SlideShare a Scribd company logo
Tim Middleton: Hello, everyone. Thank you for joining us for today's Tech Forum session.
I'm Tim Middleton, Product Manager and Retailer Liaison at BookNet Canada. Welcome to
"New Stores, New Views: Booksellers Adapting, Engaging, and Thriving."
Before we get started, BookNet Canada acknowledges that its operations are remote and our
colleagues contribute their work from the traditional territories of the Mississaugas of the
Credit, the Anishinaabe, the Haudenosaunee, the Wyandot, the Mi'kmaq, the Ojibwa of Fort
William First Nation, the Three Fires Confederacy of First Nations (which includes the
Ojibwa, the Odawa, and the Potawatomie), and the Métis, the original nations and peoples of
the lands we now call Beeton, Brampton, Guelph, Halifax, Thunder Bay, Toronto, Vaughan,
and Windsor. We encourage you to visit the nativeland.ca website to learn more about the
peoples whose land you're joining from today.
Moreover, BookNet endorses the calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation
Commission of Canada and supports an ongoing shift from gatekeeping to space-making in
the book industry. The book industry has long been an industry of gatekeeping. Anyone who
works at any stage of the book supply chain carries the responsibility to serve readers by
publishing, promoting, and supplying works that represent the wide extent of human
experiences and identities and all that complicated intersectionality.
We at BookNet are committed to working with our partners in the industry as we move
towards a framework that supports space-making, which ensures that marginalised creators
and professionals all have the opportunity to contribute work and lead. And in the spirit of
that acknowledgement, I confirm BookNet's and my own responsibility to mend the sacred
hoop with Canada's Indigenous peoples, to be an ally to all Black, Indigenous and people of
colour, and to unite and work alongside one another.
[00:03:03]
[silence]
[00:03:18]
For our webinar today, if you are having difficulties with Zoom or have any technical-related
questions, please put your questions in the chat or you can email
techforum@booknetcanada.ca. We're providing live ASL and closed captioning for this
presentation. To see the captions, please find the Show Subtitle button in the Zoom menu at
the bottom of your screen. If during the presentation you have questions for us, please use the
Q&A panel found in the bottom menu.
Lastly, we'd like to remind attendees of the code of conduct. Please do be kind, be inclusive,
be respectful of others, including of their privacy. Be aware of your words and actions, and
please report any violations to techforum@booknetcanada.ca. Do not harass speakers, hosts,
or attendees, or record these sessions. We have a zero-tolerance policy. You can find the
entire code of conduct at bnctechforum.ca/code-of-conduct.
Now, let me introduce our speakers. First, we have Chris Krawczyk, who's the co-owner and
founder of Little Ghosts Books. Frustrated with the lack of diverse authors on the horror
shelves in most bookstores, they were inspired to create Canada's first horror-themed
bookstore and publishing house. They're deeply invested in creating spaces in which queer
and trans, POC, femme, and other folks on the margins can feel safe and connected with their
communities.
Next is Nena Rawdah, who is the managing partner of Cross & Crows Books. She is a queer
settler of Lebanese and multicultural descent. While she has lived in Canada for only 7 years,
Nena is a veteran of both new and used book selling with 29 years in the business. She has
been a marketing specialist, an academic book sales rep, and a bookstore publicist. Edited
several dozen books, worked in six bookstores, and is delighted to be building community
around her second neighbourhood bookstore.
Next, Chandler Jolliffe is the owner of Cedar Canoe Books. Chandler spent 10 years working
in the ed tech space before making the decision to leave and open a bookstore. Cedar Canoe
Books is still fairly new, having opened its doors in late 2022.
And finally, Penny Warris is the co-owner and manager at Analog Books Inc. Along with her
husband, Scott, Warris opened Analog Books at the end of December 2020. Previously, she
had a career as a travel consultant, and Scott had an electronics distribution company. Both
of them understood the dynamics of owning their own business. However, they didn't have
much knowledge about the book-buying world. Now that the bookstore has been open for
three years, Warris feels that opening their bookstore during the pandemic was the right
decision for their store. However, she would not recommend it for others.
Thank you all for coming, and welcome. We love you. We love booksellers. We love new
booksellers. So without any further ado, we're going to get to the questions. And our first
question, a little bit of softball. We're going to get you to tell us your story. You know,
bookstores are good at selling stories. Let's hear you tell your story. What inspired you to
become an independent bookseller? Were there steps you took to become more
knowledgeable about the publishing industry? And how has your vision for your story
evolved? Penny, we're going to start with you because your store has been around the
longest.
Penny Warris: Wow, that's not usually the case when I'm with booksellers. So we actually
entered into this as a business idea. We looked at... Both Scott and I were at a point in our
life where we were looking for something different. And we looked at our, we like to say,
time, treasure, and talents and looked at what a company that the two of us could work
together on would work. And we were really fascinated with watching the rise of
independent bookstores since when they all sort of closed in 2008, when we started to see a
resurgence of them in around 2015, 2016.
In 2017, we actually drove across the country and stopped at a lot of independent bookstores
and asked them, like, what would you think of opening a bookstore now? And they all said
that we were nuts, but if there was ever a time, it was probably now. So we worked on that
for a few years and just ended up opening during the pandemic. It wasn't a response to the
pandemic. It just happened that our timing worked out.
And like I said, in our case, it was perfect timing. When we opened the... In Lethbridge,
there's 100,000 people. There's a university, a college. There's a Chapters. So that was one of
the reasons that we chose this town was because it didn't have an independent bookstore.
And it's two hours away from the closest independent bookstore.
So for us, when we opened, the university was closed. The college was closed. The library
was closed. So we were the only game in town. So it actually was good timing for us. We've
seen huge support from the university, college, and the schools. Yeah, and we're in an area
downtown that we thought we could use the location to pull in from all the other anchors on
town, all the cool restaurants and the tattoo shops and the hairdressers and the gym and all
those things that closed. So when we opened, we actually became the anchor of our streets.
So the whole situation's been upside down, but perfect for us.
Tim: Thanks. Sounds like bookselling. Upside down, but perfect. Nena, I'm gonna go with
you. Just I'm going to order my screen here and I have Nena up. Let's hear you.
Nena Rawdah: So I got into bookselling by getting a job. My first book job was at Powell's
when they were doing heavy, heavy hiring for labelling that monstrous collection, getting it
all online back in the mid-'90s. And it was like a school for booksellers at the time. And they
really encouraged us to develop skills and advance and climb the compensation grid. And so
they made it both interesting and worthwhile to follow. I had never realised that bookselling
was a career possibility or a thing other than maybe working in a mall bookstore until that
point.
And that was when I encountered people who had worked in bookstores for decades, people
who had worked for Walter Powell, and got this image of a possibility. And I also saw
people moving from bookselling into other parts of the book trade. So it looked like a real
thing rather than a stepping stone moment passing thing. I try to give a little hint of that
experience whenever I have the opportunity to have staff, you know, to kind of encourage
them in a direction like that.
Tim: Thank you. It is like that. You don't know you're choosing a career when you choose a
book-selling job. Let it be known. Chris, let's hear you.
Chris Krawkzyk: Oh, goodness. So Little Ghosts Books was a dream of a frustrated horror
nerd. I love books. I love bookstores. I owned a comic book store for almost a decade, and
what I read outside of comic books is mostly horror. I'm lucky to live in Toronto, lucky to
have so many independent bookstores that I love and frequent who struggled to match my
reading list with something from their shelves.
So during the pandemic, I lost my mind, maybe, and there was the unique opportunity to
have retail space in areas of Toronto that aren't normally unoccupied. So I decided I was only
going to take the risk if we found the perfect space, and we found the perfect space near
Trinity Bellwoods Park in Toronto, so close by other independent bookstores that I love with
big windows and great display windows and natural light and old beautiful floors. And I
decided to build an enormous black-on-black bookshelf with a sliding ladder and have all of
the horror I could possibly imagine on the shelves. And it's worked well for us to be so niche
in a neighbourhood that has so many other bookstores in it. And then we have expanded to
publishing this year basically because I continue to have more ideas in my brain than maybe
good sense.
Tim: Chris, one question I didn't ask when we met earlier. Do you still have the comic book
store?
Chris: I do. So the sidekick still exists on the east end of Toronto, near Leslieville. Yeah.
Tim: Cool.
Chris: I'm just two genre bookstores in a trench coat.
Tim: It's a good thing. Chandler. My screen shifted. You went up there now. Okay,
Chandler.
Chandler Jolliffe: Yeah. So like lots of folks, I came to book selling in a bit of an odd way. I
was in a very different career two years ago. And in Huntsville, which is where our store is
and I live, we had a Kohl's. It closed just over two years ago. And I was off one week taking
a little staycation and my wife and I were walking downtown and noticed an empty
storefront. And I looked it up and I thought, "Man, this place would make a cool bookstore
because we don't have a bookstore." That was on a Wednesday.
On Sunday, that same week, we decided that that's what I was going to do. And my wife was
supportive. And on Monday, I quit my job. And we opened three months after that. So there's
one of those cases where I think ignorance was bliss a little bit. I did the opposite of Penny,
which was not a tour of other bookstores. It was like virtually no research. And then I kind of
just figured I'd be able to figure it out at some point. And it's been great. Yeah, no regrets,
despite the huge learning curve. It's been fantastic.
Tim: Very nice. Ignorance is bliss indeed. So our next question is sort of about your
experience early on, maybe as time has progressed. And we just want to see, are there any
innovative marketing experiments or collaborative campaigns that you've been involved
with, with publishers, local businesses, other retailers, anyone else? So any stories you have
around these types of experiments? And who gets to go first? Penny.
Penny Warris: So for us, what we found is rather than spending our advertising budget on
traditional advertising, paper, radio, even Facebook or social media, we actually have set out
a budget and we decide to spend that budget on fundraisers for the community. So one of the
biggest marketing things we have that was a total fluke is we have a bookstore cat. His name
is Hugo. He's definitely the most famous cat in Lethbridge. And everyone comes to visit our
cat and buys a book after they visit the cat. But literally, people come in and say, "Oh, I'm
just here for Hugo." And we're like, "Yeah, we get it."
So as a result of that, we work with some of the local cat rescue places. We've done
fundraisers for all kinds of stuff like the Ukrainian refugees, that sort of thing. Every year we
have Hugo's birthday and it becomes this big, massive party and sales day. So what we do is
we...or in Shirt Day or Indigenous Peoples' Day, we take portions of what we sell and we
donate that back to the community. And what we find is the community, as opposed to
wanting a 30% off, they are thrilled if we're going to give 30% to paws or whatever, and they
come and they spend way more money than they ever would.
So that's been a really, really good collaboration for us. It's made us part of the community
much quicker than we would have been if we were giving a 30% discount. And it's also a
good marketing for... The press loves that sort of thing. So we've been getting a lot of free
press based on that, either through traditional press or through online. So give your money
where it counts.
Tim: Yeah, that's an awesome idea. Who would like to go next? Chandler, we'll kick it over.
Oh, no, we'll kick it over to Chris.
Chris: So we do a number of things. There is an annual short horror film festival that
happens at the local theatre, so we donate prizes, we hook up authors to talk if they have a
relevant book, and they give us sort of ad space in front of the movies which is very fun. And
it's genre folks so it's in our wheelhouse. We teamed up with the online-only romance-only
bookstore this year. So we ran a festival called Love, Death & Other Words where we were a
book fair that went to different breweries and it was only horror romance. And that was very
fun and they didn't charge us for pop-up space and we got a little bit of advertising but also
got to tour around a bit.
And then we do a thing called spooky marketplace and anyone who does handcrafts that are
spooky in nature comes about every other month and sets up a table in the bookstore and
basically runs a craft fair. It doesn't cost them anything to do this. It's just an opportunity for
us to connect with other people who like the macabre sort of deal Yeah.
Tim: It's like fun, lots of fun. Okay, Chandler, we'll take it over to you.
Chandler: Yeah, some of the stuff that's been really effective for us has been local business
partnerships, especially with breweries and restaurants in town. So we'll do events in their
space and try and do even, like, boozy book clubs and things like that, especially if you're
trying to target sub-40-year-olds for book clubs, alcoholic. Revolved events tend to go a little
better. Especially we have a couple of really nice local breweries with great spaces that they
give us.
One of the effective things we've done with local businesses is we make them a deal when
we do events where they give us their space for free, and in return, we include a drink ticket
in the price of the event. And this has saved us piles of money in event rental space. And we
do it on nights when a lot of the local spaces in town would otherwise be quiet or unbooked,
and so it's kind of a win-win. They get business on a night they would otherwise be quiet and
we get free space since our store is not actually big enough to host events in.
The other thing we did a lot of this year that was really helpful was local markets. Muskoka
is a hodgepodge of a bunch of different towns, sort of three medium-sized towns, then a lot
of very small communities. And none of them have a new bookstore except us in Huntsville.
And so whenever we can, we go and do street markets, farmers markets when they'll let us
in. And not only do these events tend to actually be pretty great sales events all on their own.
People are pretty hyped to see books amongst the carrots and corn. But they also just act as
great marketing. And a lot of people redirect from those events and actually come and shop
in-store. So that's been really, really great for us and something I'm hoping to do a lot more
of in the coming years.
Tim: It's true. Nena, what's your experience like in the early days?
Nena: I wanted to kind of second what Penny said about sort of in-store book fairs for a
cause. This have worked incredibly well. And just for the economics of it, if you sell more
books, you're able to pay more bills even if you're giving a chunk away off the top. You
know, the math works. And also noting something that Chris said about neighbouring
businesses. We used to do in my old neighbourhood in Portland sort of an annual crawl
where people got a passport from our local Main Street Association to visit the
neighbourhood independent businesses of all sorts. And just having that many bodies moving
through was always good, always helpful.
So I'm hoping to maybe help start something like that here in my current neighbourhood in
Vancouver, where there are tons of independent businesses on our strip commercial drive.
Other than the bookstores, we don't seem to talk to each other all that much. And that could
be better. And that could be used to our benefit. So I've only been here six months. So I'm the
new kid and I don't want to act like a new broom, but I'm hoping that will come about.
Tim: That seems like a really good direction to go in. I know you can do it. Our next
question sort of kind of builds on this marketing question. And I know that we had some
really interesting stuff come out of it in our first meeting. But let's see what comes up this
time. So the question is, are publishers the best collaborators for bookstores to help
bookstores meet their goals, like, for instance, promoting diverse and underrepresented
voices? Or are there other partners you look to to help carry out your mission? We've heard
the local business piece, but let's just delve into that a bit, see where publishers land. Anyone
want to start us off? Chandler had his hand up first so he...
Chandler: The short answer for me is no. I rarely find the publishers to be the best
collaborator for marketing or diversification. I think the exception to that being small indie
Canadian publishers who can be much more helpful. Especially when you're looking for
diverse authors and diverse voices, the small indie publishers, especially the Canadian ones,
tend to be quite helpful. The rest of the time, as far as marketing goes, I don't think the
publishers are exactly scions of marketing, but also indies are unfortunately just not their
priority.
I know for most of the sort of big four or five publishers, indies in Canada represent less than
15% of their sales. And so that means we're just not the top priority for them. And their
marketing muscles, frankly, aren't that great either. And I find you're better off partnering
with specific groups, especially when you're trying to go for diversity. We have a large
Indigenous population in Muskoka, and we focus a lot of our diversity on Indigenous
authors. And most of the great book suggestions we get and a lot of the good feedback and
help we get comes from local community groups, nonprofits, indigenous organisations, more
so than the publishers.
I think especially when you're dealing with the Big Five, their lists are just so large. Your
reps have hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of books each season. They don't know all of
the time. And I think that's reasonable in a sense. It's just not practical for them to. And so I
find specific interest groups are actually better at helping with diversity. But I also find
they're better at helping with marketing and promotions. We do better when we market with
other groups locally. You know, I've had, as I'm sure almost everyone else has, at some
point, the major publishers share some of your social posts lists of that. That generates, you
know, nothing for us, really. Specific authors can be a much better conduit, but not the big
publishers most of the time.
Tim: We'll pass the baton to Nena.
Nena: Well, Chandler covered a lot of the ground I was going to cover. My small press
people are the best about telling me about who's in their list, knowing who's in their list,
choosing to publish authors of colour, authors who are queer, authors with more complicated
stories. I've been a little bummed really with the Big Five lists. You know, I came out
instantly asking for lists of queer books and queer authors to feature in my new baby shop.
And I got these lists that were all basically the same book. And, you know, my customers see
that. You know, teenagers read a few queer romances in YA and then they're done and
they've moved on to something else. And, you know, I don't need another 50 YA romances,
I'm sorry, that are all the same book. They need to be richer. They need more of a backbone.
One standout that I just read that's coming out next month is "Skater Boy," just for an
example, by Anthony Nerada. And it's a queer YA romance, but it's not just a romance. It's
got a backbone of culture. And in this case, it's skater culture. But there's got to be something
going on besides just meet cutes. And that's just one genre. So it's been interesting trying to
find the good books in these massive, really, really homogenous ones.
Tim: Nice. I think we'll be able to circle back to some of this too, but Chris, your one minute.
Chris: Yeah, my answer is yes and no. The major publishers for the most part are not helpful
in terms of marketing us or hooking us up with anything that will be meaningful, whether it's
because we're mostly the queer horror store or I don't know what it is. I'm happy to hear from
other people that they have the same experience. Sometimes I suffer from that I think it's me.
However, I will say that the independent horror publishers are helpful, not only in giving me
lists but sharing marketing, sharing ideas, what works for them, what doesn't, featuring our
store because we are so niche and very much in their wheelhouse and we will have things
physically in the store that otherwise they've been only selling online. So that has been very
good for us. So yeah, my answer is very much 50/50 yes and no, like no from the majors, yes
from the indies.
And any time I can make a pal with an indie publisher who is passionate about what I'm
passionate about. Any way we can help each other in terms of featuring each other, I'm
interested. And anytime I can buy extremely, like, directly from them and cut out distribution
and just be like, "Here's the full breadth of my sale, and can you send it directly to me?" I do
that. Not only does it save me money but it does put more money directly into their pocket so
that they don't have to pay that 30% to someone else. So those relationships are valuable for
us both.
Tim: Next, Penny.
Penny: Yeah, I would say the same as most of them. Lethbridge is Southern Alberta. We
don't have a lot of BIPOC. We don't have a lot of diversity. We do have a huge Indigenous
population here, and we do have a very large queer community. So we concentrate on those.
I wouldn't say that the... I mean, the language that's spoken locally is Blackfoot. So far, I've
found three books in Blackfoot. So we have a big Indigenous section, but books that will sell
in other places in Canada will not sell here. So yeah, it's a learning curve for sure, and the
publishers are not helpful in that. It's something that you have to curate as a local store, for
sure.
Tim: Great. I think I'm going to skip to question five on this one, just because it seems to fit
more naturally. But this is, what types of inefficiencies in your business operations that you
think publishers could help with, like returns, ordering, inventory management, marketing
and promotion? And feel free to talk about your experience with onboarding as you launch
your new spaces. I know that there are some good stories to be shared and learned from
there. So how do we wanna do this? So I'll start with Penny. We'll go in reverse order,
Penny, Chris, Nena, Chandler.
Penny: So when we started, so we basically kind of started the whole process in March of
2020. So that was when we were trying to connect with people. And that was the time that
