Tuesday, February 28, 2012

March Issue of the New Moon Is Out--Check Your Mailbox!

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.

Our March issue of the New Moon was mailed this morning. This issue includes:
-Celebrating Earth Day At Your Store -Shelftalkers (The Essential Guide to Natural Skin Care, Navigating the Out-Of-Body Experience, Tarot Spreads, and Table Tipping for Beginners)
-April New Releases
-And Much More!

If you did not receive a copy in your email inbox, you can also view it here: The New Moon, March 2012 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).

Friday, February 24, 2012

Celebrating Earth Day at Your Store

Dear Booksellers,

It’s almost here—that special time for honoring the Earth’s rich bounty.

Earth Day officially takes place April 22, although many schools, businesses, and communities celebrate all week long. We invited Clea Danann, author of Sacred Land, to talk about how to bring the spirit of Earth Day to your store.

Bring Earth Day Alive
Clea Danaan

In today’s world of gadgets, customers expect hands-on experiences. Invite interaction with these magical, dynamic Earth Day displays.

These ideas can be adapted to your store and your interests and time. Have time for a big Earth Day celebration? Go all out, offering classes and transforming your whole store into a magical garden (I can just see it!). Or if it suits you better to be subtle and quick, just tuck a few of these ideas into the corners as they fit.

Craft an Indoor Garden

Set up a well-lit corner of your store with an indoor garden. Buy inexpensive planter boxes or pots from a local garden shop, fill with potting soil, and plant pansies, herbs, or lettuces. You may want to protect the floor with plastic sheeting or oilcloth.

Keep the soil moist, and pick off any browning flowers or leaves to keep the display fresh. Decorate your planters with crystals, glass balls (put them at the back out of reach of little hands), or figurines of fairies or animals. Next to the garden, put up a chalkboard or bulletin board with I Spy questions: Can you find the blue frog? The pink fairy? The toadstool?

Simply adding a few potted plants to a book display would also work well as an indoor garden.

For your Earth Day celebration, invite customers to plant a seed. Fill a large, accessible planter with fresh soil. Next to the planter, provide a dish of radish, marigold or chia seeds, purchased in bulk. Customers can plant a seed, offering a prayer for the Earth as they press it into the soil. Instead of one big planter, you might offer little pots made out of newspaper. (Here are instruction and a video for making newspaper pots.) You could also re-purpose yogurt cups or buy tiny peat pots in bulk.

Invite the Fairies

Fairies are guardians of the land; every Earth Day celebration should include a few fairies. If you have planter boxes in front of your store, encourage fairies to visit. Plant pansies, violets, or miniature roses—all favorites of the fair folk.

Wind chimes and sun catchers also draw curious Little People. Tiny furniture crafted by hand or from a garden catalog also encourages them to take up residence. For a unique and lighthearted workshop, offer an Earth Day class on making fairy furniture or fairy gardens.

To make a fairy garden, fill a re-used plastic container with soil. Plant grass seed or Johnny jump up flowers. Add a fairy figure, little frogs, and crystals. Fairy garden kits can also be purchased from toy and craft stores and would make another fun craft class. Or just make your own for the front counter or near a display of books on fairies.

Start a Worm Bin

Worm bins turn newspaper and leftover lunch scraps into garden fertilizer. Unlike regular compost, you can keep a worm bin in an apartment or store, tucked onto a shelf or under a table. They are also easy to make. (Here are instructions for making your own worm bin.)

Include a worm bin in your Earth Day book display. Use the vermicompost in your store garden or planters, or offer it to customers who appreciate the immense benefits of compost. You could also offer a class on making worm bins.

Heal the Waters

An interactive display that takes up very little space can help heal the planet’s water. Fill a glass jar with water and set it on the front counter where everyone will see it. With a little sign, invite people to send “love and gratitude” into the water, seeing that healing intention spread to the planet’s water. People can hold or touch the jar, sending positive intention to the planet.


Clea Danaan (Colorado) has been gardening organically for over fifteen years. She is the author of Sacred Land and Voices of the Earth. Her articles on gardening and environmental activism have appeared in Sage Woman and Organic Family. Visit her website.

Clea Danaan on her favorite bookstore:
“I love Elliott Bay Books in Seattle for the creaky floors and old wooden beams.”

Let us know how you’re planning to celebrate Earth Day this year!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Small Business Strategies in Our Changing Economy

Rhonda Abrams recently wrote a post for USA TODAY 's Money section, detailing the plight of the small business--and how the independent bookstore is the "poster child of the endangered retailer." In her post she highlights Kepler's in Menlo Park, CA, and what the store is doing to adapt to the changing times, in addition to providing some survival tips for small businesses.

Briefly, those tips include:
1. Diversifying the revenue stream.
2. Adding membership programs.
3. Creating new relationships with vendors.

Read the full post here.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Books to Inspire Us All This Earth Day

Earth Day is fast approaching. Each year, the month of April is a time when I'm reminded of the things I am doing to help our Mother Earth (recycling, reusing, actively reducing my carbon footprint by carpooling) as well as a time when I search out new ways to contribute to the effort (such as composting, becoming a "localvore," or making my own cleaning supplies).

I love that Llewellyn has so many books to inspire my green living aspirations; from cultivating a reverence for the Earth and all her inhabitants to creating my own skin care products, I can always find something new each year to try.

