Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Bookseller's Insightful Tips for Author Events

Hey Booksellers,

I’m sure many of you plan events throughout the year. Today, I came across a fabulous blog post on Publishers Weekly’s ShelfTalker called “Author Event Tips.” It’s written by Josie Leavitt, co-owner of The Flying Pig Bookstore in Shelburne, Vermont. She says, “Events are fun. Yes, they are a lot of work, but when I look at my bestsellers for the year, the lion’s share of them are event books.”

Leavitt offers a great checklist of what to do once your event is confirmed. There’s advice for working with the author's publicist, getting the word out to local media, and notifying your customers through social media and e-mail blasts. If you’ve built up a nice following on Facebook and Twitter, and have a hefty collection of customer e-mail addresses, perhaps you can consider forgoing those pricey print ads. She also suggests stockpiling extra books signed by the author that can be displayed in a special section in your store devoted to autographed titles.

Have any other tips on hosting and publicizing events? Care to share some your own successful, heartwarming, funny, or bizarre event experiences? We’d love to hear them.

By the way, if there’s a Llewellyn author in your area and you’d like to inquire about the possibility of an event, please write to

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Subscribe to The New Moon!

For those of you who currently subscribe to our email newsletter for booksellers, The Moon, you may have noticed a few changes.

We've streamlined the look, included new features, and christened it with a new moniker: The New Moon. As with this blog, our goal is to really connect with you, our selling partners, each month and offer support, guidance, and resources with the aim of helping you grow and thrive in this ever-changing market.

The inaugural version of the New Moon was mailed yesterday. If you did not receive a copy in your email inbox, you can also view it here: The New Moon, May 2011 Issue.

You can also visit our website to subscribe to The New Moon, ensuring that it reaches you each month (please note that you will need to log in/register to be able to join our mailing list).

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Go Green, Save Money, and Impress Eco-Conscious Consumers

Hello again, Booksellers!

As Earth Day approaches, the issue of green takes center stage. How eco-friendly is your store?

I confess that I don’t have the greenest lifestyle. While I use a rain barrel, make an effort to buy local organic foods, recycle (including the plastics that the city won’t take), and keep a chemical-free lawn, there’s a lot more I could do. On my list this summer? Composting!

Taking steps toward a greener business can save a few dollars and win over environmentally conscious customers. Here are some green business practices to ponder.

Reusable Bags
Reusable bags are catching on. Some shops offer a small ten cents discount to customers who use them. Custom tote bags printed with your business name and logo is a great way to advertise your store and encourage customers to bring their own bag. Another option is to simply ask customers (buying only one or two small items) if they need a bag before automatically providing one. Those who are concerned about reducing waste will feel good about supporting an eco-friendly business.

Make the Leap from Print to Digital
Do you have a store newsletter? Think of how much paper and money you can save by switching from print to electronic. There are plenty of free resources for designing e-newsletters. One example is, which offers easy design templates and other services.

Rejuvenate or Update?
Consider ways to fix what you have, instead of replacing it. If buying new is the only answer, research energy-efficient options that will save you money in the long run. Here’s some information on rebates and funding for energy efficient updates from Energy Star.

Starve the Landfills
It’s amazing how many people have a use for what we consider trash. Before sending your junk to the landfill, check with to see if someone wants to take it off your hands.

More Easy Ways to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle:
• Seal air leaks in windows and doors.
• Replace incandescent light bulbs with fluorescent.
• Bring in plants to clean the air.
• Opt for paperless billing.
• Reduce junk mail by having your name removed from unwanted mailings.
• Coordinate a staff carpool or encourage employees to commute by bike or mass transit.
• Launch an in-store recycling program.

Have more ideas for reducing your carbon footprint? Please share!

I'll sign off now and leave you with some thought-provoking candidates for a book display.

