San Francisco Booksellers Partner for New “We’re Still Here” Ad

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Several weeks after the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association ran a half-page ad in the San Francisco Chronicle to let readers know that the area’s indie booksellers were alive and well, a group of San Francisco booksellers has pooled resources for a second ad, this time in the Bay Guardian. The new “We’re Still Here” ad for San Francisco stores was the brainchild of Pete Mulvhill at Green Apple Books.

To finance the ad, which appeared in Wednesday’s edition of the Bay Guardian, NCIBA Executive Director Hut Landon sent out two e-mails to the association’s 43 San Francisco-area members asking if they’d like to be featured in exchange for paying a share of the ad cost. NCIBA also approached the Guardian, the newspaper in which it inserts 120,000 catalogs every fall, for its best rates for a full-page ad.

The new ad, which was conceived and designed by Green Apple Books, features 15 area booksellers, including Bookshop West Portal, The Booksmith, Green Apple, Book Passage, Christopher’s Books, Modern Times Bookstore, Books Inc., City Lights, Readers Bookstores, Bibliohead Bookstore, and several specialty stores. Featured stores payed $140 each, plus $25 to list additional locations.

The booksellers were motivated to place the ad, in part,  by reaction to NCIBA’s first “We’re Still Here” ad, which was “extraordinary and all positive – from booksellers, sales reps, and publishers alike,” said Landon. “The Chronicle told us they also received feedback, which is unusual for ads.”

Whether booksellers in other parts of the NCIBA region would band together to run similar ads is undecided. “It’s a challenge as you get farther away from the city to find media that works for enough stores to make the cost worthwhile,” Landon said.