you couldn't connect with anybody. So if you phoned Penguin Random House, you got
somebody in New Jersey. So it was really, really tricky to find anybody during that time. So
we didn't really have any personal connection outside of Bookmanager. And then, of course,
Bookmanager got very busy during that time. If any of you guys are on it, you'll know that
they onboarded hundreds and hundreds of stores. So support was not non-existent, and I'm
sure it was the same for you guys as well. It's just the support isn't there until the reps
recognise you and you're up and running and you're good. And you'd have no idea what you
don't know. So you think, "Oh, the books are going to come in and we're going to sell them."
You forget that you have to order them again the minute they sell and there's the time and all
of that. And nobody tells you any of that kind of thing.
So I would say that starting a new store now would probably be easier because the reps
would help you a little bit, but we didn't have any help at all from any publishers, anybody at
all. And we didn't see a rep because of our location, basically for, like, two and a half years
after the time we opened. So I think we've done really well because we've had to, like, learn
everything ourselves and we've had to create a space that is different from everybody else's
because we've had no, I guess, preconceived ideas.
Tim: Yeah. Just go ahead, Chris.
Chris: Yeah, I mean, I had a similar experience in terms of not really having much help
when I reached out right away. Once we were open and reps were visiting, that was easier,
but often I found that, yeah, I would just have to go to like Ingram and major distribution
chains to buy books because we did not have accounts set up with some of the Canadian
distribution, and when I would email, no one would get back to me and I was just like, "I
don't care. I need these now for the release date." So there were all sorts of inefficiencies in
ways that my business could have saved money but it's not saving money if you don't have
the titles to sell, so you just got to get them. Other inefficiencies...or sorry, the full length of
the question…
Tim: Yeah. So if there are other business operations you see inefficiencies. So aside from
your launch, your onboarding, getting ready. Ongoing, are there inefficiencies that you're
seeing?
Chris: I mean, again, for us, like I said, I will often try to get around major distro
inefficiencies that I see by dealing with the publishers directly wherever possible. Luckily,
now I have kind of a long list of indie publishers who I can deal with directly and I'm
familiar with their catalogues and their release dates, and they will message me directly to
tell me when something's coming and what to expect and I can place my orders that way. It's
really cut out a lot of time sort of wasted scouring lists that are so long with genres that we
don't even cover or have any interest in covering. And so I've managed to streamline it but,
yeah, it's taken two years.
Tim: Great. Only two years. Nena, you've shifted position on me, but you're up next.
Nena: Oh, weird.
Tim: That's Zoom.
Nena: So two things. One is getting on board with some publishers was easy. There were a
couple that were incredibly difficult. It took about six weeks to get from reaching out to
getting contact back from a rep with PRH. And that's kind of a stretch. So that was
frustrating. And I'm not actually sure I have a rep exactly right now, to be honest.
The other thing is there's some information that's just hard to find. And in some cases, it used
to be easier how a publisher wants returns handled. Why is that not in a bookseller tab on
every website? Make this easy for me. You need permission? Make sure that's upfront. Don't
make me call you and ask you or ask three people. This is not information that's difficult to
make handy. I find myself kind of missing the days of the old print ABA book-selling
manual because, yeah, it was print and it was massive, but everything was there. And there's
no reason why that information can't be available. We have these pocket computers. So it's a
frustration.
Penny: Can I just make a quick comment before Chandler comes on? Basically, I'll push the
competition and the collaboration, but, CIBA, Canadian Independent Booksellers
Association, if anybody that's on here or is watching it is not a member of CIBA, you need to
be. The supplier committees, I'm on one of the committees, work very, very hard with the
publishers to get the indies out there and create better return policies. The work they have
done is truly amazing. And if you're not part of it, then you're missing out on a huge
education source, which Chandler is going to tell you about in one moment.
Chandler: Yeah, I'll echo Penny's comment. CIBA is incredibly helpful. I actually went to a
bunch of webinars, much like this one, before opening my store. And there was a couple of
things, specifically consignment, where that one webinar helped me avoid what would have
otherwise been a disaster in consignment. So I was deeply appreciative of that.
Everyone's kind of covered the train wreck that is onboarding. So I'm going to say a couple
of different things. One, I think the single biggest inefficiency from the publishers that
hampers us is just order speed. It just takes way, way too long to get books. In a small town,
we're lucky that most of our customers want to shop local, are very attentive to it and are
patient, but for every customer we see in the store who is patient and wants to support us,
there are many that we don't see who just want their book quickly. And it is so difficult to
explain to a customer that Amazon can get you a book tomorrow, but it's going to take me,
someone with a direct relationship with the publisher, three weeks to get it to you. And that
just seems insane to me.
I have argued with many of the publishers, the fact that Rain Coast can turn around a book in
24 hours means all of them should be able to as well. The fact that Amazon can fulfil way
more book orders on a daily basis than any one publisher, and they can do it in under 24
hours, again, means the publishers should be able to. If we could get books in under five
business days... Everyone who has Rain Coast on the West Coast should be lucky with Book
Express. But if we could get books in under five business days, I actually think that would be
one of the most dramatic shifts to our business and our ability to compete and sell. So that's
one.
The second inefficiency I would point out, you know, we're talking a lot about the difficulty
of onboarding with the publishers, but I also think it has to be mentioned that we effectively
have a book-selling POS monopoly in Canada. And that's not to disparage Bookmanager in
any way. I know they do lots of great things, but it now takes two years to get onboarded
basically. And there are no real viable alternatives. And that creates a huge bottleneck for
people trying to open stores or trying to get into this space.
I think it would be great to see Bookmanager get serious about killing that backlog. But in
absence of that, and even without, I do think we really need a viable alternative. I don't think
it's ever a benefit to an industry to only have one available tool. I think it kills creativity and
optionality. So I think that creates a big inefficiency as well. And I would love to see some
real strong alternatives that people could use, that stores could get onboarded with more
quickly.
And I think part of this even comes down to, you know, a lot of publishers now when they
send out lists, they only send them in Bookmanager format half the time. And so for anyone
not using Bookmanager, we're not on Bookmanager, we have to message some of our reps
sometimes and say, like, "Hey, like, we can't open these lists. Can you send them to us in
Catalyst?" So, yeah.
Penny: If it's any consolation, even when they send them to us in Bookmanager, we can't
open them.
Chandler: There you go. It's good to know we're all struggling with the same thing.
Chris: I'd also like to say re-shipping times, I can tell you as a publisher looking for distro,
the amount that they charge you as a publisher to hold your books and supposedly streamline
this process is astronomical for them to then take three weeks to get someone a book.
Tim: Very good, long lingering problems. And I'm glad to see fresh blood being, you know,
thrown at the problem. Is that a good metaphor? Probably not. Anyways, CIBA, yeah.
Chris: Blood drawing is perfect for us.
Tim: Blood drawing for Chris. Yes, lots of blood. The CIBA, yeah, we endured quite a time
there without the CBA in Canada. Big gaps trying to be filled. We're really happy to see
CIBA taking on a lot of things that went missing. Let's see, I'm gonna move on now because
the shipping time obviously lends itself to questions of competition. So I'll ask the question
about competition. Who do you think your competition is in the book-selling space? How do
you compete with them? And how might publishers support independent bookstores to level
the playing field in competition? Nena has her hand up right away.
Nena: I have so many feelings about this. Even though I'm in a neighbourhood with five
other bookstores, my competition is still Amazon. I have a very different product mix from
my neighbours. And actually, we complement each other, I think, really well. And we're
fairly collegial. When I see an author begging for people to tell their bookstores about them
and, you know, that kind of thing, and then I go to their website and the only options I see on
their page for ordering are Amazon and Indigo, then I know that I'm not important to them.
And I also know that I'm not important to their publisher. And I know their publisher is not
telling them, "Hey, you need to think about indie."
Yeah, we're 15% of the market. Well, there's a reason for that. Okay, we've been just
ignored. And, you know, I'm preparing to host an author right now who I'm very excited
about and their team is lovely. But when I go to their website, even though they've booked
with multiple independent bookstores for their upcoming tour, there is no independent option
on their website. None of us are featured. It's all Amazon and the chains for Canada.
And part of that is that we don't have something unified and easy to put up like bookshops in
the U.S. But part of it is just that they don't even think about it until we make them. And I
think we could really use some help with that. I was at an offsite event over the weekend, and
one of the customers was like, "So you're from Amazon, right?" You know, and that's not the
first time that's happened. And I get people walking in my store. And this happened in my
old shop in Portland too. "Hey, so do you get all these books from Amazon?" You know, and
that's been a constant and it's still an issue. And Amazon is also our competitor for speed. If I
can't get it from Rain Coast, there's a chance I'll lose that sale.
Chandler: Two comments. One, not to keep pumping CIBA, but they are building
indiebookstores.ca, which would be the bookshop.org equivalent. You don't have to be a
CIBA member to have your store listed. You do, however, have to be a Bookmanager
customer for it to actually show your inventory and link directly to you. So that's a separate
thing. So if you are looking for a bookshop.org equivalent, CIBA has been working really
hard on getting a Canadian one up.
The other thing I was going to tack on to, I think obviously, yes, Amazon is a huge portion
of, I think, everyone's competition. The other one that surprised me a little is ours is like
Shoppers Drug Mart and Loblaws. They don't carry a lot of titles, but they carry the best
sellers, and they carry them 30% off. I think the biggest way the publishers could help, and
doubtful this would ever happen, but on the bestseller titles that all of the big stores like
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indigo have automatically listed at 25% to 30% off, if the
publishers created some sort of automatic shared markdown for indies on those titles, I
would cut a little bit of my margin to be able to give a 30% discount or a 25% discount on
the top 50 bestsellers in our store and be more price competitive.
Because the reason that the large bookstores do it is a loss leader, right? It gets people in the
door. And I would love to have a handful of titles where we could do that. And so instead of
going to Shoppers, people go, "Oh, well, I know that, you know, the new Nora Roberts,"
whatever it is, "will be at Cedar Canoe Books, also 25% off," and they come here and then
they buy four other things. But I think everyone here knows, as an indie, we don't have the
margin ourselves to take that hit as a loss leader and just hope that people buy more stuff.
But I do think the publishers could more adeptly enable us to do that. At least the big ones. I
wouldn't ask indie publishers to do that. But again, most of these hot bestsellers that are 30%
off are unfortunately also not coming from indie publishers. They're coming from the Big
Five.
Nena: If I could jump back in for a sec. I think what I'm really asking of publishers here is
when they onboard authors and when they help put together marketing campaigns or they
instruct authors on what to have on the website, that makes sure that if you're booking for an
appearance at an independent bookstore, that independent bookstore is linked and featured
and people are gonna be buying that book from that indie. Because it is painful to have
people walk in my store with books they got on Amazon, you know, and say, "Hey, I'm here
to get this signed."
Tim: Chris or Penny, you want to add anything here?
Chris: Yeah, I mean, I will second that Amazon emotion, just because... Especially for us
with a lot of indie titles, people don't realise that a lot of indie publishers now have moved to
actually printing through KDP. So there's no way for me to buy that without touching
Amazon, which I won't do. So people look for books with us that are indie presses that I
don't carry because I can't, because I won't shop on Amazon to stock the store. That seems
insane. Or they're printing with Ingram, which I will deal with and do the print on demand
and get it shipped here, but it does cost more and then I can't price match. So again, that's
where I step in and deal with the publisher directly.
But yeah, it's not so much what the publishers can do for me to help me compete with
Amazon. It's what Canada Post can do for me to make me able to compete with Amazon
because free shipping is a lie. There is no way to ship affordably in Canada. We don't have
media mail, which is something the U.S. has to make book shipping a little bit cheaper. It is
just so expensive to send anything and the small business discount through Canada Post is a
joke. So sometimes it is just that. Whilst someone wants to support the indie horror
bookstore, they simply cannot because it costs so much to ship to them. So they just hit the
button that doesn't cost them an extra $20.
Penny: I don't have a lot of comments on this one because we probably are competing with
Amazon. I mean, that's just the real world. We also have a Chapters within two blocks from
us. Chapters has actually been really good for us because they don't order in their store. So
when people say, "Well, what am I going to do?" They'll send them over to us. So we
actually have Chapters actively sending us customers.
My only sort of recommendation would be to curate your...and it sounds like you guys do,
but curate your stock to not need to have the best sellers, because what people love about our
store is when they come in, they're like, "Wow, I see these books that I don't see other
places." So, you know, we don't ever sell a hardcover new mystery or romance. We don't
even bother bringing it in. We don't have a single James Patterson in the store, which I know
Chandler, you need to, but we don't. So we're not competing with a superstore and Costco
and all of that. If they carry it, we don't even bother to carry it. But then that allows us shelf
space to bring in, you know, a 20-year-old John Irving that will sell. So I guess it's all about
curation for us.
Chandler: Tim, can I jump in here one more time? Just two really quick final comments on
this. And Chris, I think you kind of mentioned this as well, but independently published
books, while phenomenal for the authors, and it's great to see that taking off. And I don't
mean, like, your local Joe down the street who, like, Amazon published something. I mean,
true independently published major works, while fantastic or nearly impossible for us to get,
and often even they are net zero on Ingram. And so there is an asymmetry in the industry
there that I still think needs to be sorted out.
The other thing is I would kill for someone to start a Libro.fm, but for ebooks. You know,
almost a quarter of the book industry is now ebooks, and it is actually not possible for indies
to compete in that space. And much like a lot of our customers happily drop their Audible
subscriptions and grab Libro. I know if we had an ebook option, many of our customers
would happily drop their Kindle or Kobos and switch to that. But indies are effectively
locked out of what is now a quarter of the book consumption market because we just don't
have a way to sell ebooks. And I don't think ebooks are going to take over, but automatically
excluding a quarter of the market right off the bat already, I think, is really disadvantageous.
So if anyone here is a good coder and wants to, on the side, open the Libro.fm of ebooks, I
would be forever in your debt and so thrilled.
Chris: I mean, on that topic, again, from the publishing end of the world, I can tell you that
Amazon, if you list an ebook somewhere other than Amazon, they won't take your Kindle
book. So you can't list in two places, but this is how they've, you know, killed us all. Because
for our publications, we obviously don't do that. We have the ebooks directly through our
website. They won't look at us and there will never be a Kindle option for us. So ebooks, in
general, are something that has to change and be looked at as, like, an industry thing for the
publishers as well, because this is not helping them by having to basically give 30% of those
to Amazon just right away.
Tim: Yeah, that is a huge problem. Actually, we have four minutes left, so I'm going to open
it up to our panel for audience questions. Yeah, someone's telling me to do that already. I'm
doing the right thing. Okay, so this is for everybody. First question, have you noticed the
current economic environment having an impact on how much people are spending on
books? We'll just go quickly around.
Chandler: I would really quickly say no. I'm sure on a macro level, it will have some impact,
but books are, for most people, a luxury item. And if you're super price-conscious, you're
probably shopping Amazon or ebooks anyways. So I find our buyer at least is, like, someone
who's already comfortable paying a higher ticket price for a book and maybe is a little less
economically sensitive. We also may be in a weird spot because Muskoka is a mix of being
quite wealthy.
Tim: That's true. Chris? Oh, Penny.
Penny: I would echo Chandler in that people are still buying the books and they're still
supporting local. What I find is that they're coming twice now to do it. I feel like it's kind of
like cutting the doughnut in half and then eating both sides of it. They might come and buy
one book, but then they'll show up three days later and buy the second one that they were
thinking about.
Tim: That's a good observation. Chris?
Chris: Yeah, I mean, I find that people either are saving it up and then doing a big one, like,
you know, doing a big shop, or they're cutting the doughnuts. So I either see people less often
or more often depending on their proximity to the store or their appetite for online shopping.
So the people who are buying books are still buying books.
Tim: Nena, do you have anything? I can ask the next question. I think you're muted.
Nena: I think I'm a little too new to really have a strong feel, although I do have people who
come in one time and buy a book and come in the next time and apologise for not buying a
book list. They're so cute.
Tim: Well-mannered.
Nena: They do mention their paycheck. And, you know, things are tight. And, oh, the rental
market. So, yeah.
Tim: Yeah. Got to eat, put a roof over your head, and then read. Okay, what are the costs
associated with running bookstores that people might not necessarily think of, aside from
rent, the cost of orders, etc.? Anything? What do some of those expenses look like?
Penny: I would say time, and that you don't get to read books anymore because you're too
busy running your store. Everyone thinks we stand around all day and read books. I read way
more books before I was a bookseller.
Tim: Yeah, that's true. That is true. Myth-busting right here.
Chandler: I would just quickly say association fees. There's a lot more associations I'm a
part of and pay a fee to than I expected. And it's all the random tools like email tools and
stuff like that that you don't think about. Email's not that random, but there are more obscure
ones, for whatever reason, we've ended up paying for. That kind of stuff are the biggest
surprises. And printing. I just do a lot of printing.
Nena: Taxes. Plan ahead. Have a savings account for your sales taxes. I had done
bookkeeping for another small business for a little while, so I was forewarned about this. My
old state in the U.S. didn't have sales tax. But I think that's something that can creep up on
people if you don't really think about it. And then, you know, you get to the end of the
quarter and you have $2,000. And so know that that's coming.
Chandler: Inventory is effectively profit until you sell it. So wait for the first tax bill and all
the inventory you have sitting in your store.
Tim: Okay, well, we are at 3:01. Let's do a rapid-fire question here. Everybody, what is the
average number of books sold per day in your store? We'll go alphabetically, Chandler.
Chandler: Off-season for us, like, 30 to 100. Really varies. On-season, so summer or
Christmas, 200 to 350 a day during peak season. We're very, very seasonal, swingy, so it
really depends
Tim: Chris.
Chris: We're seasonal swinging in a different way. I mean, October, yeah, 400. Every other
time, yeah, about 100.
Tim: Nena.
Nena: January, right now, it's like maybe, honestly, about 15 books a day, which is, like,
wow, it's January. And then in December, it was more like 150. So it's pretty wide swing.
And we're still new. We're just a baby. And we show growth pretty much every month.
Tim: And Penny, last word.
Penny: Yeah, all over the place. I would say anywhere from 50 to 500, depending on the day
and the time of year. We count transactions, and our transactions pretty much stay at around
50 a day for, like, regular days, and then on big days, jump up to, like, 100 on weekends kind
of idea more than the individual books.
Tim: Yeah. And if you're a publisher, you can get some of this data in BNC Sales Data if
you have publisher views turned on and the retailers are contributing data. So you can see
that, what the average sale's like. I just want to thank you so much, Chris, Nena, Chandler,
and Penny for joining us today. Before we go, we'd love it if you could provide feedback on
this session. We'll drop a link to the survey in the chat. Please take a couple of minutes to fill
it out. We'll also be emailing you a link to a recording of this session as soon as it's available.
To our attendees, we invite you to join our upcoming session, "Trending Now: Book
Subjects on the Move in the Canadian Market," scheduled for February 27th. Additionally,
we have early bird tickets available for our upcoming ONIX and Thema training. Learn more
about these upcoming events and register through the link we'll be dropping in the chat. Find
information about all upcoming sessions and recordings of previous sessions on our website,
bnctechforum.ca.
Lastly, we'd like to thank the Department of Canadian Heritage for their support through the
Canada Book Fund. And thanks to you all for attending. Thank you so much. It was great to
see you again. Good luck selling.

