NVNR Children's Bookseller Retreat Take-Aways

Conference News,

The first full day of NVNR was divided between bus tours to area book shops and the bookseller "retreats" -- three hour long moderated discussions among store owners, store managers, or children's booksellers.

The Children's Retreat was led by Heidi Ashton Yoon, the Events Manager for the Children and Teens Department at Politics and Prose, in Washington, DC and Sally Sue Lavigne, owner of the Storybook Shoppe in Bluffton, SC.

The discussion ranged across many topics, including Author Visits, Book Bans, Creative Diverse Collections, and Fostering Community Partnerships.

Community Partnerships

  • Focus on doing book fairs with smaller schools that don’t have the opportunity to work with Scholastic
  • Ask local high school theater departments to dress up and help with themed story times
  • Advertise store field trips to local schools
  • Facilitate Bookshop registry for organizations that need help in your community
  • Promote Indie Commerce wish lists
  • Reach out to summer camps about stocking up on books they need (plan 6 months out)
  • Do more scavenger hunts with local businesses (in same vein as Let’s Find Waldo events)
  • Help local PTA with fundraising by hosting a “Book Night Out” in the store. A percentage of book sales go back to the school for one or two nights.

Author Visits

  • For local self pub authors, have them pay the store $20 for 3 hours on weekend to promote book. They do their own event registration (can use a free online reservation tool) and publicity. The store provides the space.
  • Take the event management class!
  • Try adult book fairs with local authors around different holidays
  • Make the kids events hands on experiences
  • Make arrangements with authors so that they visit the store and local schools on same day (multiple school visits paired with store events)
  • Ask authors you have partnerships with for introductions to other authors

Creating a Diverse Collection

  • Be sure to face out books for cultural holidays and celebrations (Have them on hand/in stock)
  • Shine a light on the new diverse titles that come out—give them a chance to sell
  • Create a display called “Diversify Your Reads”. Highlight joy, not trauma. Change up regularly
  • “Pride In Your Shelf” book spine stickers
  • Be sure to tag books in your system so you can easily find special topics that people are looking for
  • Use diversebookfinder.org
  • Amplify all diversity
  • Hire a consultant, if need be

Book Challenges

  • Consider having a moment of silence during Banned Book Week
  • Educate your customers-talk to them about the books being banned. Use empathy and understanding.
  • Strongly feel that we need an actionable plan (one concise document) from come ABA on monthly basis on what to do whether your specific store is facing challenges or not. We all need to support those stores that are struggling but how do we do it?