We've taken July 1st to be our birthday, and our 24th is coming up quickly. We've seen a lot of changes over the years, and the time has come for us to make some changes of our own.
First of all, we're having a SALE! That's right, all used hardcovers, from our $5 specials to our high-end collectibles are all on sale at 25% off! From July 1st through the 15th, this is your chance to pick up a great deal on some one-of-a-kind books. Remember, that's used hardcovers, not new. No reserving early!
One of the changes we've already made is that we're ordering fewer hardcovers in general. Remember when we had huge piles of books for signings? Sadly, those days are gone. We've got to be more fiscally conservative, so we're trying to order just what we know we need. What that means for you is that if there's something you really want, signed or not, please let us know in advance. We are building our orders out of these reserve lists, so it helps us to know how many to have on hand. That way, we won't disappoint you, which is something we hate doing.
In general, we're ordering fewer titles and fewer copies of those we do want to have on hand. This is especially true with trade paperbacks which now can cost as much as hardcovers did when the shop opened in 1990. But just because we don't have it does not mean we won't be willing or interested in getting you a copy. If you don't see what you want, for heaven's sake tell us and we'll order it for you. Doesn't cost you anything extra.
We're also seriously discussing closing on Sundays and/or Mondays. We like being able to say we're here seven days a week, and (so far) Sundays have free parking, which has been a bonus. But sadly, the numbers aren't there, the sales don't support us being here, and it's a hard reality that we might have to face, perhaps by summer's end, if not sooner.
Then too, we're taking a hard look at which signings we'll be accepting, and we may very well be paring those down. We wish, we truly do, that we could accept every author who wants to sign here, but, like the piles of books from before, those days are gone. We love our authors and we want to do everything we can to help them succeed. We're taking a good, hard look at what makes a signing successful, and so some changes will be in order.
Why are we making these changes? People are buying fewer books. We cannot say if it is due to any one thing - the economy, less disposable income, the higher prices of printed books, or e-books - or a combination of them. Our view is all, and more, of those things are at play. Evolution and adaption is the name of the game for any business and we wanted to mention some of the changes you'll be seeing.
As we've said many times over the years, the health of all small businesses depends on the support of their customers. We have been lucky to have had so many over the last 24 years. We hope to be able to say that again, next year, when we hit 25.
Thanks from all of us -