More Related Content

Similar to Transcript: New stores, new views: Booksellers adapting engaging and thriving - Tech Forum 2024

Delivering Happiness - NBC News Leaders - 5.23.11
Delivering Happiness - NBC News Leaders - 5.23.11Delivering Happiness - NBC News Leaders - 5.23.11
Delivering Happiness - NBC News Leaders - 5.23.11
Delivering Happiness
 
Delivering Happiness - FOWA - 6.28.11
Delivering Happiness -  FOWA - 6.28.11Delivering Happiness -  FOWA - 6.28.11
Delivering Happiness - FOWA - 6.28.11
Delivering Happiness
 
Delivering Happiness - Summit Series - 4.8.11
Delivering Happiness - Summit Series - 4.8.11Delivering Happiness - Summit Series - 4.8.11
Delivering Happiness - Summit Series - 4.8.11
Delivering Happiness
 
Delivering Happiness - Kauffman Kansas City Chamber Top 10 - 5.25.11
Delivering Happiness - Kauffman Kansas City Chamber Top 10 - 5.25.11Delivering Happiness - Kauffman Kansas City Chamber Top 10 - 5.25.11
Delivering Happiness - Kauffman Kansas City Chamber Top 10 - 5.25.11
Delivering Happiness
 
Essay Writing For Juniors
Essay Writing For JuniorsEssay Writing For Juniors
Essay Writing For Juniors
Ana Hall
 
Delivering Happiness - Morgan Stanley Smith Barney - 5.10.11
Delivering Happiness - Morgan Stanley Smith Barney - 5.10.11Delivering Happiness - Morgan Stanley Smith Barney - 5.10.11
Delivering Happiness - Morgan Stanley Smith Barney - 5.10.11
Delivering Happiness
 
