Video: Steads in Studio

You know I’m a sucker for a good studio tour. Most of your customers are, too. This video features a studio that Caldecott Medal-winners Erin and Philip Stead created from a 100-year-old barn in Michigan.

The Steads recently published The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarinea book that Mark Twain started, and Philip and Erin finished, and I visited with Philip about it a few weeks ago for the Marginalia podcast.

Their respective websites are beautiful. Here’s Philip’s and here’s Erin’s.

National Book Award Whatnot

National Book Award Whatnot

Congratulations to all of the National Book Award winners announced last night.

Below are some of my favorite tweets from a couple of the winners as well as an audio clip from fiction winner Jesmyn Ward. I recently interviewed her for the Marginalia podcast and I asked her if her awards–the National Book Award and MacArthur fellowship–affected her writing. This clip was a favorite from our conversation. (To hear it–and see a nifty SoundCite feature from KnightLab–click on the paragraph below.)

“I don’t have any of my awards at my house. I bring them all to my mom’s and she keeps them at her house. So out of sight, out of mind. You know, it helps so that I can forget them, in some ways, when I’m writing. Of course, when I come out of the writing daze I remember that I’ve been really lucky and that I’ve won these things. But while I’m writing I can’t think about it. It really affects my creative process.”

New employees? Show them off.

I saw an employee nametag at the grocery store the other day, and just above the name ‘TONY’ was a little sticker that read, “I’m new!”

I thought this was nice to know, because it made me a little more forgiving when ‘TONY’ couldn’t direct me to the cream of coconut. It also made me appreciate when he joined in my search, explaining, “This is how I learn.”

I recently wrote a post about ‘exposing’ your staff to your customers through images, specifically by showcasing their smiling faces on the staff page of your website. Meeting ‘TONY’ reminded me that new hires warrant a mention in both the store newsletter and on social media. You do not have to post a long biography. Instead share an image with something like:

“Jordan joined the Whatnot team this week! It might take her a few days to learn where the key to the towel dispenser is located, but if you’re looking for help in the art history section, she’s your gal.”

And if your new hire tweets about books a lot, you can encourage your followers to get to know her through a tweet of your own. Snap a quick pic and post something like:

Meet our newest bookseller @Jordan. (And follow her! She really knows her #bookstuff. 📚)

And don’t forget to introduce your new employees to your regular customers as you see them. It’s likely that they’ve invested a lot in you, too, and an introduction goes a long way in making them feel appreciated. It’s time to check bounces. It’s time to check bounces.

When I send an issue of Books & Whatnot to your inbox, I use a program called Campaign Monitor. I also use Constant Contact on a daily basis for several of my clients. It’s when I look at campaigns and all of the open rates and click throughs involved that I’m reminded of the differences in various email marketing service providers.

Today we’re going to tackle bounces.

My Favorite Tweet of Late

I really liked this tweet from Magers & Quinn Booksellers in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Here’s why:

  • I love the use of humor.
  • I really like that it offers a ‘peek behind the curtain’ at the alluring lives of booksellers.
  • I like that it has broad audience appeal. Booksellers and non-booksellers alike will smile.
  • It’s a gentle reminder that there are books to be bought. Preferably sooner rather than later.

Follow Magers & Quinn on Twitter @magersandquinn.