And we’re off…

In the Fall of 2012, as the marketing manager for Watermark Books & Cafe in Wichita, Kansas, I served on a panel at the ABA Education Day in Minneapolis. The topic was “Non-Traditional Events” and I presented ideas for trunk shows, Book Club Sunday, Literary Feasts, etc. During the Q & A session following the presentation, I remember one gentleman asking, with a huge sigh, “How do you find the time or energy to come up with new ideas?” My answer? Every new idea I have is a solution to an existing problem. Trunk shows made it possible for customers to browse through higher priced or forthcoming books before they made a commitment to order. Book Club Sunday enabled us to present our favorite reads to a captive audience. It’s not as though I sit around and come up with things to add to my to-do lists. Instead, I create and implement time-saving solutions.

The idea for Books & Whatnot was born that day. Many booksellers are in the business, first and foremost, because we love books. Some of us have business degrees, but fewer have marketing experience. We have a lot on our collective plates, so to think about the things a good marketer should do quickly becomes daunting. That’s where Books & Whatnot comes in.

I’ve been working in the marketing field for more than 20 years. I spent 10 years at advertising agencies and the last 13 at the bookstore. With Books & Whatnot, I’ll use the knowledge I’ve gleaned to compile a daily marketing cheat sheet… 3 or 4 items you can do each day to promote your book store. Do what you can. Ignore the rest. Some ideas will be “300 second” items for you to accomplish if you only have 5 minutes. Others will be things you can tackle if you have more time. If I post something on Facebook that you like, steal it. Don’t even give me credit.

And if you have specific questions for me, I’d love to hear from you. You can reach me at

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