300 Seconds: Back To Reality

Do you have just 300 seconds to devote to marketing today? Take those 5 minutes to ease back into reality if you’re just getting home from Winter Institute, or to just do a mental reset if you never left.

If you have been at Winter Institute, this might mean implementing a new idea borrowed from another store. Or it just might include looking through those business cards you collected and adding action items to your to-do list. Did you promise a publisher a review? Publishers, did you promise a bookseller a galley? Add these to your list and attach a deadline. (And if you can delegate, even better.)

What items on your to-do list are weighing on your mind? Have they actually been added to your to-do list? Sometimes the act of writing down your tasks and prioritizing them allows you to free your mind to focus on the task at hand.

Sometimes a long to-do list can be daunting. (Mine is so long I’m almost embarrassed.) But if you just tackle it one item at a time, you’ll be able to make good progress even if it’s in 300 second increments.

Camp Workman Sign-Up Time

I know I’m still hibernating, but summertime will be here before you know it. In fact, Workman Publishing just launched their 2018 Camp Workman program and bookstores can sign up now.

I probably should say relaunch. If your bookstore has participated in Camp Workman in the past, take note. This season is a little different.

“This is actually a relaunch of a program that Workman ran for many years but had fallen by the wayside,” says Moira Kerrigan, director of marketing for Workman Publishing. “We’ve rethought out and redesigned the whole kit and I think it feels really fresh and fun and exciting!”

The idea behind Camp Workman is that bookstores can sign up to host events throughout the summer (or just an individual event) under their own name. For example: Camp Whatnot. And you get to use Workman-curated materials.

“We are working on creating a really robust collection of hands-on activities pulled from across the Workman family of titles that stores can download and pass out to campers,” says Kerrigan. “Activities range in theme from STEM, arts & crafts, fun & games, and nature.”

Not only will Workman Publishing provide the activities but they will also provide camp diplomas for the kids, store signage, and $75 co-op, plus special terms for orders.

Accounts can sign-up to participate by filling out this form.

Happy camping!

Video: I Am a Cat

Here’s a cute little video. A celebration of both individuality and community, I Am a Cat by Galia Bernstein shows we’re all more alike than we think… if we look closely enough.

If you’d like to share this video on your site, here’s the embed code:

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/SWYxtaZ-7rg?rel=0″ frameborder=”0″ allow=”autoplay; encrypted-media” allowfullscreen></iframe>

 

300 Seconds: No #backwardsbooks, please.

300 Seconds: No #backwardsbooks, please.

The #backwardsbooks design trend on Twitter and Instagram might be dividing the internet, but I’m fairly sure I can guess on which side of the debate most booksellers would side.

You know how much thought goes into cover design–and by extension–spine design.They’re meant to attract and intrigue. Covers and spines are meant to be seen. 

Take 300 seconds today and look around your store. Do you see colorful covers and spines? Or do you see stacks of white pages on shelf and table tops? To make full use of the design, rotate those stacks of books so the spines are visible to those approaching the display.

Do you have extra room on your shelves? Fill that space by turning a few books face-out.

These covers and spines are designed to sell. Let’s make sure they can be seen.

Review (Plus): ‘American Heart’ by Laura Moriarty

America’s Bookshelf Blurb:

TSA has regulations in place because of our nation’s threatened security from 9-11—imagine a world where we place our human threats in internment camps to ensure our safety. Sarah-Mary finds she is helping a wanted Muslim escape safely to Canada despite her own political views and know how.

America’s Review:

Sarah-Mary of Hannibal, Missouri finds herself having to uphold a promise to her brother to help an estranged Muslim find safety and shelter outside the walls of the United States. In Laura Moriarty’s new book, American Heart, she explores the depth found within the walls of our hearts and shatters the illusion of safety.

Sarah-Mary and her brother have been repeatedly abandoned by their mother, so they live with their religious, overzealous aunt. Sarah-Mary is forced to go to a private Christian school where the administration enforces a strict dress-code and moral judgments upon everyone who doesn’t think and believe as they do. The outer world and the news around Sarah-Mary doesn’t concern her until the moment her brother makes her promise to help Sadaf: a wanted Muslim woman. Sarah-Mary is a disappointment to many, but to her brother she is his world. She would move mountains for that little man, and in promising to help her brother, she opens her heart to help a Muslim.

This story is told by Sarah-Mary as she makes her way from small town, white majority, Midwest USA to the borders of Canada. Sarah-Mary uses her street smarts and her wits to help the ladies hitchhike across the Midwest while they encounter both unsavory characters and kind-hearted individuals who show Sarah-Mary and Sadaf evil and kindness can lurk in the most unsuspecting places.

Those unsuspecting places and people are what truly made me enjoy this book which offered a perspective on human nature I haven’t seen through the eyes of a teenage girl in this dystopian world of Muslim haters. Sarah-Mary was sheltered and naïve to the racism and bigotry that exist in the world. Through the glimpses of people encountered along the way, not only is Sarah-Mary’s perspective broadened but also the perspective of the reader who will turn the pages of this hitch-hiking adventure.

Books like American Heart offer readers a perspective of what could come to pass if we do not change our mindsets and those around us. Sarah-Mary offered her heart at the risk of losing her life to jail time or to murder from the nasty minds of individuals who would rather turn her in than help her save a life.

In the Classroom: Research Paper & Report by poster board

Have your students pick a nationality. See if they can interview someone from there. Write the five paragraph paper with a Works Cited page including facts about their culture, religion and customs. The main part of this assignment is the visual. Have your students create a 3D poster board, share their new found knowledge and display them on your classroom walls. Stay late one day after school and create a Scavenger Hunt worksheet based on the information your students have shared on their poster boards. Then have your students complete your worksheets while learning about their peer’s research. Like Plato and Aristotle, you want your students to become wiser than the teacher.


American Heart by Laura Moriarty (HarperTeen | 9780062694102 | January 30, 2018)