3Hrc Essay
3Hrc Essay3Hrc Essay
3Hrc Essay
Shantel Jervey
 
3Hrc Essay. Online assignment writing service.
3Hrc Essay. Online assignment writing service.3Hrc Essay. Online assignment writing service.
3Hrc Essay. Online assignment writing service.
Tracy Drey
 
3Hrc Essay
3Hrc Essay3Hrc Essay
3Hrc Essay
Sandy Grasso
 
Literature in the making
Literature in the makingLiterature in the making
Literature in the making
Marie-Hélène Fasquel
 
Internationallinoa - Blog. Online assignment writing service.
Internationallinoa - Blog. Online assignment writing service.Internationallinoa - Blog. Online assignment writing service.
Internationallinoa - Blog. Online assignment writing service.
Katreka Howard
 
Delivering Happiness - CISCO - 6.3.11
Delivering Happiness - CISCO - 6.3.11Delivering Happiness - CISCO - 6.3.11
Delivering Happiness - CISCO - 6.3.11
Delivering Happiness
 
Narrative Essays About Life
Narrative Essays About LifeNarrative Essays About Life
Narrative Essays About Life
Martha Kubitz
 
2015 Cover Letter- KDaltonhurst- Anythink
2015 Cover Letter- KDaltonhurst- Anythink2015 Cover Letter- KDaltonhurst- Anythink
2015 Cover Letter- KDaltonhurst- Anythink
Kriska Bookwyrm
 
Sample Research Paper With In Te
Sample Research Paper With In TeSample Research Paper With In Te
Sample Research Paper With In Te
Christine White
 
Tips For Writing Outstanding Essays In Your College & University
Tips For Writing Outstanding Essays In Your College & UniversityTips For Writing Outstanding Essays In Your College & University
Tips For Writing Outstanding Essays In Your College & University
Ashley Cornett
 
Delivering Happiness - Hachette Book Group 7-21-10
Delivering Happiness - Hachette Book Group 7-21-10Delivering Happiness - Hachette Book Group 7-21-10
Delivering Happiness - Hachette Book Group 7-21-10
Delivering Happiness
 
Persuasive Essay Healthy Eating
Persuasive Essay Healthy EatingPersuasive Essay Healthy Eating
Persuasive Essay Healthy Eating
April Bergseth
 

Similar to Transcript: New stores, new views: Booksellers adapting engaging and thriving - Tech Forum 2024 (18)

Delivering Happiness - NBC News Leaders - 5.23.11
Delivering Happiness - NBC News Leaders - 5.23.11Delivering Happiness - NBC News Leaders - 5.23.11
Delivering Happiness - NBC News Leaders - 5.23.11
 
Delivering Happiness - FOWA - 6.28.11
Delivering Happiness -  FOWA - 6.28.11Delivering Happiness -  FOWA - 6.28.11
Delivering Happiness - FOWA - 6.28.11
 
Delivering Happiness - Summit Series - 4.8.11
Delivering Happiness - Summit Series - 4.8.11Delivering Happiness - Summit Series - 4.8.11
Delivering Happiness - Summit Series - 4.8.11
 
Delivering Happiness - Kauffman Kansas City Chamber Top 10 - 5.25.11
Delivering Happiness - Kauffman Kansas City Chamber Top 10 - 5.25.11Delivering Happiness - Kauffman Kansas City Chamber Top 10 - 5.25.11
Delivering Happiness - Kauffman Kansas City Chamber Top 10 - 5.25.11
 
Essay Writing For Juniors
Essay Writing For JuniorsEssay Writing For Juniors
Essay Writing For Juniors
 
Delivering Happiness - Morgan Stanley Smith Barney - 5.10.11
Delivering Happiness - Morgan Stanley Smith Barney - 5.10.11Delivering Happiness - Morgan Stanley Smith Barney - 5.10.11
Delivering Happiness - Morgan Stanley Smith Barney - 5.10.11
 
3Hrc Essay
3Hrc Essay3Hrc Essay
3Hrc Essay
 
3Hrc Essay. Online assignment writing service.
3Hrc Essay. Online assignment writing service.3Hrc Essay. Online assignment writing service.
3Hrc Essay. Online assignment writing service.
 
3Hrc Essay
3Hrc Essay3Hrc Essay
3Hrc Essay
 
Literature in the making
Literature in the makingLiterature in the making
Literature in the making
 
Internationallinoa - Blog. Online assignment writing service.
Internationallinoa - Blog. Online assignment writing service.Internationallinoa - Blog. Online assignment writing service.
Internationallinoa - Blog. Online assignment writing service.
 
Delivering Happiness - CISCO - 6.3.11
Delivering Happiness - CISCO - 6.3.11Delivering Happiness - CISCO - 6.3.11
Delivering Happiness - CISCO - 6.3.11
 
Narrative Essays About Life
Narrative Essays About LifeNarrative Essays About Life
Narrative Essays About Life
 
2015 Cover Letter- KDaltonhurst- Anythink
2015 Cover Letter- KDaltonhurst- Anythink2015 Cover Letter- KDaltonhurst- Anythink
2015 Cover Letter- KDaltonhurst- Anythink
 
Sample Research Paper With In Te
Sample Research Paper With In TeSample Research Paper With In Te
Sample Research Paper With In Te
 
Tips For Writing Outstanding Essays In Your College & University
Tips For Writing Outstanding Essays In Your College & UniversityTips For Writing Outstanding Essays In Your College & University
Tips For Writing Outstanding Essays In Your College & University
 
Delivering Happiness - Hachette Book Group 7-21-10
Delivering Happiness - Hachette Book Group 7-21-10Delivering Happiness - Hachette Book Group 7-21-10
Delivering Happiness - Hachette Book Group 7-21-10
 
Persuasive Essay Healthy Eating
Persuasive Essay Healthy EatingPersuasive Essay Healthy Eating
Persuasive Essay Healthy Eating
 

More from BookNet Canada

Transcript: #StandardsGoals for 2024: What’s new for BISAC - Tech Forum 2024
Transcript: #StandardsGoals for 2024: What’s new for BISAC - Tech Forum 2024Transcript: #StandardsGoals for 2024: What’s new for BISAC - Tech Forum 2024
Transcript: #StandardsGoals for 2024: What’s new for BISAC - Tech Forum 2024
BookNet Canada
 
#StandardsGoals for 2024: What’s new for BISAC - Tech Forum 2024
#StandardsGoals for 2024: What’s new for BISAC - Tech Forum 2024#StandardsGoals for 2024: What’s new for BISAC - Tech Forum 2024
#StandardsGoals for 2024: What’s new for BISAC - Tech Forum 2024
BookNet Canada
 
New from BookNet Canada for 2024: BNC BiblioShare - Tech Forum 2024
New from BookNet Canada for 2024: BNC BiblioShare - Tech Forum 2024New from BookNet Canada for 2024: BNC BiblioShare - Tech Forum 2024
New from BookNet Canada for 2024: BNC BiblioShare - Tech Forum 2024
BookNet Canada
 
Transcript: New from BookNet Canada for 2024: BNC BiblioShare - Tech Forum 2024
Transcript: New from BookNet Canada for 2024: BNC BiblioShare - Tech Forum 2024Transcript: New from BookNet Canada for 2024: BNC BiblioShare - Tech Forum 2024
Transcript: New from BookNet Canada for 2024: BNC BiblioShare - Tech Forum 2024
BookNet Canada
 
Transcript: New from BookNet Canada for 2024: BNC CataList - Tech Forum 2024
Transcript: New from BookNet Canada for 2024: BNC CataList - Tech Forum 2024Transcript: New from BookNet Canada for 2024: BNC CataList - Tech Forum 2024
Transcript: New from BookNet Canada for 2024: BNC CataList - Tech Forum 2024
BookNet Canada
 
New from BookNet Canada for 2024: BNC CataList - Tech Forum 2024
New from BookNet Canada for 2024: BNC CataList - Tech Forum 2024New from BookNet Canada for 2024: BNC CataList - Tech Forum 2024
New from BookNet Canada for 2024: BNC CataList - Tech Forum 2024
BookNet Canada
 
Transcript: New from BookNet Canada for 2024: Loan Stars - Tech Forum 2024
Transcript: New from BookNet Canada for 2024: Loan Stars - Tech Forum 2024Transcript: New from BookNet Canada for 2024: Loan Stars - Tech Forum 2024
Transcript: New from BookNet Canada for 2024: Loan Stars - Tech Forum 2024
BookNet Canada
 
New from BookNet Canada for 2024: Loan Stars - Tech Forum 2024
New from BookNet Canada for 2024: Loan Stars - Tech Forum 2024New from BookNet Canada for 2024: Loan Stars - Tech Forum 2024
New from BookNet Canada for 2024: Loan Stars - Tech Forum 2024
BookNet Canada
 
Transcript: New from BookNet Canada for 2024: BNC SalesData and LibraryData -...
Transcript: New from BookNet Canada for 2024: BNC SalesData and LibraryData -...Transcript: New from BookNet Canada for 2024: BNC SalesData and LibraryData -...
Transcript: New from BookNet Canada for 2024: BNC SalesData and LibraryData -...
BookNet Canada
 
Green paths: Learning from publishers’ sustainability journeys - Tech Forum 2024
Green paths: Learning from publishers’ sustainability journeys - Tech Forum 2024Green paths: Learning from publishers’ sustainability journeys - Tech Forum 2024
Green paths: Learning from publishers’ sustainability journeys - Tech Forum 2024
BookNet Canada
 
Transcript: Book industry state of the nation 2024 - Tech Forum 2024
Transcript: Book industry state of the nation 2024 - Tech Forum 2024Transcript: Book industry state of the nation 2024 - Tech Forum 2024
Transcript: Book industry state of the nation 2024 - Tech Forum 2024
BookNet Canada
 
Book industry state of the nation 2024 - Tech Forum 2024
Book industry state of the nation 2024 - Tech Forum 2024Book industry state of the nation 2024 - Tech Forum 2024
Book industry state of the nation 2024 - Tech Forum 2024
BookNet Canada
 
Trending now: Book subjects on the move in the Canadian market - Tech Forum 2024
Trending now: Book subjects on the move in the Canadian market - Tech Forum 2024Trending now: Book subjects on the move in the Canadian market - Tech Forum 2024
Trending now: Book subjects on the move in the Canadian market - Tech Forum 2024
BookNet Canada
 
Transcript: Trending now: Book subjects on the move in the Canadian market - ...
Transcript: Trending now: Book subjects on the move in the Canadian market - ...Transcript: Trending now: Book subjects on the move in the Canadian market - ...
Transcript: Trending now: Book subjects on the move in the Canadian market - ...
BookNet Canada
 
Show and tell: What’s in your tech stack? - Tech Forum 2023
Show and tell: What’s in your tech stack? - Tech Forum 2023Show and tell: What’s in your tech stack? - Tech Forum 2023
Show and tell: What’s in your tech stack? - Tech Forum 2023
BookNet Canada
 
Transcript: Show and tell: What’s in your tech stack? - Tech Forum 2023
Transcript: Show and tell: What’s in your tech stack? - Tech Forum 2023Transcript: Show and tell: What’s in your tech stack? - Tech Forum 2023
Transcript: Show and tell: What’s in your tech stack? - Tech Forum 2023
BookNet Canada
 
Transcript: Redefining the book supply chain: A glimpse into the future - Tec...
Transcript: Redefining the book supply chain: A glimpse into the future - Tec...Transcript: Redefining the book supply chain: A glimpse into the future - Tec...
Transcript: Redefining the book supply chain: A glimpse into the future - Tec...
BookNet Canada
 
Redefining the book supply chain: A glimpse into the future - Tech Forum 2023
Redefining the book supply chain: A glimpse into the future - Tech Forum 2023Redefining the book supply chain: A glimpse into the future - Tech Forum 2023
Redefining the book supply chain: A glimpse into the future - Tech Forum 2023
BookNet Canada
 
The details of description: Techniques, tips, and tangents on alternative tex...
The details of description: Techniques, tips, and tangents on alternative tex...The details of description: Techniques, tips, and tangents on alternative tex...
The details of description: Techniques, tips, and tangents on alternative tex...
BookNet Canada
 
Future Book(s): Sharing Ideas on Books and (Art) Publishing - Tech Forum 2023
Future Book(s): Sharing Ideas on Books and (Art) Publishing - Tech Forum 2023Future Book(s): Sharing Ideas on Books and (Art) Publishing - Tech Forum 2023
Future Book(s): Sharing Ideas on Books and (Art) Publishing - Tech Forum 2023
BookNet Canada
 

More from BookNet Canada (20)

Transcript: #StandardsGoals for 2024: What’s new for BISAC - Tech Forum 2024
Transcript: #StandardsGoals for 2024: What’s new for BISAC - Tech Forum 2024Transcript: #StandardsGoals for 2024: What’s new for BISAC - Tech Forum 2024
Transcript: #StandardsGoals for 2024: What’s new for BISAC - Tech Forum 2024
 
#StandardsGoals for 2024: What’s new for BISAC - Tech Forum 2024
#StandardsGoals for 2024: What’s new for BISAC - Tech Forum 2024#StandardsGoals for 2024: What’s new for BISAC - Tech Forum 2024
#StandardsGoals for 2024: What’s new for BISAC - Tech Forum 2024
 
New from BookNet Canada for 2024: BNC BiblioShare - Tech Forum 2024
New from BookNet Canada for 2024: BNC BiblioShare - Tech Forum 2024New from BookNet Canada for 2024: BNC BiblioShare - Tech Forum 2024
New from BookNet Canada for 2024: BNC BiblioShare - Tech Forum 2024
 