Of the many (and yes, there are many!) Llewellyn books on green topics below is a partial list of the ones that, in my humble opinion, should inhabit any green-lover's bookshelf:

To Cultivate Your Relationship with Our Mother Earth:
 Voices of the Earth, by Clea Danaan
Awaken your psychic powers, talk to nature, and hear her reply. Nature intuitive Clea Danaan gives lessons in building psychic awareness and communicating with plants, trees, and nature spirits. This rewarding connection with nature offers healing, renewal, knowledge of your life purpose, and a spiritual oasis in a chaotic world. (2008 Independent Publisher Book Award for "Most Likely to Save the Planet" Bronze Medal Winner)

 Flower and Tree Magic, by Richard Webster
Flowers and trees have long been celebrated as sacred and powerful. By learning to read the special messages they hold, plants can help us navigate our life path and reconnect with nature. In this comprehensive guide, bestselling author Richard Webster uncovers the hidden properties of every major type of tree, herb, and flower that we encounter in our daily lives. From protection and healing to divination and worship, this book shows you how to apply ancient spiritual practices from many cultures to modern life.

To Help You Enact Green Changes in Your Community:
Sacred Land: Intuitive Gardening for Personal, Political, and Environmental Change, by Clean Danaan

In this positive and practical handbook, Danaan shows how organic gardening can germinate environmental awareness and political change while feeding your spirit. You'll learn how to plan and plant your garden, create compost, save seeds, conserve and transmute water, connect with garden goddesses, and incorporate planetary energy in your garden.

Sacred Land explores the benefits of native plants, organic food and agriculture, buying locally, and eating seasonally. It suggests simple yet effective ways of spreading the message of ecology and sustainability to your community. You'll discover how to get along with ants, bats, bees, butterflies, fairies, frogs, gnomes, worms, and other creatures who share our gardens. This one-of-a-kind gardening guidebook also includes inspiring stories of women activists, farmers, artists, and healers who are making a difference in the world. 

 Pagan Visions for a Sustainable Future, edited by Ly de Angeles
Representing diverse arenas of Paganism, eleven established activists, authors and academics passionately debate the critical issues facing modern Pagans. These provocative discussions--exploring feminism, magickal ecology, ancient Egyptian ethics, political activism, globalization, the power of truth, sacred communities, and environmental spirituality--challenge readers to reconsider what it means to be Pagan in the twenty-first century.

To Help You Discover Your Magical, Green Thumb:
The Real Witches' Garden, by Kate West

Enrich your Craft and tap into an age-old source of a Witch's power—the garden.
Kate West, acclaimed Witch and top-selling author in the U.K., can help you transform a garden of any size into a sacred space for healing, working magic, honoring the gods, and celebrating the Wheel of the Year. Incorporate the five elements or magical shapes into your garden. Work plant spells. Grow a window box of medicinal herbs. Honor your gods and goddesses with specific plants. Use Moon energy to help your garden thrive. Also included are spells and rituals for deterring pests, healing sickly plants, influencing weather, and consecrating your magical space.

Garden Witchery: Magick from the Ground Up, by Ellen Dugan

How does your magickal garden grow?... With violets, rosemary, and yarrow to attract faeries; an apple tree for love and health; and a circle of stones in some tucked-away corner? Whether you live in a cottage in the woods, a home in the suburbs, or a city apartment with a small balcony, a powerful and enchanted realm awaits you. Discover the secret language and magickal properties of the trees and flowers, herbs and plants found growing around you, and learn how to create your own witch's garden.
Written with down-to-earth humor by a master gardener who is also a practicing witch, this creative and encouraging guide will inspire gardeners of all ages and experience levels. It includes a journal section that makes it easy to keep track of your progress, practical gardening advice, personal stories, and garden witchery lore and magick.

To Help You Discover Natural and Homeopathic Remedies:
The Essential Guide to Natural Skin Care, by Hélène Berton

Treat yourself—your face, hands, hair, and lips—to vitamin-rich, toxin-free nourishment from nature. The Essential Guide to Natural Skin Care maps the wondrous qualities and uses of botanicals used in homemade beauty products, making it easy to customize your own lotions, creams, milks, body butters, face masks, lip balms, ointments, toners, and more.

Choose from a wide variety of eco-friendly vegetable oils and butters, infused and essential oils, aromatic hydrosols, and emulsifiers. Discover the beneficial beauty and healing properties of each, as well as their practical traits, such as shelf life and absorption. You’ll find ingredients that soften, tone, and hydrate skin and hair; tighten pores; fade scars; stave off wrinkles; prevent and heal acne; promote hair growth; treat dandruff; fight infection and fungus; and repel insects. This portable, compact DIY reference also includes practical advice and basic recipes that can be easily modified to your unique skin type, needs, and tastes.

The Wild & Weedy Apothecary, by Doreen Shababy

Just outside your doorstep or kitchen window, hidden beneath a tall pine tree or twining through porch latticework, a wild and weedy apothecary waits to be discovered. Herbalist Doreen Shababy shares her deep, abiding love for the earth and its gifts in this collection of herbal wisdom that represents a lifetime of work in the forest, field, and kitchen. This herbalism guidebook is jam-packed with dozens of tasty recipes and natural remedies, including Glorious Garlic and Artichoke Dip, Sunny Oatmeal Crepes, Candied Catnip Leaves, Lavender Lemonade, Roseberry Tea, Garlic Tonic, Parsnip Hair Conditioner, and Dream Charms made with Mugwort.