to win one of five copies.

Bank Square Books and Savoy Bookshop and Cafe donated fabulous prizes for existing sustaining donors who encourage friends and family members to join during Campaign to Sustain.

Binc’s partnerships extend beyond help with our annual donor drive. Looking forward, we are planning a June collaboration with AdventureKEEN with the help of Ingram and edelweiss. The campaign is called “Shop Local, Live Local,” and will direct the company’s profits from June sales of regional AdventureKEEN books to support Binc. Booksellers and store owners interested in participating in the event can find more information here.

The people who care about booksellers are some of the most creative and generous people in the world. We want to hear from you because we know you have great ideas. Call us. Email us. Message us on social media. We want to work with you to strengthen the bookseller safety net.

Campaign to Sustain aims to help additional booksellers

The annual Campaign to Sustain is here! This is your opportunity to join the ranks of other authors, booksellers, store owners, publishers and readers who have made a commitment to help maintain our safety net for booksellers.

This year, Binc’s goal is to add 80 sustaining donors at $20/month. The additional support will make it possible for the Foundation to help an additional bookseller every month of the year. Yes, that’s right, you can help 12 additional booksellers this year.

Binc Ambassador Ann Patchett has offered to sweeten the deal. The first 80 sustaining donors who join at $20/month or more will receive an autographed hardcover copy of Ann’s latest award-winning book, “Commonwealth”! 

Ann isn’t the only one is making this Campaign to Sustain the best yet. Basil Software has offered to make a one-time donation for each of their customers who join as a sustaining donor at $20/month or greater.

If you’re still on the fence about becoming a donor, here are a list of reasons why now’s the best time to Think Binc:

Booksellers need your help.

There aren’t many retail positions that require as much education as being a bookseller. With the average public college debt above $25,000 and tuition rates continuing to rise, providing a financial safety net for the people who answer the call to promote literacy in their communities is more important than ever.

Becoming a sustaining donor protects the people who put books in the hands of people who need them.

Helping booksellers helps communities. Whether they are putting the perfect coming-of-age story into the hands of a young reader or helping someone find the perfect cookbook for backyard homesteading, booksellers enrich the lives of their customers. Binc sustaining donors make sure that enrichment continues, even when life throws booksellers a curveball.

Small donations make a big difference.

The Foundation provides booksellers with emergency help when they need it the most. When you become a sustaining donor, you make it possible for Binc to help booksellers before an emergency becomes a financial catastrophe. By working together with other book people, combined donations of any size become part of a substantial force for helping booksellers.

It’s tax-deductible and super easy.

Binc is a nonprofit organization and provides a number of options for how to become a sustaining donor. You can donate using your debit or credit card, directly from your bank account, or through payroll deduction.  Click here for details on how to set up payroll deduction at your store or company.  

You love books by Ann Patchett.

Who doesn’t love books by Ann Patchett? Helping us reach our goal by becoming one of 80 new sustaining donors means more than just reading the new Ann Patchett book – which Publisher’s Weekly described as a “funny, sad, and ultimately heart-wrenching family portrait,” – It means you get a copy signed by the author herself!

Help us reach our goal by becoming a Binc sustaining donor. 

The Best of NEIBA’s Fall Show

I attended NEIBA’s Fall Trade Show in Providence, RI September 20th – 22nd. Great author talks, conversations with booksellers, store owners, publishers and distributors were too numerous to mention them all, so here are my top 10:

  • Meeting Binc scholarship winners Liz & Russ DeFonce from Moose Maple Books  in Saranac Lake, NY. We started talking books, but wandered off into gardening, birds and furniture making. (Check out the gorgeous furniture Russ creates as Bookman Designs)

NEIBA's Fall Trade Show Liz-and-Russ

  • Andrea Beaty’s presentation of the many “secrets” hidden in the illustrations to her new book, Ada Twist Scientist. It is like a scavenger hunt for fans of her books!
  • Having booksellers, stores and publishers find their names on our giant donor banner. Everyone likes to see their name in print. Getting to thank our donors in person and fill them in on what their donations have accomplished is something we love to do.

neiba-table

  • Listening to those not on the list say “Our name should be there.” I was happy to explain all the donation options to ensure that next time around, their name will be listed!
  • Seeing our Binc magnets and bookmarks on the table at the HarperCollins booth! I’m not sure who in their group put them out, but THANK YOU!
  • Talking to a variety of people about joining our committees and adding their knowledge and enthusiasm to the Foundation. There is a real interest in helping Binc continue to help book people.
  • Staying at the Providence Biltmore, a gem of a hotel, built in the 1920’s. The ballroom was an amazing venue for the Awards Dinner!
  • Listening Elizabeth Strout after receiving the President’s Award. I am a real fan of Olive Kitteridge and My Name is Lucy Barton.
  • Meeting so many great new-to-me authors and adding too many books to my to-be-read pile. In full disclosure; this happens at all of the trade shows, it isn’t unique to NEIBA.
  • Enjoying a lovely back road drive down from Boston and visiting An Unlikely Story, Annie’s Book Stop and Ugly Dog Books along the way. Bookstore to bookstore is my favorite way to travel.

