Policy Makers

I don’t know about you, but it’s been my experience that people tend to not question policy. I even tested the theory at home. Before the No Call List went into effect, I set a ‘policy’ for telemarketers. “I’m sorry. Our policy does not allow for telephone solicitations at home.” The reaction? They would apologize and end the call. Who’s going to argue with policy?

Today, take 300 seconds and make a list of subjects about which you continually return to to make decisions.

  • Author events.
  • Book clubs.
  • Donations requests.
  • Self-published books.
  • Returns.
  • Employment applications.
  • Discounts.
  • Website and email privacy.

After you create the list, as you have time, create policies for each list. Share the policies with the staff and, if appropriate, post them on your website. In the coming days, we’ll look at policies set by your fellow bookstores through some Quick & Dirty Results. Tomorrow we’ll look at self-published book policies and on Friday we’ll find out what start times work best for bookstore events.

By taking the time to outline your policies now, you’ll save so much time in the future. Plus, having a policy in place will keep the staff on the same page, relaying the same message.

Sometimes you might want to make exceptions for policies. But make sure it stays the exception, and don’t let it become the rule. Because having a policy in place means you’ll no longer have to make it up as you go along.


Beth Golay

Beth is a reader, writer, marketer and Books & Whatnot founder. Even though she knows better, she's a sucker for a good book cover and will positively swoon if a book is set in appropriate type. @BethGolay