A Bookshop Manifesto by the U.K.’s Nic Bottomley [3]

As part of last week’s Independent Booksellers Week [4] celebrations in the United Kingdom, bookseller Nic Bottomley, co-owner of Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights [5] in Bath, offered “a personal, undoubtedly incomplete manifesto for 21st century independent bookselling,” [6] aimed at spurring discussion and drawing media attention. The list features 13 items (for 2013), but Bottomley acknowledges that “any bookseller worth his salt could come up with another 13 just as valid!”

Here’s a sampling from Bottomley’s manifesto:

  • Do one thing differently every week.
  • Tell everyone what you’re doing. Tell customers what’s happening at your shop; tell publishers which of their books you’re selling hard; tell the press anything remotely interesting. It will come back to help you.
  • Never pay for advertising.
  • Copy good ideas from other geographically distant independent businesses.
  • Inspire 10 book-lovers every day; convert one book-agnostic every day.
  • Surround yourself with creative booksellers who love books as much as you and can wax on about them even better than you.
  • Use social media.
  • Use the time you were going to spend bitching about Amazon to work out, realistically, what your business needs from publishers. Tell the publishers.
  • Create a community. Hold events and book groups that are so good people will attend even if they’ve never heard of the author and that afterwards they’ll rave about to everyone they know.

For Bottomley’s complete manifesto, visit independentbooksellersweek.org.uk [6].