So, yeah, today’s the day, I guess, that I officially announce that All on the Same Page Bookstore is closing. It’s not really news, we’ve been heading that direction for a while—December sales were just 50% of last year’s.
Let’s examine this, um, social experiment, shall we?
We took no salary, so no worries there; we had no employees. Our rent wasn’t ridiculous, our expenses pretty minimal for a business, utilities, Internet, and so forth. Our location wasn’t ideal, but it wasn’t horrible, either.
Maybe I just suck at this. Maybe.
Or—and here’s where I start grumbling and griping about everything. Or everyone. Or should I be professional until the end? Hmmm.
Sure, I’m upset and sad about closing down the bookstore. We’ve been there two and a half years, after all. We put a lot of time and money into it. And a lot of heart.
But I’m pretty irritated right now. Won’t lie.
We decided NOT to do a crowd-funding project on the regular sites; after all, there was a campaign for Main Street Books a few weeks ago and two of them for The Book House since last summer. I know. I was pretty involved with those last two.
But we did our own thing, and we raised almost $2000. Not enough, sadly. And you know what? Everyone talks all the time about “local” this and that, but only half of that came from any local peeps—three locals, to be exact. The rest was from around the country AND OVERSEAS. Seriously.
Oh, I could go on and on, but I won’t. Someone will yell at me and I don’t like to be yelled at—in spite of all that, I do own the business, and I own the fact that we failed. Just can’t help but think hardly anyone gives a damn. Maybe I’ll think differently later. Maybe not.
Watching a funding campaign from, in effect, a grocery store, raise $30K in one day didn’t help, either. Sure, people have to eat, I get that. But still.
WARNING—AMAZON GRIPE SESSION ALERT!
So the next time you go to Amazon to buy your books or, worse yet, use their cutesy little share button to promote the fact that you really DON’T care about the “local” stuff, think about all the bookstores that are going under because you have to have that book RIGHT THIS MINUTE and can’t be bothered to walk out the door and go into an actual bookstore once in a while.
We’re far from alone. Since we opened, FOUR independent bookstores around the area have closed.
Well, then. If you’re still with me, I wanted to let you know that we’ve starting closing out our stock—all used paperbacks are $1.50, used hardcovers are $2.50. We have some new books too, at half-price. Author consignment books, however, are full price. At least until the authors come and pick them up. Which is okay now, since we’re closing anyway . . .
So long, and thanks for all the fish!
Sorry. Do you know what’s next?
John R. Austin
814 Woodhaven Ct.
Granbury, TX 76048
Thanks – and yes, we’re still publishing. Fifteen books in print so far!
I could rant on myself about lack of local support for local bookstores as well as local authors. (I.e., the people who know me at local stores where I shop don’t return the favor by buying my books.) You’ve probably seen that New Yorker cartoon from a few years back that showed a bookstore owner watching the store next door taking an Amazon book delivery. I keep trying to tell people that Amazon is already a monopoly even though its percentage of total sales has gone down, so they need to shop local, buy at B&N and Powells if they have to shop online, and support their local friends and neighbors.
Sorry you’re having to close; glad the publishing is moving forward.
Thanks, Malcolm, and yes, support is in short supply. We have 130+ local authors at our store, who we carry on the shelves with no charge, no limits, etc. And we actively sell their books. Guess they can come pick up their stock now and take them elsewhere. Oh, wait – we’re really the only one that will stock them…
You have every right to be upset Robin, if I were you I would be fuming. The bloody cancer society raises millions of dollars and for what … they’ve been ‘researching’ for 35 years and people are still dying.
Folks can spend thousands of dollars on designer labels, but buying a book … oh no, they don’t have money for that. I could go on and on.
Here in Canada independent book stores don’t stand a chance either because of the Chapters Indigo book chain. Nobody can compete with them. Not in looks, not in stock availability, not in accessories.
And of course there’s Amazon and ebooks. Every since the Kindle came on the market, real books have taken a nosedive.
People tell me it’s progress and the way to go, which would explain why I don’t like progress.
If I were you, I’d take out my frustration by writing about your experiences and turn it into a book. I think a lot of people will be interested because they can identify with your story.
Just a thought …
Robin, you have every right to rant. I’m feeling guilty, even though I have purchased books every time I visited the store. I agree with Conny – turn this experience into a book. I also agree with Malcolm concerning the people who know me from gatherings at the bookstore and haven’t bought my book. It is frustrating. I can say with assurance if I lived in the St. Louis area your store would have been on my regular list of places to shop. The store is adorable and reasonably priced.
Robin, this sucks BIG TIME, the big corporate anarchy continues to suck the life out of one sector after the other……. I ‘m really sorry to hear AOtSP is closing. Book stores should always be run by people that love books and wonderful book stores; you are the right person, this was the right store. Perhaps the crowd funding thing would have worked, one never knows, — but with the others being done so recently it leans closer toward unlikely, so that was undoubtedly the logical and correct business decision. Don’t second-guess yourself. Onward and upward to better things, the 15 projects you have done publishing are wonderful– fantastic. Let’s do some more and publish!
Sorry to hear this Robin. Sadly, many folks will still only “go local” if it’s also convenient to do so at the time. I wish I would’ve had the money to help out. Damn lottery was no help!
And the same social media that has allowed people like me to meet people like yourself is also responsible for that “gotta have it now” attitude. Patience is a disappearing trait. But I’m happy that the publishing is going so well, way above those early projections, if I remember.
Best wishes, and hopefully i’ll see you soon.
Robin it is a sad day for you and also the community as another indie bites the dust. I understand your frustration, and I wish you well with publishing and in your future endeavors. There may be something bigger and better waiting for your expertise and touch.
Robin, I’ve already said this, so I’m sorry for the redundancy, but I really am so sorry. You provided a great service. Living out in the boonies and trying to keep my own business running just didn’t allow for a lot of one-hour round trips to get to AOTSP too often, but I enjoyed seeing you every time I was able to make it out, and I appreciate all you’ve done for local authors. Long live RHP!