Transcript: New from BookNet Canada for 2024: BNC BiblioShare - Tech Forum 2024
Transcript: New from BookNet Canada for 2024: BNC BiblioShare - Tech Forum 2024Transcript: New from BookNet Canada for 2024: BNC BiblioShare - Tech Forum 2024
Transcript: New from BookNet Canada for 2024: BNC BiblioShare - Tech Forum 2024
 
Transcript: New from BookNet Canada for 2024: BNC CataList - Tech Forum 2024
Transcript: New from BookNet Canada for 2024: BNC CataList - Tech Forum 2024Transcript: New from BookNet Canada for 2024: BNC CataList - Tech Forum 2024
Transcript: New from BookNet Canada for 2024: BNC CataList - Tech Forum 2024
 
New from BookNet Canada for 2024: BNC CataList - Tech Forum 2024
New from BookNet Canada for 2024: BNC CataList - Tech Forum 2024New from BookNet Canada for 2024: BNC CataList - Tech Forum 2024
New from BookNet Canada for 2024: BNC CataList - Tech Forum 2024
 
Transcript: New from BookNet Canada for 2024: Loan Stars - Tech Forum 2024
Transcript: New from BookNet Canada for 2024: Loan Stars - Tech Forum 2024Transcript: New from BookNet Canada for 2024: Loan Stars - Tech Forum 2024
Transcript: New from BookNet Canada for 2024: Loan Stars - Tech Forum 2024
 
New from BookNet Canada for 2024: Loan Stars - Tech Forum 2024
New from BookNet Canada for 2024: Loan Stars - Tech Forum 2024New from BookNet Canada for 2024: Loan Stars - Tech Forum 2024
New from BookNet Canada for 2024: Loan Stars - Tech Forum 2024
 
Transcript: New from BookNet Canada for 2024: BNC SalesData and LibraryData -...
Transcript: New from BookNet Canada for 2024: BNC SalesData and LibraryData -...Transcript: New from BookNet Canada for 2024: BNC SalesData and LibraryData -...
Transcript: New from BookNet Canada for 2024: BNC SalesData and LibraryData -...
 
Green paths: Learning from publishers’ sustainability journeys - Tech Forum 2024
Green paths: Learning from publishers’ sustainability journeys - Tech Forum 2024Green paths: Learning from publishers’ sustainability journeys - Tech Forum 2024
Green paths: Learning from publishers’ sustainability journeys - Tech Forum 2024
 
Transcript: Book industry state of the nation 2024 - Tech Forum 2024
Transcript: Book industry state of the nation 2024 - Tech Forum 2024Transcript: Book industry state of the nation 2024 - Tech Forum 2024
Transcript: Book industry state of the nation 2024 - Tech Forum 2024
 
Book industry state of the nation 2024 - Tech Forum 2024
Book industry state of the nation 2024 - Tech Forum 2024Book industry state of the nation 2024 - Tech Forum 2024
Book industry state of the nation 2024 - Tech Forum 2024
 
Trending now: Book subjects on the move in the Canadian market - Tech Forum 2024
Trending now: Book subjects on the move in the Canadian market - Tech Forum 2024Trending now: Book subjects on the move in the Canadian market - Tech Forum 2024
Trending now: Book subjects on the move in the Canadian market - Tech Forum 2024
 
Transcript: Trending now: Book subjects on the move in the Canadian market - ...
Transcript: Trending now: Book subjects on the move in the Canadian market - ...Transcript: Trending now: Book subjects on the move in the Canadian market - ...
Transcript: Trending now: Book subjects on the move in the Canadian market - ...
 
Show and tell: What’s in your tech stack? - Tech Forum 2023
Show and tell: What’s in your tech stack? - Tech Forum 2023Show and tell: What’s in your tech stack? - Tech Forum 2023
Show and tell: What’s in your tech stack? - Tech Forum 2023
 
Transcript: Show and tell: What’s in your tech stack? - Tech Forum 2023
Transcript: Show and tell: What’s in your tech stack? - Tech Forum 2023Transcript: Show and tell: What’s in your tech stack? - Tech Forum 2023
Transcript: Show and tell: What’s in your tech stack? - Tech Forum 2023
 
Transcript: Redefining the book supply chain: A glimpse into the future - Tec...
Transcript: Redefining the book supply chain: A glimpse into the future - Tec...Transcript: Redefining the book supply chain: A glimpse into the future - Tec...
Transcript: Redefining the book supply chain: A glimpse into the future - Tec...
 
Redefining the book supply chain: A glimpse into the future - Tech Forum 2023
Redefining the book supply chain: A glimpse into the future - Tech Forum 2023Redefining the book supply chain: A glimpse into the future - Tech Forum 2023
Redefining the book supply chain: A glimpse into the future - Tech Forum 2023
 
The details of description: Techniques, tips, and tangents on alternative tex...
The details of description: Techniques, tips, and tangents on alternative tex...The details of description: Techniques, tips, and tangents on alternative tex...
The details of description: Techniques, tips, and tangents on alternative tex...
 
Future Book(s): Sharing Ideas on Books and (Art) Publishing - Tech Forum 2023
Future Book(s): Sharing Ideas on Books and (Art) Publishing - Tech Forum 2023Future Book(s): Sharing Ideas on Books and (Art) Publishing - Tech Forum 2023
Future Book(s): Sharing Ideas on Books and (Art) Publishing - Tech Forum 2023
 

Recently uploaded

Pushing the limits of ePRTC: 100ns holdover for 100 days
Pushing the limits of ePRTC: 100ns holdover for 100 daysPushing the limits of ePRTC: 100ns holdover for 100 days
Pushing the limits of ePRTC: 100ns holdover for 100 days
Adtran
 
HCL Notes und Domino Lizenzkostenreduzierung in der Welt von DLAU
HCL Notes und Domino Lizenzkostenreduzierung in der Welt von DLAUHCL Notes und Domino Lizenzkostenreduzierung in der Welt von DLAU
HCL Notes und Domino Lizenzkostenreduzierung in der Welt von DLAU
panagenda
 
Essentials of Automations: The Art of Triggers and Actions in FME
Essentials of Automations: The Art of Triggers and Actions in FMEEssentials of Automations: The Art of Triggers and Actions in FME
Essentials of Automations: The Art of Triggers and Actions in FME
Safe Software
 
20240607 QFM018 Elixir Reading List May 2024
20240607 QFM018 Elixir Reading List May 202420240607 QFM018 Elixir Reading List May 2024
20240607 QFM018 Elixir Reading List May 2024
Matthew Sinclair
 
UiPath Test Automation using UiPath Test Suite series, part 6
UiPath Test Automation using UiPath Test Suite series, part 6UiPath Test Automation using UiPath Test Suite series, part 6
UiPath Test Automation using UiPath Test Suite series, part 6
DianaGray10
 
Driving Business Innovation: Latest Generative AI Advancements & Success Story
Driving Business Innovation: Latest Generative AI Advancements & Success StoryDriving Business Innovation: Latest Generative AI Advancements & Success Story
Driving Business Innovation: Latest Generative AI Advancements & Success Story
Safe Software
 
Why You Should Replace Windows 11 with Nitrux Linux 3.5.0 for enhanced perfor...
Why You Should Replace Windows 11 with Nitrux Linux 3.5.0 for enhanced perfor...Why You Should Replace Windows 11 with Nitrux Linux 3.5.0 for enhanced perfor...
Why You Should Replace Windows 11 with Nitrux Linux 3.5.0 for enhanced perfor...
SOFTTECHHUB
 
Communications Mining Series - Zero to Hero - Session 1
Communications Mining Series - Zero to Hero - Session 1Communications Mining Series - Zero to Hero - Session 1
Communications Mining Series - Zero to Hero - Session 1
DianaGray10
 
Unlock the Future of Search with MongoDB Atlas_ Vector Search Unleashed.pdf
Unlock the Future of Search with MongoDB Atlas_ Vector Search Unleashed.pdfUnlock the Future of Search with MongoDB Atlas_ Vector Search Unleashed.pdf
Unlock the Future of Search with MongoDB Atlas_ Vector Search Unleashed.pdf
Malak Abu Hammad
 
Programming Foundation Models with DSPy - Meetup Slides
Programming Foundation Models with DSPy - Meetup SlidesProgramming Foundation Models with DSPy - Meetup Slides
Programming Foundation Models with DSPy - Meetup Slides
Zilliz
 
20240609 QFM020 Irresponsible AI Reading List May 2024
20240609 QFM020 Irresponsible AI Reading List May 202420240609 QFM020 Irresponsible AI Reading List May 2024
20240609 QFM020 Irresponsible AI Reading List May 2024
Matthew Sinclair
 
Mind map of terminologies used in context of Generative AI
Mind map of terminologies used in context of Generative AIMind map of terminologies used in context of Generative AI
Mind map of terminologies used in context of Generative AI
Kumud Singh
 
TrustArc Webinar - 2024 Global Privacy Survey
TrustArc Webinar - 2024 Global Privacy SurveyTrustArc Webinar - 2024 Global Privacy Survey
TrustArc Webinar - 2024 Global Privacy Survey
TrustArc
 
National Security Agency - NSA mobile device best practices
National Security Agency - NSA mobile device best practicesNational Security Agency - NSA mobile device best practices
National Security Agency - NSA mobile device best practices
Quotidiano Piemontese
 
How to Get CNIC Information System with Paksim Ga.pptx
How to Get CNIC Information System with Paksim Ga.pptxHow to Get CNIC Information System with Paksim Ga.pptx
How to Get CNIC Information System with Paksim Ga.pptx
danishmna97
 
20240605 QFM017 Machine Intelligence Reading List May 2024
20240605 QFM017 Machine Intelligence Reading List May 202420240605 QFM017 Machine Intelligence Reading List May 2024
20240605 QFM017 Machine Intelligence Reading List May 2024
Matthew Sinclair
 
Cosa hanno in comune un mattoncino Lego e la backdoor XZ?
Cosa hanno in comune un mattoncino Lego e la backdoor XZ?Cosa hanno in comune un mattoncino Lego e la backdoor XZ?
Cosa hanno in comune un mattoncino Lego e la backdoor XZ?
Speck&Tech
 
Uni Systems Copilot event_05062024_C.Vlachos.pdf
Uni Systems Copilot event_05062024_C.Vlachos.pdfUni Systems Copilot event_05062024_C.Vlachos.pdf
Uni Systems Copilot event_05062024_C.Vlachos.pdf
Uni Systems S.M.S.A.
 
Presentation of the OECD Artificial Intelligence Review of Germany
Presentation of the OECD Artificial Intelligence Review of GermanyPresentation of the OECD Artificial Intelligence Review of Germany
Presentation of the OECD Artificial Intelligence Review of Germany
innovationoecd
 
Building Production Ready Search Pipelines with Spark and Milvus
Building Production Ready Search Pipelines with Spark and MilvusBuilding Production Ready Search Pipelines with Spark and Milvus
Building Production Ready Search Pipelines with Spark and Milvus
Zilliz
 

Recently uploaded (20)

Pushing the limits of ePRTC: 100ns holdover for 100 days
Pushing the limits of ePRTC: 100ns holdover for 100 daysPushing the limits of ePRTC: 100ns holdover for 100 days
Pushing the limits of ePRTC: 100ns holdover for 100 days
 
HCL Notes und Domino Lizenzkostenreduzierung in der Welt von DLAU
HCL Notes und Domino Lizenzkostenreduzierung in der Welt von DLAUHCL Notes und Domino Lizenzkostenreduzierung in der Welt von DLAU
HCL Notes und Domino Lizenzkostenreduzierung in der Welt von DLAU
 
Essentials of Automations: The Art of Triggers and Actions in FME
Essentials of Automations: The Art of Triggers and Actions in FMEEssentials of Automations: The Art of Triggers and Actions in FME
Essentials of Automations: The Art of Triggers and Actions in FME
 
20240607 QFM018 Elixir Reading List May 2024
20240607 QFM018 Elixir Reading List May 202420240607 QFM018 Elixir Reading List May 2024
20240607 QFM018 Elixir Reading List May 2024
 
UiPath Test Automation using UiPath Test Suite series, part 6
UiPath Test Automation using UiPath Test Suite series, part 6UiPath Test Automation using UiPath Test Suite series, part 6
UiPath Test Automation using UiPath Test Suite series, part 6
 
Driving Business Innovation: Latest Generative AI Advancements & Success Story
Driving Business Innovation: Latest Generative AI Advancements & Success StoryDriving Business Innovation: Latest Generative AI Advancements & Success Story
Driving Business Innovation: Latest Generative AI Advancements & Success Story
 
Why You Should Replace Windows 11 with Nitrux Linux 3.5.0 for enhanced perfor...
Why You Should Replace Windows 11 with Nitrux Linux 3.5.0 for enhanced perfor...Why You Should Replace Windows 11 with Nitrux Linux 3.5.0 for enhanced perfor...
Why You Should Replace Windows 11 with Nitrux Linux 3.5.0 for enhanced perfor...
 