Voices of the Earth: The Path of Green Spirituality

Sacred Land: Intuitive Gardening for Personal, Political and Environmental Change

Pagan Visions for a Sustainable Future

Ecoshamanism: Sacred Practices of Unity, Power and Earth Healing

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Enjoying a Visit with John Michael Greer

A few weeks ago we had the pleasure of a visit and book signing with author John Michael Greer. Author of several Llewellyn books, including the upcoming re-release of Monsters, we were excited to share with him some wonderfully witty and fun conversation, ask questions, and discuss his ideas for upcoming books and what he is currently working on.

Here John Michael Greer signs a copy of one of his books for Aquisitions Editor Elysia

Author John Michael Greer and Llewellyn Chairman and Author Carl Llewellyn Weschcke

A beautiful display of several of John Michael Greer's books

It was a wonderful experience to meet and greet one of our fabulous authors!

Magical Storekeeping: 5 Simple Feng Shui Tips for Booksellers

Hi Booksellers,

At last, spring is here. For us Llewellynites living in the frozen north, Minnesota to be exact, winter is a harsh and incredibly long, bone-chilling journey, provoking doubt as to whether the snow will ever melt. So when spring finally hits, we rejoice in a big way. Considering this is the season for new beginnings, it seems like the perfect time to introduce MoonLit, Llewellyn’s first blog for booksellers.

In keeping with the spring theme, we’ve asked author Tess Whitehurst to share some simple feng shui tips and advice for the store environment.

Have some “magical storekeeping” ideas of your own? Please share! We would love to hear your comments on how spring inspires you to enhance the energy of your shop.

Position Yourself for Success
5 Simple Feng Shui Tips for Booksellers

To the modern-day seeker, a bookstore is not just a store. It’s a temple, a repository of secrets, a mystery school, a gathering place, and an uplifting refuge from the everyday world. To those who are looking for new insights, it’s an open door and an initiation. To those who are in need of healing or guidance, it’s a bright new dawn of hope after a long, dark night of the soul.

To draw new customers into your mystical haven, to make your existing customers’ bookstore experience as enticing as possible, and to position your store for long-term success, there are a number of simple feng shui considerations you might like to employ.

Say it Loud and Say it Proud

Never underestimate the power of signage. A sign that succinctly defines and describes who you are and what you offer—and one that’s easily readable from the street—will get you noticed. (Or, if your store has an entry that’s not visible from the street, do your best to clearly mark the entrance with strategically positioned signs and arrows.) By removing all possible confusion and giving your potential customers an obvious mental picture of how to arrive and enter—and what to expect once they do—they will feel much more comfortable about the prospect.

Invite, Welcome, and Entice

The front door is the place where blessings and abundance enter your business—so it’s exceptionally important to make sure that it’s noticeable, welcoming, and open! For example, make sure that any plants placed nearby are healthy and vibrant, and perhaps bring in a big red doormat to “roll out the red carpet” and cheerily welcome in your clientele.
Allow Breathing Room

When we enter a new environment, we need a moment to come into the present and orient ourselves to our new surroundings. That’s why—as opposed to an explosion of displays and products just inside the door—it’s best to leave a bit of relatively open/clear space in this area for your customers to transition into the environment and serenely assess what surrounds them. (If you want to observe this dynamic first hand, observe what your customers gravitate to immediately upon entering the store. You’ll likely notice that products that are too close to the entryway often go unnoticed.)

Embellish the Bathroom

What turns a good shopping experience into a great one? You guessed it: a magical bathroom. Your customers will love you for it—so why skimp in this area? Have fun with it. For example, you might paint it a whimsical color, hang a sparkly crystal in the window, and/or display attractive and uplifting artwork.

Create Ambiance

Always remember the music! The right music can transport the listener to another realm, and is a key ingredient to bringing out the desirability of your products and enticing your customers to linger and return. Choose something entrancing and pleasant that seems to blend seamlessly with the mood of the store.

