Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Another Email Newsletter Goes Out, and I Think About How Different Marketing Was at the Bookstore in the Past.

I was talking to Liz at Little, Brown getting our details together about Stacy Schiff's event for Cleopatra: A Life at the Milwaukee Public Library's Centennial Hall next Tuesday (October 4, 7 pm, free, buy tix to the Cleopatra exhibit at the Milwaukee Public Museum here).  She mentioned it would be nice for her to be able to put a note in her email newsletter saying she can't reply because she's working.  Needless to say, that's something you can't do at a big publisher.  Isn't it great being a little bookstore?

That said, I find that while the email is up, I can't get much else done.  I'm so glad Stacie is managing our Twitter deck because it just seems all-consuming to me.  I'm trying to remember what my life in the bookstore was like twenty years ago.  We had computerized our inventory at most of the stores before I started.  The Grand Avenue Schwartz get their inventory once a week on a fiche (plastic sheet that you read through a magnifier), which was also the way we checked stock from our wholesalers. We did our ordering through phone, though I actually did mail orders to sales reps in the 1980s.  With a stamp and everything. 

Folks still complain that we don't send out enough print newsletters, and if we had a little more time, we might do three instead of the two we do per year.  But there was a time that Schwartz sent out ten newsletters a year. Between the postage and the printing, the costs were quite high, which is why we got aggressively into using coop funds.  But that newsletter was only around for about 15 years.  When I started, there was no customer newsletter and our holiday catalog was a package that we purchased. We used an agency for ads and they had to be laid out with advance book jackets we'd receive from the publisher.

With my comments on Just my Type in the newsletter, one of our customers wrote back, saying she loved the book, and hadn't seen the website.  She in turn told me about the Hamilton Wood Type and Print Museum in Two Rivers.  She's attending the Wayzgoose type conference in November.  It's sold out, but there's a waiting list. Oh, to think about setting type for a book old school. It wasn't really that long ago. 

No comment on the rate of change and all that. Here's this week's email newsletter.

1 comment:

Diane Bacha said...

I second the tip on the Hamilton Wood Type Museum! It's kind of magical. But then, I'm a geek about those sorts of things.