Left-Bank Books’ Holiday Shopping Program

The folks at Left Bank Books in St. Louis, MO, have developed a new Online Personal Shopping Program, and they are introducing the service through a film created by staff and friends of Left Bank titled A Christmas Special.

Lauren Wiser, Marketing and Publicity Manager at Left Bank Books, says they’ve divided this full 16 minutes director’s cut into five segments–or “commercials”–that they’ll be sharing on their Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube Channel.

And this is how they’re promoting the new program:

Yes, it’s time for door buster sales, long lines, cranky kids and hard to please relatives. Lucky for you, Left Bank Books is the anti-stress holiday solution! Let us help you take the stress out of your holiday shopping this year. All you have to do is tell us about your loved ones and we’ll send you a personalized recommendation list for everyone on your list! You can buy the books we suggest from the comfort of your couch and we’ll wrap and deliver them to you.
The cost for this service is only $5 for each person on your list, which buys you some extra time this holiday season to take in a matinee at the Moolah instead of wedging your car into a space at the Galleria. No algorithms, just fantastic customer service! Customers can sign up at http://www.left-bank.com/product/online-personal-shopper

Wiser says that although they’ve just released the commercials, they’ve already received great response.

Friday Whatnot: November 21, 2014

In what is becoming a tradition for the organization, the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) released a video book trailer of B.J. Novak’s best-selling children’s book, The Book With No Pictures. The video features authors who appeared at SIBA’s Discovery Show in September in Norfolk, each of whom reads a page from what has been described as a “wildly funny” and “irresistibly silly” book about the joys of made-up words, wacky sounds, and reading out loud to kids (both the real kind and the inner-child kind).


If you’ve ever found yourself saying, “damn autocorrect” you probably agree that while automation can be good, a human touch is better. This piece from Entrepreneur illustrates how automation can be really, really bad: The New England Patriots Twitter Fiasco Was Wrong for So Many Reasons

Earlier this week Oxford Dictionaries announced their 2014 Word of the Year: “vape”

According to The Two-Way on NPR:

The word can be a noun or a verb; it beat out contenders such as “bae” and “normcore.”

Lincoln Michel at Electric Literature found this “The Science of the Movie Screenplay” infographic. I find the graphics somewhat appealing.


#GiveaBook Social Media Campaign Announced

#GiveaBook_animation_200pxToday, Penguin Random House announced the launch of #GiveaBook, a newly created social media campaign designed to promote books as gifts this holiday season and give back to U.S. children in need. For every use of the hashtag #GiveaBook on Facebook and Twitter before December 25, Penguin Random House will donate a book to the Save the Children organization, up to 25,000 times.

The #GiveaBook campaign officially begins on “Small Business Saturday” (November 29) and runs through December 24.  Born out of brainstorming sessions by Penguin Random House sales reps,#GiveaBook was designed to encompass books and authors from all publishers, for readers of all ages.

Follow the campaign on Twitter @giveabooknow and on Pinterest at www.pinterest.com/giveabooknowand become a friend on Facebook at www.facebook.com/giveabooknow . In conjunction with last night’s National Book Awards ceremony in New York City, the first #GiveaBook author videos were posted on the #GiveaBook Facebook page.

The campaign is issuing a #GiveaBook video challenge that encourages people everywhere to name a book they’re giving to a friend and why; challenge three friends to create their own #Giveabook videos; then post these videos online using the #GiveaBook hashtag.

I like the way this “video challenge” campaign is organized. Participants are asked to give a book to someone they know, and just the use of a traceable hashtag prompts one organization to donate a book to a charitable organization. Those who participate know exactly what is expected and what will happen if they use this hashtag.

Booksellers are invited to create your own #GiveaBook challenge videos to share with your customers via social media, their websites, and e-mail newsletters. You can also created #GiveaBook displays in your stores.

Marketing materials are available for download at http://tinyurl.com/GiveaBook.

Photos ready? Update your bios, too.

Yesterday I wrote about gathering together photos and image of your store and staff. Today, take 300 seconds and gather bios of staff. These are important to have on hand in case you’re ever asked to give a talk at a regional trade show or a local book club.

When writing your bio, it’s important to include professional successes. But don’t forget to share a little about your personal life. You’ll want others to relate to you and understand that you’re human.
If you already have a bio written, take a look at it to see if it’s current. If you have more than one, clearly name the file you want to keep and then delete the others.

Finally, if you’re ever asked to provide an introduction, bios can be easily adapted. So if you have extra time in these 300 seconds, go ahead and adapt it and save the file as an introduction.

Vivian Apple at the End of the World

When a friend recently began a sentence with “As far as end-of-the-world novels go, …” I understood that a new genre had been realized.

In this darkly comedic road trip novel, seventeen-year-old Vivian Apple returns home after the alleged “Rapture” to find her devout parents gone and two mysterious holes in the roof. Vivian never believed in the Rapture, or the uber powerful Church of America. Now that she has been left behind, Vivian’s quest for the truth begins.

Vivian Apple at the End of the World by Katie Coyle is scheduled to be released on January 6, 2015. If you want to share this via Twitter, Coyle is active at this account.