Tess Whitehurst is a Los Angeles-based feng shui consultant and the author of Magical Housekeeping: Simple Charms and Practical Tips for Creating a Harmonious Home. Visit her online at

Tess on her favorite bookstore:
Alexandria II in Pasadena, CA will always occupy a special place in my heart because it was the first metaphysical bookstore I ever had the pleasure of finding myself in. I’ll never forget how awestruck I felt as I explored it those first few times.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Welcome to MoonLit

Hello Booksellers and welcome to MoonLit, Llewellyn’s blog for the trade.

Ever reminisce about what brought you to the book biz? While it’s not the most lucrative industry, it’s never dull either, especially these days. Obviously, most of us involved in this time-honored trade care deeply about promoting ideas, ideologies, and new perspectives that just might change someone’s life—or change the world.

To be honest, these lofty ideals are not really what brought me here. I’m a fiction junkie for the most part. Really, any book that tells a good story satisfies. (A couple of my fave Llewellyn titles are House of Spirits and Whispers and The Sin Eater’s Last Confessions. Both absolutely riveting!)

At the heart of what draws any of us to this unpredictable and endlessly exciting business is, most certainly, a love of books. Along with this passion, booksellers and publishers share many of the same goals. We’re in this together, right? There’s undoubtedly a lot we can learn from each other.

MoonLit offers a chance for us to really connect with you, our selling partners, develop an understanding of your unique needs and challenges, and build a healthy relationship beneficial to us all. We consider it a forum to offer support, guidance, and resources—all with the purpose of helping retailers grow, thrive, and navigate the twisty-turny, ever-changing marketplace.

We also hope MoonLit will spark a productive exchange between booksellers. Anecdotes, advice for newbies, debates, words of inspiration, and laments are all welcome here.

Have an idea for a blog topic? Please join the conversation and leave a comment. And be sure to come back soon!


Sunday, April 10, 2011

And the IPPY Award Goes to . . .

The 2011 Independent Publisher Book Awards, or IPPYs, have just been announced and we’re absolutely thrilled that two Llewellyn titles have been recognized. Congratulations Claudia Cunningham and Kathryn Harwig!

Biting Back: A No-Nonsense, No-Garlic Guide to Facing the Personal Vampires in Your Life
by Claudia Cunningham
Silver Medal Winner (Self-Help category)

Claudia Cunningham presents a powerful strategy for dealing with freeloading friends, suffocating spouses, harmful habits, and other “vampires” who drain your heart, mind, and spirit. This engaging and indispensable guide—based on spiritual principles the author used to overcome dependency—teaches you how to cope effectively with toxic relationships and beliefs. Cunningham features excerpts from her “Ask the Slayer” column and personal anecdotes illustrating how she vanquished her own vampires. You’ll learn how to take responsibility for your life, establish strong boundaries, and arm yourself with an arsenal of self-knowledge and confidence. With the incisive wisdom in Biting Back, you’ll be equipped to defeat any Draculas you encounter.

"A serious how-to with solid advice for pinpointing saboteurs and removing them from our lives forever." —New Age Retailer

The Return of Intuition: Awakening Psychic Gifts in the Second Half of Life
by Kathryn Harwig
Bronze Medal Winner (New Age / Mind Body Spirit category)

The Return of Intuition reveals the little-known, widespread phenomenon of profound intuitive awakening occurring in adults—usually around the age of fifty. Psychic medium Kathryn Harwig has helped thousands of clients understand, nurture, and embrace their newfound psychic awareness. Their inspiring stories highlight the transformative power of intuition and reveal how this life-changing gift can be used to help others, receive messages from friends and family in spirit, and gain new levels of confidence, courage, and clarity. Harwig offers tips for enhancing your own intuition and encourages those over age fifty to reclaim their once-revered roles as elders and sages by passing on spiritual wisdom to a new generation.

"A lively read, with a message of hope and transcendence."—New Age Retailer

Independent Publisher launched the IPPY Awards program in 1996 to “bring increased recognition to the deserving but often unsung titles published by independent authors and publishers.”

On May 23rd, medal winners will be honored at a gala awards ceremony in New York.