Communications Mining Series - Zero to Hero - Session 1
Communications Mining Series - Zero to Hero - Session 1Communications Mining Series - Zero to Hero - Session 1
Communications Mining Series - Zero to Hero - Session 1
 
Unlock the Future of Search with MongoDB Atlas_ Vector Search Unleashed.pdf
Unlock the Future of Search with MongoDB Atlas_ Vector Search Unleashed.pdfUnlock the Future of Search with MongoDB Atlas_ Vector Search Unleashed.pdf
Unlock the Future of Search with MongoDB Atlas_ Vector Search Unleashed.pdf
 
Programming Foundation Models with DSPy - Meetup Slides
Programming Foundation Models with DSPy - Meetup SlidesProgramming Foundation Models with DSPy - Meetup Slides
Programming Foundation Models with DSPy - Meetup Slides
 
20240609 QFM020 Irresponsible AI Reading List May 2024
20240609 QFM020 Irresponsible AI Reading List May 202420240609 QFM020 Irresponsible AI Reading List May 2024
20240609 QFM020 Irresponsible AI Reading List May 2024
 
Mind map of terminologies used in context of Generative AI
Mind map of terminologies used in context of Generative AIMind map of terminologies used in context of Generative AI
Mind map of terminologies used in context of Generative AI
 
TrustArc Webinar - 2024 Global Privacy Survey
TrustArc Webinar - 2024 Global Privacy SurveyTrustArc Webinar - 2024 Global Privacy Survey
TrustArc Webinar - 2024 Global Privacy Survey
 
National Security Agency - NSA mobile device best practices
National Security Agency - NSA mobile device best practicesNational Security Agency - NSA mobile device best practices
National Security Agency - NSA mobile device best practices
 
How to Get CNIC Information System with Paksim Ga.pptx
How to Get CNIC Information System with Paksim Ga.pptxHow to Get CNIC Information System with Paksim Ga.pptx
How to Get CNIC Information System with Paksim Ga.pptx
 
20240605 QFM017 Machine Intelligence Reading List May 2024
20240605 QFM017 Machine Intelligence Reading List May 202420240605 QFM017 Machine Intelligence Reading List May 2024
20240605 QFM017 Machine Intelligence Reading List May 2024
 
Cosa hanno in comune un mattoncino Lego e la backdoor XZ?
Cosa hanno in comune un mattoncino Lego e la backdoor XZ?Cosa hanno in comune un mattoncino Lego e la backdoor XZ?
Cosa hanno in comune un mattoncino Lego e la backdoor XZ?
 
Uni Systems Copilot event_05062024_C.Vlachos.pdf
Uni Systems Copilot event_05062024_C.Vlachos.pdfUni Systems Copilot event_05062024_C.Vlachos.pdf
Uni Systems Copilot event_05062024_C.Vlachos.pdf
 
Presentation of the OECD Artificial Intelligence Review of Germany
Presentation of the OECD Artificial Intelligence Review of GermanyPresentation of the OECD Artificial Intelligence Review of Germany
Presentation of the OECD Artificial Intelligence Review of Germany
 
Building Production Ready Search Pipelines with Spark and Milvus
Building Production Ready Search Pipelines with Spark and MilvusBuilding Production Ready Search Pipelines with Spark and Milvus
Building Production Ready Search Pipelines with Spark and Milvus
 

Transcript: New stores, new views: Booksellers adapting engaging and thriving - Tech Forum 2024

