If you’re one of the 3,423 Tweeters who follows Liberty Bay Books, you know that it’s Kitsap Beer Week, that the store has readers sunglasses in stock now that the sun is out, that their Wine & Book Club recently had a fabulous discussion about Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad and that the store sold out of Plenty within an hour of taking the vegetarian cookbook out of the box.
Nothing to rock your world but enough daily reminders to keep the store and its wares in your thoughts. That’s owner Suzanne Droppert’s plan, anyway, and it seems to be working. Droppert was an early adopter of social media, and she credits it for keeping the store afloat and regularly gets called upon to talk about it with other businesses.
Droppert bought Liberty Bay (then Shotwell’s Bookstore) in 1996 after she’d spent 16 years in corporate America. It was a “What do I want to be when I grow up?” moment that turned into a new career and a community centered around the store. We asked her a few questions via email and she answered back in quick bursts of words.
Will you describe Poulsbo in one sentence? A quaint, Scandinavian waterfront town.
Who are your regulars? We have a small espresso bar, with tables and chairs. So our regulars are friends from the community, their kids, friends, tourists, boaters, librarians.
You’re big on social media. What does it do for the store? I jumped in early on Twitter and FB. I talk about books, town, travel and food. My personal likes. All social media posts remind people you are here in business. I mention store events, my local concerns, issues, books read & liked, blogs. I try to chat about things I see & hear & think other people might want to hear about as well.
Isn’t it kind of a distraction from the business of selling books? I have received business, ie book orders, from my Tweets and FB postings, so it is selling books.
How much Tweeting and Facebooking are we talking about? I try to Tweet or do a FB post each day. I also do FB for downtown Poulsbo. I talk about the seals, the smell of donuts, how many vitamen D pills do we need with the clouds, etc.
For the store, I do retweet other booksellers’ and author/bloggers’ posts. I say many times to shop at your local @indiebound bookstore, especially when I hear/see one going out of business. Both my employees are admins for the LBB site on FB and they will post as well. It’s great PR for us and whatever author/book we talk about. It doesn’t take much time at all.
My son Jordan, a 24-year-old graduate of Whitman college, blogs for us here and talks about whatever books he likes. You can tell its a 20-something writing witty, snarky, funny. He does a good job.
What are you excited about handselling right now? Usually what I just finished reading: Robopocalypse, Matterhorn, which was my favorite read last year. Forgotten is the debut book by Cat Patrick, a Seattle YA author. Many of us booksellers just had dinner with her compliments of Little Brown at Canlis last week. Good YA about a teen and her inabliity to remember the previous day, so she writes notes each day. She can see the future or kind of. Why her mind resets is a puzzle until the end of the book. No zombies, dystopia, werewolves etc. A stand alone book. Foreign rights sold, movie optioned with young girl from True Grit to play London Lane, the main character.
What’s in your summer reading stack? Working my way through the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin and many advanced reader copies.
When you’re not doing anything else, what’s your favorite section of Liberty Bay to hang out in? Back in one of the comfy chairs at the espresso bar with a book.
What are some of the other businesses you frequent in your neighborhood? Historic downtown Poulsbo is really only two blocks long. I shop and keep my money locally here so I go to all of them
Three NW authors you’d love to have dinner with? Three local authors that I have done events with that we have eaten and drank with are Kristin Hannah, Megan Chance and Jonathan Evison. Each event was at a local restaurant. Very fun.