They say you never forget your first! The Solid State Books team was in New York City for five glorious days in June to mark our first foray into the publishing world as SSB! At BookExpo 2017 everyone we encountered was enthusiastic and truly positive about our venture. We felt buoyed by the unbelievable camaraderie and support that we felt from fellow booksellers and publishers alike.
We managed to spend time with many vendors and contacts on this trip. We spread the word about Solid State Books to everyone from the new chairman of the ABA Board to the publishing houses' publicity and marketing teams to the sales groups from all the national wholesalers. Taking care of business!
We enjoyed reconnecting with old friends and made many inroads with new friends and contacts! There are always a lot of folks to say hello to when we gather as an industry. It takes several days and an abundance of walking!
The most obvious bonus for us was a chance to visit some of the great bookstores of New York. We visited seven of them over the four days we were in the city. Three were in Brooklyn: Word, Greenlight Bookstore, and Books are Magic. And we even managed to take photos! It wasn’t an exhaustive list, but we did see many cool displays, great shelves, favorite books, and old friends.
We also visited four stores in Manhattan: Strand Bookstore, Posman Books, 192 Books, and Three Lives & Co. In short, we saw nearly all the bookshops in Chelsea. Alas, we were too tired to remember to take photos! Scott made his inaugural pilgrimage to the Strand. Hard to believe but yes, he was a first timer there despite 14 years in bookselling!
Now if we could just get the ABA to bring the Book Expo back to Washington again! That’s going to have to go on our “to-do” list...
Now that DC has plunged headlong into another steamy summer, it occurs to us that we are long overdue in bringing everyone up to speed on all of the exciting work that we have been getting done here at Solid State headquarters. We’ve been getting great help from all corners and it’s been a blast so far! Our planning phase is rapidly coming to a close, and we are set to enter our next phase.
Look out for an announcement very soon about our location! We’ll be signing our lease imminently, and when we do we will need your help to spread the news far and wide. As many of you know, we’ve been negotiating for an outstanding space on H St. NE, and we believe we’ve found a great, complementary landlord! We are excited to be close to some lovely local small businesses, and to provide the neighborhood with a much needed community hub.
Our fundraising campaign has been a great success, and thanks to everyone’s wonderful support, we’ve been able to achieve our Community Lending goal! Friends and family from 18 states and 4 countries have pitched in, and we are incredibly grateful! The final piece of our fundraising efforts is nearly complete as we are about to secure our banking relationship with a great community bank here in Washington.
Here’s a brief look at our second opening phase. It’s time for action! We will share a target date for opening the store, and hopefully this website will get some love as we ramp up our marketing and social media plans. We’ll be sharing a basic layout of the store as we begin the deeper planning with our architect and general contractor! Send us any bookstore ideas or photos you have; our goal is to have a warm and inviting space that will make everyone comfortable. We’ll also be building some of our bookcases and fixtures off-site and working hard to craft the inventory database that will be the beating heart of the store... or its vascular system... or some other appropriate anatomical analogy.
And if you are one of our Lenders, look out for the swag package that we will be sending out in July! Thank you once again for believing in Solid State Books!
That’s all for now, but we will leave you with one word. It comes to us from a great friend and a Lender to boot!
- Jake & Scott
Is there anything better than lounging around on a gorgeous Spring day? Shaking off the winter doldrums while attempting to retrain your skin to accept sunlight, the smell of blooming flowers in the air?
About the only thing that can improve this scenario is an iced coffee (or a cold beer) and a good book? Life's pleasures, both simple and fine all at once.
This is what I'm reading. I've heard pretty good things about it. Wonder if the author is touring...
Greetings from Solid State Books! This is our blog, where we will enthrall you with all of the sordid details on this sprint toward opening! We are still working hard to find the perfect DC home for Solid State, but we can share that we are looking at a potential space with our architect today. Fingers crossed! More to come later...
- Jake & Scott