Interview: A Good Book Bookstore

Hi Julie,

Thanks for taking the time to share news from "A Good Book."

About A Good Book:

RZBR: I know the address of your store is quite prominent on your site (great new design btw), however in your own words--give us a feel of your store location?

AGB: Well, the store is located at the corner of a busy 4-way intersection in a quaint downtown-like shopping area of a small community called Woodlawn Village. The store sits between an old fashioned bakery and pharmacy that have both been her for over 20 years.

RZBR: What prompted your choice of location and how long have you been in that location?

AGB: I grew up in this community and the building which had been vacant for over 3 years was perfect. The owner said she was waiting for the right type of business that complimented the community. I opened my doors on March 18, 2006.

RZBR: Of all the occupations available--what would you say was the primary factor in your choice to be the proprietor of a bookstore?

AGB: I have been a loan officer for over 4 years and the ingnorance I often faced by individuals wanting to purchase a home made me want to help people educate themselves about finances and personal growth.

RZBR: I've learned from experience that anything worthwhile I wanted to accomplish was accompanied by trials and tribulations before I arrived at the
triumphs. What would you say was your most trying moment and how did you
overcome it?

AGB: My most trying moment was obtaining the funds to open my bookstore. Being in the mortgage field, learning to invest in real estate and knowing how to have and maintain good credit which I learned through READING helped me overcome this obstacle. I own several rental properties and was able to refinance and use equity from one of my properties to personally fund the business. I never took out any loans from the bank and I don't have any debts under my store.

RZBR: On the other hand--what was your most triumphant moment?

AGB: I got the idea to open my store in November 2005 and in a matter of 4 months I opened my store on march 18, 2006. I knew nothing about the bookselling industry. One day I will write a book ... "How I Opened a Book store in 4 Months".

About Your Customers:

RZBR: What is your store's target audience?

AGB: Anyone who wishes to improve themselves spiritually, financially and personally through the power of reading.

RZBR: In your experience what seems to best attract your customers?

  • Book cover?
  • Content?
  • Price?
  • Book placement?

AGB: The appearance of the store. Patrons always compliment on how good the store smells (I burn incense and oils), how nice and clean and how serene it is. (I always try to play some type of smoothing music-jazz, etc).

RZBR: Do you note a hesitance in your customers to purchase self-published books?

A: Rarely. I have a section specifically for local self-published authors who have actually walked into my store and asked me to carry their books. People shop this section just like any other section.

RZBR: Where do you note more growth? With your customers in person? or via your Web site?

A: I am in the process of tweeking my website so that I can produce more sales with it. It is a challenge that I will hopefully soon overcome.

A Word to Authors:

RZBR: What do you look for in choosing a title to be carried in your store or Web

AGB: Well, I am not very picky on what type of literature I carry. I believe that every person has a story and that you can learn something from reading any book.

RZBR: Are you more conservative in your choices for your store vs your Web site? Why or why not?

AGB: No, the same titles I carry in-store will be available on the website.

RZBR: What pleases or displeases you most about the growth of urban fiction?

AGB: What pleases me is that more people--more importantly, our people are beginning to read which is a long way from before. What displeases me is that sometimes our urban fiction titles can make it seem ok to be called a bitch, be a drug dealer, stripper, sex fiend, etc.

RZBR: From the viewpoint of the storeowner, if there was one piece of advice you'd give a prospective author, what would it be?

AGB: Write from your heart, believe in your book and treat it like a sure enough business venture. I had one author tell me, "my book is the new drug and I gotta get this product on the streets".

AGB: Thanks for having me.

RZBR: Thanks for consenting to share.

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