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Skylight Books Makes TV Debut

Television advertising is usually beyond the reach of independent bookstores and other small businesses. But Skylight Books has found a way that costs less than distributing a print newsletter.

The Los Angeles store's staff produced a 30-second spot with the help of filmmaker -- and customer -- Jamieson Fry. The ad will run 350 times over the course of a month on 10 Time Warner Cable channels through a new program Time Warner has developed to make advertising affordable for local businesses. The ads will be targeted to neighborhoods near the store.

Skylight's co-owner and general manager, Kerry Slattery, said TV gives the store the opportunity to reach a new group of potential customers. "While we have many loyal and enthusiastic regular customers, we need to reach out to more of our neighbors who have never visited us, never heard of us, or who haven't been here in a long time. This is an invitation to drop in -- or visit our website."

Subterranean Books' Blog Honored

The Subterranean Books blog was one of 13 St. Louis-area blogs recently named "must-reads" by the Riverfront Times. Store owner Kelly von Plonski selected three of her favorite posts to share with the newspaper, including "Ah, Melville! Ah, humanity!"

"The blog is so important to us. It's the means by which we spread the Subterranean ethos. It's a really great introduction to who we are as a store -- it's reflective of all of our personalities and when you're such a small store, the staff's personalities are the store's personality," said von Plonski.

BookCourt Launches Literary Magazine

The first issue of literary journal Cousin Corinne's Reminder, published by Brooklyn independent BookCourt, goes on sale this month.

The magazine, edited by BookCourt general manager Zack Zook, features writing by James Frey, Emma Straub, and Charles Bock, along with Brooklyn-themed comics and photography.

Zook plans to publish Cousin Corinne's Reminder twice a year.

Emerging Leaders Spread the "Indievolution"

"What's working for you?" is a question booksellers often ask each other.

Now, they are being encouraged to share their success stories every Monday, either through the Emerging Leaders Facebook page or on Twitter with the hashtag #indievolution.

This Monday, booksellers from a dozen stores offered examples of efforts that paid off:

  • Clinton Book Shop linked to the latest store newsletter on Facebook and increased mailing list signups by 10 percent.
  • King's Books generated new press coverage through a series of fitness events.
  • Loganberry Books found "promising" applicants by posting job openings on Twitter.