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Bookstore Article in NY Times

Bookstore Article in NY Times

Jonah Engel Bromwich had a cool article called “What it Takes to Open a Bookstore” in the NY Times yesterday, about Greenlight Books in Brooklyn. The owners—Jessica Stockton Bagnulo and Rebecca Fitting—weren’t able to get a traditional loan when they opened their first location, so they hit up friends and family and raised about $75K. Now for their new shop, they went back to the well and brought in ~$225K from 95 backers.

This is a model that has worked for a lot of other bookstores (an unfortunate necessity, apparently). Bromwich’s article lists some of them:

The lessons from Greenlight are being put to use in other places. Brad Johnson, the store manager of a location of a California bookstore chain, Diesel, is using a community lender program that draws direct inspiration from the Brooklyn store.

Janet Geddis, the founder and owner of Avid Bookshop in Athens, Ga., also used a version of the community lending idea to open her first location, also using several other lines of support, including a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo.

Emily Russo, the co-owner of a bookstore named Print in Portland, Me., used an even smaller community to raise money for opening the store, putting together about half the necessary capital with the help of her parents and her husband.

And a Bronx-born entrepreneur, Noëlle Santos, is relying partly on Indiegogo and on her own savings to open The Lit Bar in the borough.

Geo Ong, who has worked at Diesel and will manage the new Greenlight location, said that the phenomenon of independents opening with these sorts of models across the country gave the lie to a recent narrative that “bookstores don’t succeed.”

Read the whole article, which focuses not just on financing but also location, design, and purchasing models at the Times.

I want to open a bookstore. I have a good name and a good idea for it, like I always do. I’m officially registering my interest in this post.

And here’s a cool spot, Lithic Books, which we wrote about here a while ago.

Photo by KkleinRN

Adam Robinson
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Adam Robinson

Adam Robinson lives in Atlanta and runs Publishing Genius Press. He is the author of two poetry collections, Adam Robison and Other Poems and Say Poem.

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