Books for the Reading

by Lynn Wienck, The Chisholm Trail Bookstore

Last year sometime, I worked through the home bookshelves. The bookcase with technical books still remains double stacked — another tale by itself. All these shelved books do book revenge — they multiply. It’s best not to ignore them too long, lest progeny be book club editions.

The good news is that these are books I want to read or reread; the bad news is that these are books I want to read or reread. I’m going to throw a birthday party for them and hand them the keys to the car so they can drive. (I’ve had them that long.)

Here are a few that I have never read, and have high hopes of reading sometime, and well, there they are:

“Arthur Rackham A Biography” by James Hamilton. The book is large with lots of illustrations. I flipped through it this morning. It is fascinating and it would be a good idea to read the words by the illustrations. Really. It’s a striking book.

“Gahan Wilson’s America.” Evil little cartoons with lots of commentary. (Imagine Charles Addams in squiggly line drawing and in color.) The evil little cartoons make me laugh. Gahan Wilson draws what everyone else is thinking. Good for him.

“Banana Republic Guide to Travel & Safari Clothing.” Why do I have this book? Well, it’s rather hysterical, that’s why. Why haven’t I read it? Because, because, because it got put on the shelf before it got put on the coffee table. I actually read books on the coffee table and there’s a stack now. If I’m not careful, I will mix in the library books, and then get them late to the library.

“Bayeux Tapestry” by David M. Wilson. At least I don’t have to ask why this book has never been read. It’s still in shrinkwrap. Still, according to the rear dust jacket panel, it contains photographs of the complete tapestry. In 1066, William the Conquerer (French) defeated the Anglo-Saxons (British). William conquered and the tapestry was later commissioned. The conquest is embroidered on the linen and Halley’s Comet is somewhere in there, too. It is surprising that this historical document (224 feet) has survived intact nearly 1,000 years. Approximately 40% of the English language is derived from the French. Thank William the Conqueror.

Enough on the homefront books. Books to clean and catalog in the bookstore.

IOBAbooks is Changing

My name is Bruce Bell and as Chair of the IOBAbooks Committee I thought I should keep you, our members, informed of the committee’s work. Over the coming months the IOBAbooks committee is going to begin a programme of changes to the IOBAbooks site. These changes are based on a number of things we believe about IOBAbooks.

  • As the only trade body aimed at ‘online’ sellers the IOBA should have the best possible (if not the best) online sales portal.
  • Most of us lack the resources (time/knowledge/technical know-how/finance) to create our own, truly effective, web presence, but collectively we can do just that.
  • The IOBAbooks site should be more than simply a sales venue for our members. It should also be a means of promoting the IOBA and of promoting the businesses of our members.
  • The IOBAbooks site should serve as an educational resource for members developing their own site – we’ll share with you what’s working and what’s not and, if we think we know them, the reasons why.
  • IOBAbooks needs to be radically different. Lots of small venues have come and gone. If we do what they did we’ll end up where they ended up.
  • Central to all this is moving the site from a search based model toward a browsing model. At some point I shall say more about this but for now all I shall add is that I want visitors to our site to browse the books we do have, not search for something we very well might not have.

So what are you going to see?

In the very short term we intend to make a few, pretty crude, changes to the front page. These changes are a stop-gap measure while we work on a full redesign and are aimed at reducing the site’s bounce rate. As we make these changes we’ll publish to this list regular analytics reports. This will give both you and us an insight into what’s working and what’s not and, we hope, why.

Going forward the site will be redesigned.  The brief for that is that we want a site that is engaging and interactive and which encourages browsing (we will not be removing any of the search functionality from the site). Obviously engaging and interactive suggests things to interact with and to be engaged by. This is where you all come in. How far we can get with any of this will depend on how involved we can encourage you to be.

One of the things the committee is working hardest on is finding ways to involve the membership in the site. This is about us helping you to help us to promote your books and your business. But all that is in the future.

For now if anyone would like to get involved (those with ideas about marketing, driving traffic etc might be especially welcome on the committee), has ideas on or questions about what we’re doing, then please feel free to contact me

IOBA Education Presents – Spring 2012 Video Contest


Our goal: create a video archive of relevant, business building topics

Quarterly, IOBA will host a video contest for timely, teachable facets of the book business.

Our topic this round: Grading

Our plan: Share your expertise and time-honored tips with the membership, and win prizes.

Watch this small informational video on our new IOBA youtube channel.
Subscribe to the channel to stay in the loop when new videos are uploaded!

Maybe next Oscar night, we’ll see you! 😉

Kara McLaughlin
Little Sages Books
Education Chair, IOBA