Thank You NEIBA!

A big thank you to Steve Fischer, Nan Sorenson and the NEIBA board for including Binc in NEIBA’s fall trade show again this year. I always look forward to the chance we have at the regional shows to address the membership and update booksellers on the state of their Foundation.

Next stop . . . Tacoma!

Kit

Pigs, Ice Cream and Sea Turtles, Oh My!

2016 Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance trade show is a huge success!

Side Trip to Bluffton, SC Home of the Bluffton Book Festival

Pam, Kathy and Penny traveled to beautiful Savannah, GA for the recent SIBA trade show. On Thursday, Kathy and Pam drove to Bluffton, SC to meet with Binc board member Rockelle Henderson about the upcoming Bluffton Book Festival to be held on November 18 &19. Rockelle is the founder of the event, whose mission is to raise money for two non-profit organizations that support literacy, education, reading, authors, bookselling and the publishing community as a whole and to bring awareness to local and national literary talent in the process. Binc is thrilled to be one of the beneficiaries of the festival. While in Bluffton, Rockelle and Binc stopped in at The Storybook Shoppe which will be holding events during the Festival. Follett will be the official bookseller. Thanks to Rockelle, and all everyone involved, for putting the festival together.

rockelle_pam_kathy_siba

Bank On Booksellers Piggy Bank Auction

Thursday also marked the kick-off of The Bank on Booksellers piggy bank auction, created by Parnassus Books to support their bookseller, Stephanie, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in April of 2016. They reached out to a few of their friends with this idea for Step, and got back over 100 piggy banks decorated by authors, artists and celebrities! The auction is going so well that they decided to donate part of the money raised to Binc to help all booksellers across the country. If you are interested in bidding on a pig, check out the Bidding Owl auction site.

screen-shot-2016-09-16-at-11-24-23-am

That evening, the whole SiBA group ventured out to Tybee Island via trolley for a party at author Mary Kay Andrews island home, Ebbtide. There was a ton of delicious food to eat from her soon to be released Beach Party Cookbook, and everyone enjoyed it in her simply delightful island home. Many thanks to Mary Kay and her team for their southern hospitality.

mary-kay-andrews

Friday Bookseller Education Sessions

Early Friday morning, booksellers gathered for breakfast and the SIBA Annual Meeting before heading into education sessions for the majority of the day. Education sessions ranged from southern women sharing what they’d learned during their time in the book business to an update from the ABA on The New Localism Data first shared at Winter Institute 11. After the education sessions, everyone greeted new writers who have books coming out in the first half of 2017 during the 180 Days Party, a SIBA tradition. The SIBA Supper showcased four excellent authors over dinner, and the Shoe Burning Show offered Spoken Word artists and Southern Soul Music to a tired but happy bookselling crowd.

The Show Gets Underway With Ice Cream

Saturday saw the opening of the trade show floor – split into 2 sections – where booksellers flocked to the Binc table after 3:00pm for ice cream treats. SIBA members stepped up back in May and took the 20 for 20 fundraising challenge and won the award for the most participants from any Indie bookselling association during Binc’s spring fundraiser. As a thank you for such huge support, Binc treated the crowd to ice cream in the afternoon.

pam-and-penny-at-siba

Celebration Sunday

This year’s theme for SIBA was “Savannah by the Sea” and in honor of that theme Binc hosted a fundraiser on the show floor on Sunday morning where participants purchased a blinking Sea Turtle pin for $20, in honor of Binc’s 20th anniversary. At the end of the show everyone played the game Heads or Tails, either picking “heads” or “tails”, then Kathy flipped a coin and if their choice was correct, a they could move to the next round.

Congratulations to Ruth Breiphol from The Book Seller in Birmingham, AL for correctly picking heads or tails and winning the grand prize of $500! Thank you to everyone who purchased a Sea Turtle pin and to everyone who sold them. A special thank you to our sponsor for the event, University of North Carolina Press who donated funds to pay for the fundraiser, ensuring that all the money raised would go directly to helping Binc support booksellers. We are happy to report that Binc raised just shy of $2,000 from the fundraiser.

https://youtu.be/QfjKUhvk_cM

Once again, Wanda Jewell and her team did an excellent job organizing and running the show and all of the events. It was a great kick-off to the season. We are excited to see y’all again next year in New Orleans!

Hannah Lee Reports from Children’s Institute 4

Hannah Lee

Hannah Lee from Main Point Books is a member of Binc’s Program Committee and serves as a member of the Diversity Task Force. The goal of the Diversity Task Force is to draw more people of diverse backgrounds into bookselling and to help those already in the industry to stay and excel.

Hannah attended Children’s Institute 4 in Orlando and presented on a panel on children’s nonfiction that was well attended. Here is Hannah’s report from the conference.

Continue reading “Hannah Lee Reports from Children’s Institute 4”