Tuesday, May 31, 2011

How to Make a Difference

A couple of months ago, I wrote a piece in our newsletter expressing our concerns with weathering the lean spring we were having at the store. We cut back hours, apologizing to our incredible and understanding staff, and hunkered down. I also asked everybody who reads our newsletter to consider buying just one more book per month.

I’d like to thank all of our customers who took me up on that challenge. We have been doing better and better, and it’s all thanks to you!! We have always known that we have wonderful, loyal customers, and that Fort Collins is one of the best places to have an independent bookstore. You really proved it to us, and we couldn’t be more grateful. Thank you for taking the time to shop with us- it really did make a difference.

We do our best to give back to you and our community, as well. Here are the things that we are doing to try to make a difference for you:

  1. We frequently donate books to the many community causes that ask, to help at fundraising raffles and silent auctions. Sometimes we run out of books that we can donate! But we are always happy to help if we can.
  2. We give you a free membership program that gives you back a $5 Reader’s Reward- all you have to do is give your name! We don’t charge a membership fee for our rewards program, unlike some other stores. We want to give back to our customers.
  3. We give a 20% discount to book clubs that let us know their reading list. You can call or email it to us, and we’ll make sure to stock your selections and give you your discount.
  4. On the hunt for an elusive used book? We can put you on a list and call you as soon as that book comes in used.
  5. We sell e-Books! All you have to do is go to our website: www.oldfirehousebooks.com/search/gbook and you can buy our e-Books directly from us. Google e-Books work with all types of e-readers except the Kindle, which is proprietary.
  6. We take your used books in trade! Any books that we are unable to take may be donated to the American Association of University Women. We are their biggest donor! They hold a book sale for scholarships every February in Foothills Fashion Mall.
  7. We are now offering a Book Bounty for our most sought-after used books. If you bring in one of these books, you can use 10% of the book’s price, same as cash, in the store on new books, used books, candy bars, cards- whatever you like.
  8. Do you have a lot of credit built up? We are letting customers with more than $100 in credit (you know who you are!) convert that credit to cash at 10% of full value to use in the store. $100 in credit gets you $10 in cash to spend in the store, for example. On the weekend on June 11 and 12, we are offering this to our customers to help them use up credit and start over, if they like.
  9. We do lots of community events- local authors like the photography book launch on June 3, for example. We also bring in great authors like Sandra Dallas, Diane Mott Davidson, and C.J. Box, just to name a few. Our events room is open for rental if you have a class or event for which you need a space. And book clubs get the room for free!
  10. Speaking of book clubs, we have four of our own which anyone is welcome to attend! Plus, we’ll be starting a graphic novel club in the next few months- keep an eye out.
  11. Finally, everyone who works here is a member of the local community. Buying your books at an independent book store puts 40% more of your dollars back into the community than spending money at a chain. And it puts 99% more back into the community than online sales do.

Once again, thank you for supporting us. We intend to stay here for many years to come, providing a great community space, exciting events, and, of course, a great book selection with a knowledgeable staff to help you with your shopping. You are the reason we’re here!

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