An Interview with Daniel’s Read-A-Lot - A Small Bookseller - Behind the Scenes
I originally connected with Daniel's Read-A-Lot on Facebook and became impressed with the way they shared and promoted authors. In today’s world independent bookstores are closing daily, and the rumor still pops up from time to time that big chain booksellers like B&N, which is the current largest, are headed for the same fate as Borders.
So I decided to reach out to Daniel's Read-A-Lot and find out what keeps a small seller going. I connected with Bobby and he referred me to Blanche for the interview, though he did have input.
When was Daniel’s Read a Lot established, and with all the other small business possibilities, why a bookstore?
Daniel’s Read-A-Lot was established in 1984 by Shirley Daniels. We bought the business in 2004. Shirley got sick and her husband was going to close the store. I didn’t want to see it close and the plant I had been working at was going to close. So we offered to buy the store. My husband had always wanted his own business. And I love to read. So we bought the store. I ran the store until my husband retired then he started running the store. I’m not a really good sales person. I loved to read so I was always giving books away to people to try new authors. But it is a good practice. I do the book club and help out on a lot of other parts of the business.
Some bookstores assign more shelf space to certain genres than to others. Does Daniel’s Read a Lot work in that way? If so, which genres have the largest amount of shelf space?
Romance, Mystery, Horror etc. are mainly separated by men and women authors. Westerns, Sci-fi, Inspirational, True Crime, Erotic and Paranormal are separated. Non-Fiction is mixed.
Bobby can tell you were just about where every author is located on the shelf.
Is your inventory comprised of new books, or new and used books?
We have new and used books. The only books we don’t sell used are our local authors that have new books in our store.
Do you support local authors with a special display featuring them?
Yes we do support any local author who wants to bring their books in. We have about 32 local authors right now in the sore. We have all local authors books on display around the store on top of the book shelves.
Daniel’s Read a Lot has a strong presence on Facebook and shares a lot of author posts. Do you also have in-store book signings for local and visiting authors?
If any authors want to have a book signing here they are more than welcomed.
Do you have software to sell eBooks, or is there any benefit for a store to sell eBooks?
No we have no software to sell eBooks at this time. I’m sure there could be a benefit for stores to sell eBooks.
Even if you don’t sell eBooks directly, do you have signings for authors who are only published in eBook where they bring in bookmarks or post cards with the download information to sign?
No authors have ever asked. But I don’t see why not. If it helps the author to get their name out there and meet fans.
Dusting off your crystal ball and staring deeply to get past the fog, what do you see as the future of small bookstores?
Blanche’s response: Small bookstores are going out. This is understandable in this day and age. I like to think that we will always be around. But that’s just me putting my head in the sand. I love reading and books and sharing the authors I love and finding new authors. I know you can do that on social mead and book conferences, but not everyone is as lucky as I am.
Bobby’s response: There will be less of them but there will always be a need. They will grow if they can hold out.
How can readers reach you or checkout your website?
No website. We are using word of mouth until we can get a bigger space. For now, interested authors can call, write or visit. Maybe one day we will have a website.
Blanche & Bobby Nixon
Daniel’s Read-A-Lot is located at:
1528 F Zoo Parkway
Asheboro, NC 27205
You can also connect with them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/daniels.readalot?fref=ts
Thank you, Blanche and Bobby, for taking the time to answer my questions. When I’m in the Asheboro area a stop at Daniel’s Read a Lot is number one on my list.
Columnist Lizzie T. Leaf: Award winning author, Lizzie T. Leaf started life in Kansas, continued her growing in North Carolina, and currently shivers through the winters in Colorado.
Since discovering the fun of writing paranormal, she plays with creating vampires, faeries and other immortals. When she needs a touch of reality, her Contemporary Erotic Romances come into play. Her most recent release is Nordic Heat, available at http://amzn.to/1owng5k
If she’s not creating mischief for paranormal beings, or getting under the covers with her erotic heroes, she can be found exploring the other genres she wants to write. She also served as the 2012 President for the Heart of Denver Romance Writers and is the 2014 VP of Programs.
Lizzie loves to read, spend time with her family and travel with her best friend husband during her free time.