WORD Community Bookstore

We are exploring and sharing user stories from the world of indie book publishing to discover and showcase creativity, inspiration, knowledge and the details behind the stories that make them remarkable.

Meet Molly Templeton, Events Director at the independent community bookstore, WORD, which is to be found in two locations, one in Brooklyn NY and the other one in New Jersey. We sat down for a talk with Molly about running community based bookstores, finding new books and how to market and sell your work.

DSC_0436-2Walk us through the story of WORD from the beginning till today.

Molly: Christine Onorati owns both of our stores (each has different co-owners). She’s been in publishing for a long time and her original bookstore was called The Dog-Eared Bookshop, in Long Island. When she moved to Greenpoint, she closed Dog-Eared and opened up WORD. Seven years later, people kept asking when she’d open up another store, and friends and family pointed her towards Jersey City. So here we are!

DSC_0422What does a typical day look like for you in the bookshop?

Molly: It depends on the day, and on which store I’m working in. Since I handle event planning, there’s a lot of email and a lot of decisions to make. On an event day, I’ll get in, check my email, reply to everything that requires a quick answer, then prioritize what else needs doing. In the early evening, we set up for the event, host it, and then tidy up after!

DSC_0448Tell us a bit about the process of finding new books—where do you buy them and which qualities does a book need to have in order to get shelf space in your bookshop?

Molly: Christine is the buyer as well as the owner, and she orders directly from publishers and wholesalers. Our stock is a blend of things that intrigue Christine and other staff, established favorites, and books that she thinks will appeal to our customer base.

DSC_0416-2What defines your audience at WORD?

Molly: Well, that they’re undefinable! As a neighborhood bookstore, we have a great mix of locals, tourists, regulars, kids, parents, and bookish visitors—those wonderful folks who go out of their way to visit new bookstores. Most of our customers are on top of what’s new and know what they want, but they are also quick to ask us for recommendations, which is great, as recommending books is one of the best parts of
the job.

DSC_0439-2Which market and sales channels do you use at WORD to reach out to your audience?

Molly: We send two email newsletters a month, one with events and one with staff picks, and do a lot of work with social media. Tumblr has been particularly great for us, but we also use Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and all the other established channels.

DSC_0450

And lastly, where do you see books and technology in the future?

Molly: We don’t see either of those things going anywhere—and most likely they’ll find even more interesting ways to co-exist. Technology is a great tool for talking about books; we all know about a zillion more books than we’d be aware of without it. But our customers prove day after day that books aren’t going anywhere.

Photo credit: WORD

To learn more about WORD and experience
their universe and books
go visit: www.wordbookstores.com

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