Wednesday, August 11, 2010

New Business Start-Up Guide

The Women's Small Business Start-Up Kit

A Step-By-Step Legal Guide [With CDROM]

By Peri Pakroo
(NOLO, Paperback, 9781413311884, 520pp.)

Publication Date: May 2010

Since I finally extended our wireless connection into the living area at Paragraphs, I though it would be a good time to catch up with reading some e-galleys that have been waiting to be downloaded and reviewed. I must admit I am still not totally sold on the net galley and catalog experience. I certainly appreciate the green aspects -- especially when I am buried in paper and books the idea of killing fewer trees for printing review copies makes sense -- yet when I spend so much of my day looking at a computer screen I long for the relaxing feel of print on paper as I curl up in my favorite chair.

But I digress. The galley I opened was a new edition of The Women's Small Business Start-Up Kit. I am about 2 years late in reading this but after the first few pages I have decided it is never too late to get some additional guidance. Before opening Paragraphs I worked through several business guides and had some great advice from the publications offered by and recommended by the American Booksellers Association and so far things are going well; we are able to pay our suppliers, our inventory is growing along with our customer base, and I am still excited about the future. But, there are places in my planning that were definitely left a little up in the air -- things I thought I would finish after we opened. The problem with that scenario was the lack of time available once we got our feet on the ground and needed to keep up with daily chores meant those areas I planned on cleaning up later are still clouds on my horizon a year and a half after opening. So, I am ordering a copy of this great little guide and looking for some help in those areas which I still need to address.

While I have made an effort not to forget why I moved to south Texas to live on a sandbar and make sure the bookends and I along with Griff, when he is in town, get to the beach at least once or twice a week, I have had much less time to devote to establishing friendships than I expected. Pakroo identifies this as one of the topics she covers in her book.

Another important aspect of running a business that the book addresses is the development of organizational skills and systems. Now, this is what I need.

Anyway, I think this looks like a helpful and informative tool for any woman who is wanting to take the plunge into running a business. And even a year into this experiment I am looking forward to ordering the book so I can refer to it and get some ideas on making this madhouse run a little more smoothly.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Good Luck, Devin

Devin De La Garza is a member of the On the Beach Surf team and is headed to Florida next week to compete in the surfing finals.

I met Devin's dad shortly after we opened and have since become acquainted with his mother and Devin. This is a super family and Devin is an awesome kid.

While he has been on a surfboard since he was three years old, Devin does well in school, participates in several other sports, plays tennis at a competitive level and most of all is an incredibly polite and well-spoken young man. Of course, maybe what I like most about the DeLa Garza family is that they are all avid readers.

Anyway, when Devin came by yesterday with copies of this poster by, which he was selling to raise money for the trip to Florida, I was only too happy to help - and was pleased that he included Paragraphs in his efforts.

As a Colorado, mountain girl I don't know any of the surfing lingo so the best I can do is say - Good Luck, Devin and most of all have a great time. We are lucky to have such a fine young man representating the Rio Grande Valley.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Banned Books Week 2010

Banned Books Week 2010 will be held September 25 - October 2

ABFFE Affiliate Program to Include Bookmarks

Last year the American Bookseller's Foundation for Free Expression introduced an affiliate program with 2020 Vision from Sarasota, Florida.

Paragraphs has been pleased to participate in this agreement with 2020 Vision, an independent supplier of reading glasses since we are able to offer a nice selection while also supporting a cause that is important to anyone who values the free exchange of ideas, especially those found in books. Over the last 12 months, 2020 Vision has contributed $1 for every pair of reading and sunglasses sold to independent bookstores, and the result has been a donation of more than $12,000 to ABFFE.

Now, a new member has been added to the affiliate arrangement between members of the American Bookseller Association and the ABFFE.

emotionGallery, introduced their offer to contribute $1 for every 10 bookmarks it sells to independent bookstores at this year's Book Expo America. I have finally ordered and received our selection of bookmarks from emotionGallery.

“We were very pleasantly surprised by the reaction of all the booksellers we met at BEA,” Sebastien Guttmann, emotionGallery’s managing director, said. “It gives us even more confidence that our products will perform well in the American market.”

Each bookmark is animated 3-d. The dolphins jump, the horses run, the hummingbird has wings that flutter. I can't decide which my favorite is -- today I think it might be the gold fish that have fins that move and a mouth that opens and closes.

I love these bookmarks and I like the idea that our purchase of them also helps support freedom of expression. These are 3-d animated bookmarks and I think they are going to be a popular addition to our sideline selections at Paragraphs.