Sunday, May 3, 2009

An Update on How Things are Going--And this if Officially Grand Opening Week

Well, by grand opening, you should everything done, right? Not exactly. My mantra of "Every day is a little bit better" still holds true. Our books are beginning to come in through Jason, our accounting system is finally working such that Amie understands it (I'm hoping I'll be next) and we're beginning to get in our sidelines such as Moleskine journals, Galison boxed cards and stationery, and Melissa and Doug and Mudpuppy toys. Card orders from Madison Park and Artists to Watch are en route, as our stuffed animals from Kids Preferred.

Bev is particularly fond of the social notes line, boxed cards with a postcard-style enclosure. Shown is the popular Scandanavian Modern collection. We also have a matching journal and sticky notes. I was more of a fan of the dandelions, which are featured on our gardening table, next to our new whimsical wooden animal compasses, which are only $2.50.

Signage? Our permit for our banner is approved and I'm paying the fee on Monday morning. I expected to have a temporary banner up right away and a finished sign for our opening. Now it seems like the latter was for our opening and maybe the finished sign will be up for our one-year anniversary.

Customers are already talking about which sections they'd like to see bigger, and we're working on that. We've got more books coming in every area, but aside from kids, there's been a lot of talk about our mystery section, which probably calls for a second post. (Note: Anne's mystery group is reading John Dunning's Sign of the Book on May 19th). Also poetry, but that might have to do with the fact that our first three events were all poetry-oriented.

We know how important signage is, and we're trying to get that up; I'm not a fan of our signage typeface and wanted to change it; in the end, I decided there was a lot of money I could save by holding pat. It's a project for another year. (I'm not even positive what the typeface is: I should probably ask Barb at DTS images. I think the closest we came up with was Arial bold.

Our first bookmark is clever, but the design is effectively a bust. Sadly, I didn't really focus on this until after it was printed. We're going to chalk that up to a $35 lesson and redo it. For the next couple of days, you'll get a slightly pixilated version with a badly thought out border and dueling typefaces. I'm hoping Monday will be, not amazing, but improved.

If we play our cards right, we'll even have some tee shirts by the end of the week.


Here's a nice piece in this week's Shepherd Express about the closing of Schwartz and the opening of the two new shops. It seemed more like an article for February, when the Schwartz closing was announced, and I'm sad that, despite being a week beforehand, there was nothing about my wonderful grand opening events, but it's still a nice cover story, and should probably remind folks not to take these new independent bookstores for granted.

Here's a piece about our upcoming events with Jane Hamilton, Anita Shreve, Elinor Lipman and Mameve Medwed. And don't forget Mequon's Next Chapter has Elizabeth Berg coming. Whatever you say about the state of newspapers, we are very lucky in Milwaukee that we have local book coverage in our paper. Please consider subscribing--I do and I can read them in my store for free! Oh, and if you do, it wouldn't hurt to say you subscribe because of the book coverage.

We took an order for Anita Shreve's Testimony from a fan in Virginia!

Here's an interesting article in the Journal Sentinel about Mary Nohl, the folk artist of Fox Point who left an amazing legacy. We're hosting the authors on June 4th.

And this great article about the new edition of The Flavor of Wisconsin has left us scrambling for books. Thanks to Terese Allen who made sure we had an event booked (on June 11th) before the article went to press.

It looks like I'm going to be on Kathleen Dunn for pledge week this Wednesday, May 6th. Dunn's show is on WHAD from 10-11 AM. Here's a link to info about the show, and it also has Nancy Pearl's recent booklist. Here are the show archives.

On Monday, May 4th at 7 PM, I'm leading my first in-store book club since 1996 in Mequon for the wonderful novel, The Housekeeper and the Professor. Hope I'm not too rusty!


Paul Kozlowski said...

Daniel: Every time I read one of your entries two thoughts enter my noggin -- 1. Yours is one of the best bookstore blogs around cuz you write straight from the heart and head (both of which are so good!); and 2. I wish I lived in Milwaukee so I could be a regular customer. Hope your Grand Opening goes swimmingly.

Elizabeth said...

Wandered into your lovely shop for the first time today after moving into the neighborhood - love it! SO excited for the grand opening events this week. Best of luck, I'll be one of your regular customers from here on out.