  • 1. Tim Middleton: Hello, everyone. Thank you for joining us for today's Tech Forum session. I'm Tim Middleton, Product Manager and Retailer Liaison at BookNet Canada. Welcome to "New Stores, New Views: Booksellers Adapting, Engaging, and Thriving." Before we get started, BookNet Canada acknowledges that its operations are remote and our colleagues contribute their work from the traditional territories of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishinaabe, the Haudenosaunee, the Wyandot, the Mi'kmaq, the Ojibwa of Fort William First Nation, the Three Fires Confederacy of First Nations (which includes the Ojibwa, the Odawa, and the Potawatomie), and the Métis, the original nations and peoples of the lands we now call Beeton, Brampton, Guelph, Halifax, Thunder Bay, Toronto, Vaughan, and Windsor. We encourage you to visit the nativeland.ca website to learn more about the peoples whose land you're joining from today. Moreover, BookNet endorses the calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and supports an ongoing shift from gatekeeping to space-making in the book industry. The book industry has long been an industry of gatekeeping. Anyone who works at any stage of the book supply chain carries the responsibility to serve readers by publishing, promoting, and supplying works that represent the wide extent of human experiences and identities and all that complicated intersectionality. We at BookNet are committed to working with our partners in the industry as we move towards a framework that supports space-making, which ensures that marginalised creators and professionals all have the opportunity to contribute work and lead. And in the spirit of that acknowledgement, I confirm BookNet's and my own responsibility to mend the sacred hoop with Canada's Indigenous peoples, to be an ally to all Black, Indigenous and people of colour, and to unite and work alongside one another. [00:03:03] [silence] [00:03:18] For our webinar today, if you are having difficulties with Zoom or have any technical-related questions, please put your questions in the chat or you can email techforum@booknetcanada.ca. We're providing live ASL and closed captioning for this presentation. To see the captions, please find the Show Subtitle button in the Zoom menu at the bottom of your screen. If during the presentation you have questions for us, please use the Q&A panel found in the bottom menu. Lastly, we'd like to remind attendees of the code of conduct. Please do be kind, be inclusive, be respectful of others, including of their privacy. Be aware of your words and actions, and please report any violations to techforum@booknetcanada.ca. Do not harass speakers, hosts, or attendees, or record these sessions. We have a zero-tolerance policy. You can find the entire code of conduct at bnctechforum.ca/code-of-conduct. Now, let me introduce our speakers. First, we have Chris Krawczyk, who's the co-owner and founder of Little Ghosts Books. Frustrated with the lack of diverse authors on the horror
  • 2. shelves in most bookstores, they were inspired to create Canada's first horror-themed bookstore and publishing house. They're deeply invested in creating spaces in which queer and trans, POC, femme, and other folks on the margins can feel safe and connected with their communities. Next is Nena Rawdah, who is the managing partner of Cross & Crows Books. She is a queer settler of Lebanese and multicultural descent. While she has lived in Canada for only 7 years, Nena is a veteran of both new and used book selling with 29 years in the business. She has been a marketing specialist, an academic book sales rep, and a bookstore publicist. Edited several dozen books, worked in six bookstores, and is delighted to be building community around her second neighbourhood bookstore. Next, Chandler Jolliffe is the owner of Cedar Canoe Books. Chandler spent 10 years working in the ed tech space before making the decision to leave and open a bookstore. Cedar Canoe Books is still fairly new, having opened its doors in late 2022. And finally, Penny Warris is the co-owner and manager at Analog Books Inc. Along with her husband, Scott, Warris opened Analog Books at the end of December 2020. Previously, she had a career as a travel consultant, and Scott had an electronics distribution company. Both of them understood the dynamics of owning their own business. However, they didn't have much knowledge about the book-buying world. Now that the bookstore has been open for three years, Warris feels that opening their bookstore during the pandemic was the right decision for their store. However, she would not recommend it for others. Thank you all for coming, and welcome. We love you. We love booksellers. We love new booksellers. So without any further ado, we're going to get to the questions. And our first question, a little bit of softball. We're going to get you to tell us your story. You know, bookstores are good at selling stories. Let's hear you tell your story. What inspired you to become an independent bookseller? Were there steps you took to become more knowledgeable about the publishing industry? And how has your vision for your story evolved? Penny, we're going to start with you because your store has been around the longest. Penny Warris: Wow, that's not usually the case when I'm with booksellers. So we actually entered into this as a business idea. We looked at... Both Scott and I were at a point in our life where we were looking for something different. And we looked at our, we like to say, time, treasure, and talents and looked at what a company that the two of us could work together on would work. And we were really fascinated with watching the rise of independent bookstores since when they all sort of closed in 2008, when we started to see a resurgence of them in around 2015, 2016. In 2017, we actually drove across the country and stopped at a lot of independent bookstores and asked them, like, what would you think of opening a bookstore now? And they all said that we were nuts, but if there was ever a time, it was probably now. So we worked on that for a few years and just ended up opening during the pandemic. It wasn't a response to the pandemic. It just happened that our timing worked out.
  • 3. And like I said, in our case, it was perfect timing. When we opened the... In Lethbridge, there's 100,000 people. There's a university, a college. There's a Chapters. So that was one of the reasons that we chose this town was because it didn't have an independent bookstore. And it's two hours away from the closest independent bookstore. So for us, when we opened, the university was closed. The college was closed. The library was closed. So we were the only game in town. So it actually was good timing for us. We've seen huge support from the university, college, and the schools. Yeah, and we're in an area downtown that we thought we could use the location to pull in from all the other anchors on town, all the cool restaurants and the tattoo shops and the hairdressers and the gym and all those things that closed. So when we opened, we actually became the anchor of our streets. So the whole situation's been upside down, but perfect for us. Tim: Thanks. Sounds like bookselling. Upside down, but perfect. Nena, I'm gonna go with you. Just I'm going to order my screen here and I have Nena up. Let's hear you. Nena Rawdah: So I got into bookselling by getting a job. My first book job was at Powell's when they were doing heavy, heavy hiring for labelling that monstrous collection, getting it all online back in the mid-'90s. And it was like a school for booksellers at the time. And they really encouraged us to develop skills and advance and climb the compensation grid. And so they made it both interesting and worthwhile to follow. I had never realised that bookselling was a career possibility or a thing other than maybe working in a mall bookstore until that point. And that was when I encountered people who had worked in bookstores for decades, people who had worked for Walter Powell, and got this image of a possibility. And I also saw people moving from bookselling into other parts of the book trade. So it looked like a real thing rather than a stepping stone moment passing thing. I try to give a little hint of that experience whenever I have the opportunity to have staff, you know, to kind of encourage them in a direction like that. Tim: Thank you. It is like that. You don't know you're choosing a career when you choose a book-selling job. Let it be known. Chris, let's hear you. Chris Krawkzyk: Oh, goodness. So Little Ghosts Books was a dream of a frustrated horror nerd. I love books. I love bookstores. I owned a comic book store for almost a decade, and what I read outside of comic books is mostly horror. I'm lucky to live in Toronto, lucky to have so many independent bookstores that I love and frequent who struggled to match my reading list with something from their shelves. So during the pandemic, I lost my mind, maybe, and there was the unique opportunity to have retail space in areas of Toronto that aren't normally unoccupied. So I decided I was only going to take the risk if we found the perfect space, and we found the perfect space near Trinity Bellwoods Park in Toronto, so close by other independent bookstores that I love with big windows and great display windows and natural light and old beautiful floors. And I decided to build an enormous black-on-black bookshelf with a sliding ladder and have all of the horror I could possibly imagine on the shelves. And it's worked well for us to be so niche in a neighbourhood that has so many other bookstores in it. And then we have expanded to
  • 4. publishing this year basically because I continue to have more ideas in my brain than maybe good sense. Tim: Chris, one question I didn't ask when we met earlier. Do you still have the comic book store? Chris: I do. So the sidekick still exists on the east end of Toronto, near Leslieville. Yeah. Tim: Cool. Chris: I'm just two genre bookstores in a trench coat. Tim: It's a good thing. Chandler. My screen shifted. You went up there now. Okay, Chandler. Chandler Jolliffe: Yeah. So like lots of folks, I came to book selling in a bit of an odd way. I was in a very different career two years ago. And in Huntsville, which is where our store is and I live, we had a Kohl's. It closed just over two years ago. And I was off one week taking a little staycation and my wife and I were walking downtown and noticed an empty storefront. And I looked it up and I thought, "Man, this place would make a cool bookstore because we don't have a bookstore." That was on a Wednesday. On Sunday, that same week, we decided that that's what I was going to do. And my wife was supportive. And on Monday, I quit my job. And we opened three months after that. So there's one of those cases where I think ignorance was bliss a little bit. I did the opposite of Penny, which was not a tour of other bookstores. It was like virtually no research. And then I kind of just figured I'd be able to figure it out at some point. And it's been great. Yeah, no regrets, despite the huge learning curve. It's been fantastic. Tim: Very nice. Ignorance is bliss indeed. So our next question is sort of about your experience early on, maybe as time has progressed. And we just want to see, are there any innovative marketing experiments or collaborative campaigns that you've been involved with, with publishers, local businesses, other retailers, anyone else? So any stories you have around these types of experiments? And who gets to go first? Penny. Penny Warris: So for us, what we found is rather than spending our advertising budget on traditional advertising, paper, radio, even Facebook or social media, we actually have set out a budget and we decide to spend that budget on fundraisers for the community. So one of the biggest marketing things we have that was a total fluke is we have a bookstore cat. His name is Hugo. He's definitely the most famous cat in Lethbridge. And everyone comes to visit our cat and buys a book after they visit the cat. But literally, people come in and say, "Oh, I'm just here for Hugo." And we're like, "Yeah, we get it." So as a result of that, we work with some of the local cat rescue places. We've done fundraisers for all kinds of stuff like the Ukrainian refugees, that sort of thing. Every year we have Hugo's birthday and it becomes this big, massive party and sales day. So what we do is we...or in Shirt Day or Indigenous Peoples' Day, we take portions of what we sell and we donate that back to the community. And what we find is the community, as opposed to
  • 5. wanting a 30% off, they are thrilled if we're going to give 30% to paws or whatever, and they come and they spend way more money than they ever would. So that's been a really, really good collaboration for us. It's made us part of the community much quicker than we would have been if we were giving a 30% discount. And it's also a good marketing for... The press loves that sort of thing. So we've been getting a lot of free press based on that, either through traditional press or through online. So give your money where it counts. Tim: Yeah, that's an awesome idea. Who would like to go next? Chandler, we'll kick it over. Oh, no, we'll kick it over to Chris. Chris: So we do a number of things. There is an annual short horror film festival that happens at the local theatre, so we donate prizes, we hook up authors to talk if they have a relevant book, and they give us sort of ad space in front of the movies which is very fun. And it's genre folks so it's in our wheelhouse. We teamed up with the online-only romance-only bookstore this year. So we ran a festival called Love, Death & Other Words where we were a book fair that went to different breweries and it was only horror romance. And that was very fun and they didn't charge us for pop-up space and we got a little bit of advertising but also got to tour around a bit. And then we do a thing called spooky marketplace and anyone who does handcrafts that are spooky in nature comes about every other month and sets up a table in the bookstore and basically runs a craft fair. It doesn't cost them anything to do this. It's just an opportunity for us to connect with other people who like the macabre sort of deal Yeah. Tim: It's like fun, lots of fun. Okay, Chandler, we'll take it over to you. Chandler: Yeah, some of the stuff that's been really effective for us has been local business partnerships, especially with breweries and restaurants in town. So we'll do events in their space and try and do even, like, boozy book clubs and things like that, especially if you're trying to target sub-40-year-olds for book clubs, alcoholic. Revolved events tend to go a little better. Especially we have a couple of really nice local breweries with great spaces that they give us. One of the effective things we've done with local businesses is we make them a deal when we do events where they give us their space for free, and in return, we include a drink ticket in the price of the event. And this has saved us piles of money in event rental space. And we do it on nights when a lot of the local spaces in town would otherwise be quiet or unbooked, and so it's kind of a win-win. They get business on a night they would otherwise be quiet and we get free space since our store is not actually big enough to host events in. The other thing we did a lot of this year that was really helpful was local markets. Muskoka is a hodgepodge of a bunch of different towns, sort of three medium-sized towns, then a lot of very small communities. And none of them have a new bookstore except us in Huntsville. And so whenever we can, we go and do street markets, farmers markets when they'll let us in. And not only do these events tend to actually be pretty great sales events all on their own. People are pretty hyped to see books amongst the carrots and corn. But they also just act as
  • 6. great marketing. And a lot of people redirect from those events and actually come and shop in-store. So that's been really, really great for us and something I'm hoping to do a lot more of in the coming years. Tim: It's true. Nena, what's your experience like in the early days? Nena: I wanted to kind of second what Penny said about sort of in-store book fairs for a cause. This have worked incredibly well. And just for the economics of it, if you sell more books, you're able to pay more bills even if you're giving a chunk away off the top. You know, the math works. And also noting something that Chris said about neighbouring businesses. We used to do in my old neighbourhood in Portland sort of an annual crawl where people got a passport from our local Main Street Association to visit the neighbourhood independent businesses of all sorts. And just having that many bodies moving through was always good, always helpful. So I'm hoping to maybe help start something like that here in my current neighbourhood in Vancouver, where there are tons of independent businesses on our strip commercial drive. Other than the bookstores, we don't seem to talk to each other all that much. And that could be better. And that could be used to our benefit. So I've only been here six months. So I'm the new kid and I don't want to act like a new broom, but I'm hoping that will come about. Tim: That seems like a really good direction to go in. I know you can do it. Our next question sort of kind of builds on this marketing question. And I know that we had some really interesting stuff come out of it in our first meeting. But let's see what comes up this time. So the question is, are publishers the best collaborators for bookstores to help bookstores meet their goals, like, for instance, promoting diverse and underrepresented voices? Or are there other partners you look to to help carry out your mission? We've heard the local business piece, but let's just delve into that a bit, see where publishers land. Anyone want to start us off? Chandler had his hand up first so he... Chandler: The short answer for me is no. I rarely find the publishers to be the best collaborator for marketing or diversification. I think the exception to that being small indie Canadian publishers who can be much more helpful. Especially when you're looking for diverse authors and diverse voices, the small indie publishers, especially the Canadian ones, tend to be quite helpful. The rest of the time, as far as marketing goes, I don't think the publishers are exactly scions of marketing, but also indies are unfortunately just not their priority. I know for most of the sort of big four or five publishers, indies in Canada represent less than 15% of their sales. And so that means we're just not the top priority for them. And their marketing muscles, frankly, aren't that great either. And I find you're better off partnering with specific groups, especially when you're trying to go for diversity. We have a large Indigenous population in Muskoka, and we focus a lot of our diversity on Indigenous authors. And most of the great book suggestions we get and a lot of the good feedback and help we get comes from local community groups, nonprofits, indigenous organisations, more so than the publishers.
  • 7. I think especially when you're dealing with the Big Five, their lists are just so large. Your reps have hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of books each season. They don't know all of the time. And I think that's reasonable in a sense. It's just not practical for them to. And so I find specific interest groups are actually better at helping with diversity. But I also find they're better at helping with marketing and promotions. We do better when we market with other groups locally. You know, I've had, as I'm sure almost everyone else has, at some point, the major publishers share some of your social posts lists of that. That generates, you know, nothing for us, really. Specific authors can be a much better conduit, but not the big publishers most of the time. Tim: We'll pass the baton to Nena. Nena: Well, Chandler covered a lot of the ground I was going to cover. My small press people are the best about telling me about who's in their list, knowing who's in their list, choosing to publish authors of colour, authors who are queer, authors with more complicated stories. I've been a little bummed really with the Big Five lists. You know, I came out instantly asking for lists of queer books and queer authors to feature in my new baby shop. And I got these lists that were all basically the same book. And, you know, my customers see that. You know, teenagers read a few queer romances in YA and then they're done and they've moved on to something else. And, you know, I don't need another 50 YA romances, I'm sorry, that are all the same book. They need to be richer. They need more of a backbone. One standout that I just read that's coming out next month is "Skater Boy," just for an example, by Anthony Nerada. And it's a queer YA romance, but it's not just a romance. It's got a backbone of culture. And in this case, it's skater culture. But there's got to be something going on besides just meet cutes. And that's just one genre. So it's been interesting trying to find the good books in these massive, really, really homogenous ones. Tim: Nice. I think we'll be able to circle back to some of this too, but Chris, your one minute. Chris: Yeah, my answer is yes and no. The major publishers for the most part are not helpful in terms of marketing us or hooking us up with anything that will be meaningful, whether it's because we're mostly the queer horror store or I don't know what it is. I'm happy to hear from other people that they have the same experience. Sometimes I suffer from that I think it's me. However, I will say that the independent horror publishers are helpful, not only in giving me lists but sharing marketing, sharing ideas, what works for them, what doesn't, featuring our store because we are so niche and very much in their wheelhouse and we will have things physically in the store that otherwise they've been only selling online. So that has been very good for us. So yeah, my answer is very much 50/50 yes and no, like no from the majors, yes from the indies. And any time I can make a pal with an indie publisher who is passionate about what I'm passionate about. Any way we can help each other in terms of featuring each other, I'm interested. And anytime I can buy extremely, like, directly from them and cut out distribution and just be like, "Here's the full breadth of my sale, and can you send it directly to me?" I do that. Not only does it save me money but it does put more money directly into their pocket so
