Friday, June 12, 2009

Help Books of Wonder!

I just saw this message, and thought I'd share it with all of you.

Dear Friends,

Over the years, many of you have asked me if there was anything you could do to help us at Books of Wonder. Well, actually, there is! Books of Wonder has been nominated for a Parents' Picks Award as Best Bookstore for Children in New York City.

This award is based on votes given at the website,, which is the Nickelodeon Channel's parenting website. You can vote once each day from now till July 15th, when the voting ends.

We are one of 7 bookstores nominated. Some very loyal customers have worked hard to make sure we are vying for first place, but we are in a tight race against a bookstore owned by a large publishing company -- a store which only sells books published by that company -- and they have apparently asked the entire publishing company staff to vote for them!

Now I have nothing against a bookstore promoting it's corporate parent's publications, but to suggest that such a store could be the best bookstore for children in NYC -- without stocking all the great books for children published at other publishing houses -- seems to me to be ridiculous.

So I am asking each and everyone of you to vote for us. Today and everyday! You can vote once each day till the contest ends on July 15th -- so please do so! And feel free to ask your friends and families to do so too! This would mean so much to me and my staff -- and, of course, anything that helps in this bad economy is a welcome blessing!

To vote, you can try going to this direct page: new-york-ny-usa/best-new-york-city-book-store

or go to -- select NYC, then select
bookstores -- then vote for us!!!!

Thank you to each and everyone of you for your help! My staff and I greatly appreciate it!

Best Wishes,
Peter Glassman
Books of Wonder

Eric here again. I've never even been to New York City, let alone Books of Wonder. But I certainly know their reputation, and all that they've done for Oz and Oz fans. They've brought out gorgeous, near-reproductions of the first editions of all of the Baum books. They've put many other Oz books back in print, and published many new Oz books as well (full disclosure here: including the one I co-wrote). I know Peter Glassman, and before he died, I also knew his partner, James Carey. They are passionate, knowledgeable fans of children's literature, both classic and modern.

Perhaps the best testament to Books of Wonder, however, is a story I've heard (probably from Peter Glassman, but I suspect it's true) that has nothing to do with Oz. Books of Wonder, like any big bookstore, often has author appearances. Way back in the day, they brought over a young British writer with a new book they liked and wanted to publicize. This was the author's first publicity event in America, and they paired her up with Lynn Reid Banks, the author of the Indian in the Cupboard books. They had a respectful turnout, and I gather this new writer's book did very well for them. For her next book, her publishers brought her over for her own solo Books of Wonder appearance, and again she did well and her book sold. By the time of her next book, however, the series had grown so much and become so popular that her publishers only booked her in branches of the big chain bookstores. But J. K. Rowling, having already received so much support from Books of Wonder, insisted that they also book an appearance there.

Okay, one more Books of Wonder/Harry Potter story? This one I remember reading in the newspaper. I can't remember which book it was, but like all bookstores, Books of Wonder put on a big Harry Potter midnight release party for it (yes, definitely one of the later books). Because Books of Wonder is an independent shop, they can't afford to offer as large of a discount as the big chains. I suspect some of the chains actually sold some of those early copies of the Harry Potter books as loss leaders to get people in the doors. Like all bookstores with Harry Potter release parties, the line at Books of Wonder wound around for blocks before the doors opened. One of the big chain branches sent a representative over to Books of Wonder and said to the waiting masses, "We have it for forty percent off!"

The number of people who defected from Books of Wonder to go to the chain store's release party so as to save some money? Zero. Now that is customer loyalty.

So quit reading my little testimonial and go vote already. Then keep voting, once a day, until polls close on July 15.

No comments: