Around Indies

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Brier Books to Open in Kentucky

Brier Books, co-owned by Jay McCoy and Savannah Sipple, is opening in Lexington, Kentucky, with plans to sell general-interest fiction, nonfiction, and children’s books. “We’ll have a big focus on local, Kentucky, and Appalachian writers,” McCoy told the Lexington Herald-Leader.

Lexington author Jesse Donaldson appeared at the store at 319 South Ashland Avenue on October 24 ahead of an official soft opening set for October 27. “More than 60 people came to the shop tonight! The place was packed and everyone was so excited to see our new home and hear Jesse Donaldson read. Our hearts are full, and we can’t wait to keep getting to know you all as we serve our community!” the bookstore wrote on its Facebook page.

Book & Puppet Co. Opens in Pennsylvania

The Book & Puppet Co. has opened in Easton, Pennsylvania, with a special focus on children’s books, graphic novels, and gifts. It also boasts a puppet theater with shows every Saturday and Sunday.

The store is owned by longtime bookseller Andy Laties and his wife, puppeteer and teaching artist Rebecca Migdal. Laties is the author of Rebel Bookseller: Why Indie Bookstores Represent Everything You Want to Fight For — From Free Speech to Buying Local to Building Communities (Seven Stories Press). They describe their store as a “book, toy, and novelty shop and puppet theater dedicated to humor, play, silliness, and serious fun.”

Books & Mortar Opens Outpost

Books & Mortar
Books & Mortar's second location.

Books & Mortar in Grand Rapids, Michigan, has opened an outpost within The Sparrows Coffee Tea & Newsstand. The store-within-a-store sells a mix of stationery, cards, gifts, and books. Books & Mortar has been posting photos on its Facebook page while stocking and readying the new location.

Indie Publisher Two Dollar Radio Opens Bookstore

Independent small press Two Dollar Radio has opened its own combination bookstore, bar, and café in its hometown of Columbus, Ohio. Two Dollar Radio Headquarters celebrated its grand opening at 1124 Parsons Avenue on September 26.

Owners Eric Obenauf and Eliza Wood-Obenauf founded Two Dollar Radio in 2005, and have been publishing five to six books a year. They also started a small movie production company called Two Dollar Radio Moving Pictures.

The bookstore sells the press’ books as well as titles by other indie publishers. The bar serves cocktails, draft beer, and wine, and the café serves locally roasted coffee and vegan food. Designed to be an event space, the bookstore currently has a full calendar, including author readings, panel discussions, and such food-related offerings as guest vegan chefs for Sunday brunch.

San Francisco’s Dog Eared Books Marks 25 Years

Dog Eared Books is celebrating 25 years in San Francisco, California. With two locations in the city, Dog Eared Books sells new, used, and remaindered books as well as magazines, calendars, and notebooks.

Founder Kate Rosenberger told Mission Local that the business’ longevity is due to adapting to the changing city and shifting reader demands. “I used to call us a cultural oasis 25, 30 years ago when I first started doing that. And I think we are, still, to a degree — it’s definitely a different oasis,” she said.

Phoenix Books Celebrates Move, Anniversary

Phoenix Books' ribbon-cutting.
Phoenix Books' ribbon-cutting.

Phoenix Books of Essex, Vermont, held a ribbon-cutting on October 20 to celebrate the store’s recent move to 2 Carmichael Street as well as to mark 10 years in business. The store hosted an open house the next day that included refreshments, music, and a gathering of customers, booksellers, and authors.

Phoenix Books Essex moved to the larger space in July to gain more office, shipping, and storage space. Co-owner Michael DeSanto said the store’s new lease is for 10-years plus. “We love this community, and our customers have been strong supporters of Phoenix Books,” DeSanto said. The store was founded in 2007 by DeSanto and Renee Reiner. It has locations in Burlington, Rutland, and Chester, Vermont, plus a sister store in Woodstock.

Ellen Plumb’s Wins Grant to Buy Espresso Book Machine

Ellen Plumb’s City Bookstore in Emporia, Kansas, has won a $10,000 Jumpstart grant to buy an Espresso Book Machine, which prints books on demand in small batches. Owner Marcia Lawrence told the Emporia Gazette that this will be a boon to local authors.

“The Espresso Book Machine makes it possible for local authors to self-publish one book at a time,” Lawrence said. Customers can also use the machine to create keepsake books, like a collection of family recipes, Lawrence told the newspaper.

The grant was funded by a partnership between Emporia State University and the Kansas Department of Commerce. Lawrence plans to search for a used Espresso Book Machine and hopes to have it in place by spring.

Read Herring Is New Name for NewSouth

Read HerringThe NewSouth Bookstore in Montgomery, Alabama, has a new name and logo as of October 22. Now dubbed Read Herring, the store’s new motto is “Catch a Good Book.”

Managing Partner Brandie Johnson told Alabama News that the name change was done to differentiate the store from the NewSouth publishers in the same location. To generate awareness and excitement, the store held a contest for customers to find the store’s mascot hidden at various local businesses in town. “Find Harry at these businesses, take a picture of him, post it to Facebook using the hashtag #WellReadHerring, and be entered to win prizes,” the store urged. Prizes included gift cards and merchandise from the participating businesses.

North Carolina’s Country Bookshop Starting Publishing Service

The Country Bookshop in Southern Pines, North Carolina, is planning to offer publishing services to authors who want to self-publish their works, according to a report in The Pilot newspaper, which owns the bookstore.

Country Bookshop General Manager Kimberly Daniels Taws told The Pilot that she hears from many authors who come into the bookstore for guidance on how to self-publish their works. The bookstore plans to offer a range of publishing services, including project management, cover design and page layout, and consulting services.

“We decided to turn our customers’ interest in self-publishing into a business so we could assist them better. Whether they want a meeting to get counseling about how to navigate the territory to editing services to copywriting services,” Taws told The Pilot. The service is expected to start up in January 2018.

Denver’s BookBar Founds Children’s Book Festival

BookBar's children's book festival.
BookBar's children's book festival.

BookBar in Denver, Colorado, hosted the city’s first children’s literary festival on October 21. The event, which was held in the store and on its patio, attracted an array of children’s book authors, including Donna Cooner, Amy Dominy, Jason Gallaher, Jean Hanson, Todd Mitchell, Cathy Morrison, Dow Phumiruk, Heather Preusser, and Melissa Savage. Attractions included a magician, balloon animals, face painting, a bookmobile, writing workshops, and snacks.

“Our four-hour event drew hundreds of community families who closed out the festival with dancing along to the kids’ band Snack Time. This first annual event, along with Tattered Cover’s annual Teen Con in November, gives Denver a well-rounded young reader literary festival scene,” said BookBar owner Nicole Sullivan.