  • 8. that they don't have to pay that 30% to someone else. So those relationships are valuable for us both. Tim: Next, Penny. Penny: Yeah, I would say the same as most of them. Lethbridge is Southern Alberta. We don't have a lot of BIPOC. We don't have a lot of diversity. We do have a huge Indigenous population here, and we do have a very large queer community. So we concentrate on those. I wouldn't say that the... I mean, the language that's spoken locally is Blackfoot. So far, I've found three books in Blackfoot. So we have a big Indigenous section, but books that will sell in other places in Canada will not sell here. So yeah, it's a learning curve for sure, and the publishers are not helpful in that. It's something that you have to curate as a local store, for sure. Tim: Great. I think I'm going to skip to question five on this one, just because it seems to fit more naturally. But this is, what types of inefficiencies in your business operations that you think publishers could help with, like returns, ordering, inventory management, marketing and promotion? And feel free to talk about your experience with onboarding as you launch your new spaces. I know that there are some good stories to be shared and learned from there. So how do we wanna do this? So I'll start with Penny. We'll go in reverse order, Penny, Chris, Nena, Chandler. Penny: So when we started, so we basically kind of started the whole process in March of 2020. So that was when we were trying to connect with people. And that was the time that you couldn't connect with anybody. So if you phoned Penguin Random House, you got somebody in New Jersey. So it was really, really tricky to find anybody during that time. So we didn't really have any personal connection outside of Bookmanager. And then, of course, Bookmanager got very busy during that time. If any of you guys are on it, you'll know that they onboarded hundreds and hundreds of stores. So support was not non-existent, and I'm sure it was the same for you guys as well. It's just the support isn't there until the reps recognise you and you're up and running and you're good. And you'd have no idea what you don't know. So you think, "Oh, the books are going to come in and we're going to sell them." You forget that you have to order them again the minute they sell and there's the time and all of that. And nobody tells you any of that kind of thing. So I would say that starting a new store now would probably be easier because the reps would help you a little bit, but we didn't have any help at all from any publishers, anybody at all. And we didn't see a rep because of our location, basically for, like, two and a half years after the time we opened. So I think we've done really well because we've had to, like, learn everything ourselves and we've had to create a space that is different from everybody else's because we've had no, I guess, preconceived ideas. Tim: Yeah. Just go ahead, Chris. Chris: Yeah, I mean, I had a similar experience in terms of not really having much help when I reached out right away. Once we were open and reps were visiting, that was easier, but often I found that, yeah, I would just have to go to like Ingram and major distribution chains to buy books because we did not have accounts set up with some of the Canadian
  • 9. distribution, and when I would email, no one would get back to me and I was just like, "I don't care. I need these now for the release date." So there were all sorts of inefficiencies in ways that my business could have saved money but it's not saving money if you don't have the titles to sell, so you just got to get them. Other inefficiencies...or sorry, the full length of the question… Tim: Yeah. So if there are other business operations you see inefficiencies. So aside from your launch, your onboarding, getting ready. Ongoing, are there inefficiencies that you're seeing? Chris: I mean, again, for us, like I said, I will often try to get around major distro inefficiencies that I see by dealing with the publishers directly wherever possible. Luckily, now I have kind of a long list of indie publishers who I can deal with directly and I'm familiar with their catalogues and their release dates, and they will message me directly to tell me when something's coming and what to expect and I can place my orders that way. It's really cut out a lot of time sort of wasted scouring lists that are so long with genres that we don't even cover or have any interest in covering. And so I've managed to streamline it but, yeah, it's taken two years. Tim: Great. Only two years. Nena, you've shifted position on me, but you're up next. Nena: Oh, weird. Tim: That's Zoom. Nena: So two things. One is getting on board with some publishers was easy. There were a couple that were incredibly difficult. It took about six weeks to get from reaching out to getting contact back from a rep with PRH. And that's kind of a stretch. So that was frustrating. And I'm not actually sure I have a rep exactly right now, to be honest. The other thing is there's some information that's just hard to find. And in some cases, it used to be easier how a publisher wants returns handled. Why is that not in a bookseller tab on every website? Make this easy for me. You need permission? Make sure that's upfront. Don't make me call you and ask you or ask three people. This is not information that's difficult to make handy. I find myself kind of missing the days of the old print ABA book-selling manual because, yeah, it was print and it was massive, but everything was there. And there's no reason why that information can't be available. We have these pocket computers. So it's a frustration. Penny: Can I just make a quick comment before Chandler comes on? Basically, I'll push the competition and the collaboration, but, CIBA, Canadian Independent Booksellers Association, if anybody that's on here or is watching it is not a member of CIBA, you need to be. The supplier committees, I'm on one of the committees, work very, very hard with the publishers to get the indies out there and create better return policies. The work they have done is truly amazing. And if you're not part of it, then you're missing out on a huge education source, which Chandler is going to tell you about in one moment.
  • 10. Chandler: Yeah, I'll echo Penny's comment. CIBA is incredibly helpful. I actually went to a bunch of webinars, much like this one, before opening my store. And there was a couple of things, specifically consignment, where that one webinar helped me avoid what would have otherwise been a disaster in consignment. So I was deeply appreciative of that. Everyone's kind of covered the train wreck that is onboarding. So I'm going to say a couple of different things. One, I think the single biggest inefficiency from the publishers that hampers us is just order speed. It just takes way, way too long to get books. In a small town, we're lucky that most of our customers want to shop local, are very attentive to it and are patient, but for every customer we see in the store who is patient and wants to support us, there are many that we don't see who just want their book quickly. And it is so difficult to explain to a customer that Amazon can get you a book tomorrow, but it's going to take me, someone with a direct relationship with the publisher, three weeks to get it to you. And that just seems insane to me. I have argued with many of the publishers, the fact that Rain Coast can turn around a book in 24 hours means all of them should be able to as well. The fact that Amazon can fulfil way more book orders on a daily basis than any one publisher, and they can do it in under 24 hours, again, means the publishers should be able to. If we could get books in under five business days... Everyone who has Rain Coast on the West Coast should be lucky with Book Express. But if we could get books in under five business days, I actually think that would be one of the most dramatic shifts to our business and our ability to compete and sell. So that's one. The second inefficiency I would point out, you know, we're talking a lot about the difficulty of onboarding with the publishers, but I also think it has to be mentioned that we effectively have a book-selling POS monopoly in Canada. And that's not to disparage Bookmanager in any way. I know they do lots of great things, but it now takes two years to get onboarded basically. And there are no real viable alternatives. And that creates a huge bottleneck for people trying to open stores or trying to get into this space. I think it would be great to see Bookmanager get serious about killing that backlog. But in absence of that, and even without, I do think we really need a viable alternative. I don't think it's ever a benefit to an industry to only have one available tool. I think it kills creativity and optionality. So I think that creates a big inefficiency as well. And I would love to see some real strong alternatives that people could use, that stores could get onboarded with more quickly. And I think part of this even comes down to, you know, a lot of publishers now when they send out lists, they only send them in Bookmanager format half the time. And so for anyone not using Bookmanager, we're not on Bookmanager, we have to message some of our reps sometimes and say, like, "Hey, like, we can't open these lists. Can you send them to us in Catalyst?" So, yeah. Penny: If it's any consolation, even when they send them to us in Bookmanager, we can't open them. Chandler: There you go. It's good to know we're all struggling with the same thing.
  • 11. Chris: I'd also like to say re-shipping times, I can tell you as a publisher looking for distro, the amount that they charge you as a publisher to hold your books and supposedly streamline this process is astronomical for them to then take three weeks to get someone a book. Tim: Very good, long lingering problems. And I'm glad to see fresh blood being, you know, thrown at the problem. Is that a good metaphor? Probably not. Anyways, CIBA, yeah. Chris: Blood drawing is perfect for us. Tim: Blood drawing for Chris. Yes, lots of blood. The CIBA, yeah, we endured quite a time there without the CBA in Canada. Big gaps trying to be filled. We're really happy to see CIBA taking on a lot of things that went missing. Let's see, I'm gonna move on now because the shipping time obviously lends itself to questions of competition. So I'll ask the question about competition. Who do you think your competition is in the book-selling space? How do you compete with them? And how might publishers support independent bookstores to level the playing field in competition? Nena has her hand up right away. Nena: I have so many feelings about this. Even though I'm in a neighbourhood with five other bookstores, my competition is still Amazon. I have a very different product mix from my neighbours. And actually, we complement each other, I think, really well. And we're fairly collegial. When I see an author begging for people to tell their bookstores about them and, you know, that kind of thing, and then I go to their website and the only options I see on their page for ordering are Amazon and Indigo, then I know that I'm not important to them. And I also know that I'm not important to their publisher. And I know their publisher is not telling them, "Hey, you need to think about indie." Yeah, we're 15% of the market. Well, there's a reason for that. Okay, we've been just ignored. And, you know, I'm preparing to host an author right now who I'm very excited about and their team is lovely. But when I go to their website, even though they've booked with multiple independent bookstores for their upcoming tour, there is no independent option on their website. None of us are featured. It's all Amazon and the chains for Canada. And part of that is that we don't have something unified and easy to put up like bookshops in the U.S. But part of it is just that they don't even think about it until we make them. And I think we could really use some help with that. I was at an offsite event over the weekend, and one of the customers was like, "So you're from Amazon, right?" You know, and that's not the first time that's happened. And I get people walking in my store. And this happened in my old shop in Portland too. "Hey, so do you get all these books from Amazon?" You know, and that's been a constant and it's still an issue. And Amazon is also our competitor for speed. If I can't get it from Rain Coast, there's a chance I'll lose that sale. Chandler: Two comments. One, not to keep pumping CIBA, but they are building indiebookstores.ca, which would be the bookshop.org equivalent. You don't have to be a CIBA member to have your store listed. You do, however, have to be a Bookmanager customer for it to actually show your inventory and link directly to you. So that's a separate thing. So if you are looking for a bookshop.org equivalent, CIBA has been working really hard on getting a Canadian one up.
  • 12. The other thing I was going to tack on to, I think obviously, yes, Amazon is a huge portion of, I think, everyone's competition. The other one that surprised me a little is ours is like Shoppers Drug Mart and Loblaws. They don't carry a lot of titles, but they carry the best sellers, and they carry them 30% off. I think the biggest way the publishers could help, and doubtful this would ever happen, but on the bestseller titles that all of the big stores like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indigo have automatically listed at 25% to 30% off, if the publishers created some sort of automatic shared markdown for indies on those titles, I would cut a little bit of my margin to be able to give a 30% discount or a 25% discount on the top 50 bestsellers in our store and be more price competitive. Because the reason that the large bookstores do it is a loss leader, right? It gets people in the door. And I would love to have a handful of titles where we could do that. And so instead of going to Shoppers, people go, "Oh, well, I know that, you know, the new Nora Roberts," whatever it is, "will be at Cedar Canoe Books, also 25% off," and they come here and then they buy four other things. But I think everyone here knows, as an indie, we don't have the margin ourselves to take that hit as a loss leader and just hope that people buy more stuff. But I do think the publishers could more adeptly enable us to do that. At least the big ones. I wouldn't ask indie publishers to do that. But again, most of these hot bestsellers that are 30% off are unfortunately also not coming from indie publishers. They're coming from the Big Five. Nena: If I could jump back in for a sec. I think what I'm really asking of publishers here is when they onboard authors and when they help put together marketing campaigns or they instruct authors on what to have on the website, that makes sure that if you're booking for an appearance at an independent bookstore, that independent bookstore is linked and featured and people are gonna be buying that book from that indie. Because it is painful to have people walk in my store with books they got on Amazon, you know, and say, "Hey, I'm here to get this signed." Tim: Chris or Penny, you want to add anything here? Chris: Yeah, I mean, I will second that Amazon emotion, just because... Especially for us with a lot of indie titles, people don't realise that a lot of indie publishers now have moved to actually printing through KDP. So there's no way for me to buy that without touching Amazon, which I won't do. So people look for books with us that are indie presses that I don't carry because I can't, because I won't shop on Amazon to stock the store. That seems insane. Or they're printing with Ingram, which I will deal with and do the print on demand and get it shipped here, but it does cost more and then I can't price match. So again, that's where I step in and deal with the publisher directly. But yeah, it's not so much what the publishers can do for me to help me compete with Amazon. It's what Canada Post can do for me to make me able to compete with Amazon because free shipping is a lie. There is no way to ship affordably in Canada. We don't have media mail, which is something the U.S. has to make book shipping a little bit cheaper. It is just so expensive to send anything and the small business discount through Canada Post is a joke. So sometimes it is just that. Whilst someone wants to support the indie horror
  • 13. bookstore, they simply cannot because it costs so much to ship to them. So they just hit the button that doesn't cost them an extra $20. Penny: I don't have a lot of comments on this one because we probably are competing with Amazon. I mean, that's just the real world. We also have a Chapters within two blocks from us. Chapters has actually been really good for us because they don't order in their store. So when people say, "Well, what am I going to do?" They'll send them over to us. So we actually have Chapters actively sending us customers. My only sort of recommendation would be to curate your...and it sounds like you guys do, but curate your stock to not need to have the best sellers, because what people love about our store is when they come in, they're like, "Wow, I see these books that I don't see other places." So, you know, we don't ever sell a hardcover new mystery or romance. We don't even bother bringing it in. We don't have a single James Patterson in the store, which I know Chandler, you need to, but we don't. So we're not competing with a superstore and Costco and all of that. If they carry it, we don't even bother to carry it. But then that allows us shelf space to bring in, you know, a 20-year-old John Irving that will sell. So I guess it's all about curation for us. Chandler: Tim, can I jump in here one more time? Just two really quick final comments on this. And Chris, I think you kind of mentioned this as well, but independently published books, while phenomenal for the authors, and it's great to see that taking off. And I don't mean, like, your local Joe down the street who, like, Amazon published something. I mean, true independently published major works, while fantastic or nearly impossible for us to get, and often even they are net zero on Ingram. And so there is an asymmetry in the industry there that I still think needs to be sorted out. The other thing is I would kill for someone to start a Libro.fm, but for ebooks. You know, almost a quarter of the book industry is now ebooks, and it is actually not possible for indies to compete in that space. And much like a lot of our customers happily drop their Audible subscriptions and grab Libro. I know if we had an ebook option, many of our customers would happily drop their Kindle or Kobos and switch to that. But indies are effectively locked out of what is now a quarter of the book consumption market because we just don't have a way to sell ebooks. And I don't think ebooks are going to take over, but automatically excluding a quarter of the market right off the bat already, I think, is really disadvantageous. So if anyone here is a good coder and wants to, on the side, open the Libro.fm of ebooks, I would be forever in your debt and so thrilled. Chris: I mean, on that topic, again, from the publishing end of the world, I can tell you that Amazon, if you list an ebook somewhere other than Amazon, they won't take your Kindle book. So you can't list in two places, but this is how they've, you know, killed us all. Because for our publications, we obviously don't do that. We have the ebooks directly through our website. They won't look at us and there will never be a Kindle option for us. So ebooks, in general, are something that has to change and be looked at as, like, an industry thing for the publishers as well, because this is not helping them by having to basically give 30% of those to Amazon just right away.
  • 14. Tim: Yeah, that is a huge problem. Actually, we have four minutes left, so I'm going to open it up to our panel for audience questions. Yeah, someone's telling me to do that already. I'm doing the right thing. Okay, so this is for everybody. First question, have you noticed the current economic environment having an impact on how much people are spending on books? We'll just go quickly around. Chandler: I would really quickly say no. I'm sure on a macro level, it will have some impact, but books are, for most people, a luxury item. And if you're super price-conscious, you're probably shopping Amazon or ebooks anyways. So I find our buyer at least is, like, someone who's already comfortable paying a higher ticket price for a book and maybe is a little less economically sensitive. We also may be in a weird spot because Muskoka is a mix of being quite wealthy. Tim: That's true. Chris? Oh, Penny. Penny: I would echo Chandler in that people are still buying the books and they're still supporting local. What I find is that they're coming twice now to do it. I feel like it's kind of like cutting the doughnut in half and then eating both sides of it. They might come and buy one book, but then they'll show up three days later and buy the second one that they were thinking about. Tim: That's a good observation. Chris? Chris: Yeah, I mean, I find that people either are saving it up and then doing a big one, like, you know, doing a big shop, or they're cutting the doughnuts. So I either see people less often or more often depending on their proximity to the store or their appetite for online shopping. So the people who are buying books are still buying books. Tim: Nena, do you have anything? I can ask the next question. I think you're muted. Nena: I think I'm a little too new to really have a strong feel, although I do have people who come in one time and buy a book and come in the next time and apologise for not buying a book list. They're so cute. Tim: Well-mannered. Nena: They do mention their paycheck. And, you know, things are tight. And, oh, the rental market. So, yeah. Tim: Yeah. Got to eat, put a roof over your head, and then read. Okay, what are the costs associated with running bookstores that people might not necessarily think of, aside from rent, the cost of orders, etc.? Anything? What do some of those expenses look like? Penny: I would say time, and that you don't get to read books anymore because you're too busy running your store. Everyone thinks we stand around all day and read books. I read way more books before I was a bookseller. Tim: Yeah, that's true. That is true. Myth-busting right here.
  • 15. Chandler: I would just quickly say association fees. There's a lot more associations I'm a part of and pay a fee to than I expected. And it's all the random tools like email tools and stuff like that that you don't think about. Email's not that random, but there are more obscure ones, for whatever reason, we've ended up paying for. That kind of stuff are the biggest surprises. And printing. I just do a lot of printing. Nena: Taxes. Plan ahead. Have a savings account for your sales taxes. I had done bookkeeping for another small business for a little while, so I was forewarned about this. My old state in the U.S. didn't have sales tax. But I think that's something that can creep up on people if you don't really think about it. And then, you know, you get to the end of the quarter and you have $2,000. And so know that that's coming. Chandler: Inventory is effectively profit until you sell it. So wait for the first tax bill and all the inventory you have sitting in your store. Tim: Okay, well, we are at 3:01. Let's do a rapid-fire question here. Everybody, what is the average number of books sold per day in your store? We'll go alphabetically, Chandler. Chandler: Off-season for us, like, 30 to 100. Really varies. On-season, so summer or Christmas, 200 to 350 a day during peak season. We're very, very seasonal, swingy, so it really depends Tim: Chris. Chris: We're seasonal swinging in a different way. I mean, October, yeah, 400. Every other time, yeah, about 100. Tim: Nena. Nena: January, right now, it's like maybe, honestly, about 15 books a day, which is, like, wow, it's January. And then in December, it was more like 150. So it's pretty wide swing. And we're still new. We're just a baby. And we show growth pretty much every month. Tim: And Penny, last word. Penny: Yeah, all over the place. I would say anywhere from 50 to 500, depending on the day and the time of year. We count transactions, and our transactions pretty much stay at around 50 a day for, like, regular days, and then on big days, jump up to, like, 100 on weekends kind of idea more than the individual books. Tim: Yeah. And if you're a publisher, you can get some of this data in BNC Sales Data if you have publisher views turned on and the retailers are contributing data. So you can see that, what the average sale's like. I just want to thank you so much, Chris, Nena, Chandler, and Penny for joining us today. Before we go, we'd love it if you could provide feedback on this session. We'll drop a link to the survey in the chat. Please take a couple of minutes to fill it out. We'll also be emailing you a link to a recording of this session as soon as it's available. To our attendees, we invite you to join our upcoming session, "Trending Now: Book Subjects on the Move in the Canadian Market," scheduled for February 27th. Additionally,
  • 16. we have early bird tickets available for our upcoming ONIX and Thema training. Learn more about these upcoming events and register through the link we'll be dropping in the chat. Find information about all upcoming sessions and recordings of previous sessions on our website, bnctechforum.ca. Lastly, we'd like to thank the Department of Canadian Heritage for their support through the Canada Book Fund. And thanks to you all for attending. Thank you so much. It was great to see you again. Good luck selling.