Like so many of my IOBA brethren, my online virtual store began life as a bricks and mortar establishment. High in the Colorado ski country, Wolf Moon Books operated on Main Street in picturesque Frisco. I began my bookselling adventure in 1997 when I purchased “Frisco Books” from my then-neighbor, Peter Brindamour. I was a lawyer-turned-novelist at the time and Peter had offered to host my very first book signing. We became friends and I told him to call me first if he ever decided to sell his store. A couple of years later, he did just that.
Owning my own store was my dream-come-true. For the first year, I was its only employee. I finally hired two part-timers, which included my twelve-year-old son, Ross, who matured before my eyes as he learned to handle customers and operate the computerized inventory system that was integrated into our POS setup. I carried only new books and though I aspired to be a general bookstore, my focus was regional topics since my primary customers tended to be tourists visiting the area.
When a career relocation for my husband occasioned a move to suburban Kansas City, I sold Wolf Moon Books and focused my energy on my writing career, publishing three books in three years for Tor/Forge under my maiden name, Michelle Black.
I still had bookselling in my blood and missed that world. I became curious about book collecting and decided to interview a local used book store owner, Tom Shawver. I admired his beautifully appointed and well-stocked store, Bloomsday Books. He gave me a great deal of insight into the world of antiquarian books and urged me to attend the Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar in Colorado Springs.
I took his advice and before I knew it, I was out in the trenches learning to book scout. I quickly found out that little of my experience as a “new book” bookstore owner translated into the world of used and collectible books, but the joy of buying and selling books is universal and I soon acquired (and am still acquiring) new skills everyday. The hunt for collectible books became a passion with all the elements of a treasure hunt. I am sure that most IOBA members are infected with a similar strain of this book fever.
I have found the Internet the perfect medium to bring people together with the books they love. I have a general inventory with a focus on collectible mysteries, and even more particularly, pre-1960 Nancy Drew novels. My interest in the American West, which was the focus of my novel writing career for many years, also shows up prominently in my inventory.
Today Everleaf Books is located on my 10-acre ranch in Spring Hill, Kansas, just south of Kansas City. Please stop by our online store anytime.
Michelle operates Everleaf Books out of Spring Hill, KS and can be contacted at http://www.everleafbooks.com.