Bookstore & Expansion
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The increased book sales will expand the quality of authors that will visit our book festival (the largest in the Carolinas), our authors in schools program (which reaches 7,000 students annually), and participate in our year-round author talks. Having a brick and mortar, physical space will allow us to double our annual outreach to 100 + events a year to over 50,000.
Additional facts about our plans:
- This new space will incorporate Bookmarks' offices, a meeting and conference room, and a nonprofit independent bookstore. By selling books, we will increase the quality of our authors who will participate in our programs and who will visit Winston-Salem.
- In the past, we could not hold as many events because we had to pay for space rentals, etc. This will open up the opportunities to have niche authors for 20 attendees as well as larger events for 75.
- Bookmarks will not handle the café as this is outside our talents and interests; however, we want to have this amenity to enhance peoples' reading and writing experiences in our new space. Coffee, beer, and wine will be served along with lunch and other snacks by Foothill's Brewery, who will rent the adjacent space and use it for event space, which Bookmarks will have access to for occasional programming.
- Our budget includes four months of expenses in reserves, so we can be as fiscally responsible as possible.
- We have been selling books for over three years now, and this has been part of our strategic plan since 2011. This is a natural next step for our organization.
- Publishers send authors on tours to independent bookstores, so having a retail space allows us to host more authors without paying speaker or travel fees - which is our current way of operating and helps continue to make our nonprofit's dollars go further.
- More authors visiting Winston-Salem and our community means more authors who can participate in the Authors in Schools program.
- A space open year-round helps us promote the Festival, our Summer Reading Program, and many other events.
- The children's area in the retail space allows us to greatly increase children's programming
- We want people to read books and we are committed to breaking down the barriers that prevent that—whether those barriers are apathy, the lack of a place to get good advice and buy good books, the need for a community of fellow readers, or illiteracy. Our Authors in Schools and Summer Reading programs as well as cooperation with other organizations help promote literacy.
Images of Bookmarks' new home at 636 1/2 West Fourth Street (click to view full size)
"Our View: Foothills, Bookmarks will make fine combo." Winston Salem Journal
"Bookmarks Signs Lease, Plans Partnership with Local Brewery." Bookselling This Week (American Booksellers Association)
"Update: Bookmarks Bookstore in Winston-Salem, N.C." Shelf Awareness
"Literary nonprofit Bookmarks and Foothills Brewery partnering on gathering place" Winston-Salem Journal
"Foothills Brewing partners with bookstore on new W-S gathering space, cafe" Triad Business Journal
"Our view: A city of literary achievement" Winston-Salem Journal
"Bookmarks Finds Bookstore Site in Winston-Salem, NC" Shelf Awareness
"Bookmarks Picks New Downtown Space for Bookstore." Winston-Salem Journal
"Wanted: An Indie Bookstore in Winston-Salem" Shelf Awareness
"Ed Wilson and Emily Herring Wilson: Missing downtown: Our own bookstore" Winston-Salem Journal
"Our view: Bring on the Bookmarks bookstore" Winston-Salem Journal
"Nonprofit Bookstore Coming to Winston Salem" Publishers Weekly
"Bookmarks Explores Opening Bookstore in Winston Salem" Shelf Awareness
"Downtown bookstore planned" Triad Business Journal
"Bookmarks announces exploratory plans for downtown bookstore" Winston-Salem Journal