An advert we put on our website and on Facebook a couple of weeks ago;
"There's no point in us doing things at the shop if nobody turns up, so in order for the shop to be and do what you want it to, we're setting up regular meetings at the bookshop in which we ask for your opinions on different aspects of the bookshop. They won't last more than an hour and we'd love to see lots of you here.
This month we'll be talking about how the shop looks and what we can do to improve it, and also the kind of events and authors you'd like to see in the bookshop. If you have time, please have a think about this, and even if you can't make it to the bookshop, please email us with your suggestions.
The date we arranged this meeting was the Sunday just gone at 11.00am. In hindsight, this wasn't the best day to choose, but how were we to know that Wood Green was going to get trashed a few hours before this.
Anyway we shouldn't have worried as a good crowd turned up to offer opinions and ideas.
Here are some of the things that we learned (learnt?)
- We should keep doing lots of events
- We should advertise more in the shop beforehand (most of our advertising is online or in local papers).
- We should do more themed events with more than one author.
- The new format of our newsletter is clearer (we only highlight stuff that's happening in the next week, and point readers to our website to see what else is happening)
- Our windows are rubbish (we knew this). Solutions were offered (by solutions, I don't mean soapy water).
The best thing to come out of this meeting was that it's focussed us on the areas we need to concentrate on. We do have a habit of procrastinating and also we have so many things we want to do that we sometimes miss the most obvious.
It's always useful to get feedback (constructive please) from our customers and we're really going to benefit from these meetings.
So far we've cleared the front of our till area and painted it with blackboard paint. This will be a rolling information point for all that's going on in the bookshop.
We've also decided it's time to clear the crappy area to the left of the bookshop, that's used as a car park/toilet/rubbish tip. We're going to have a big clear up day on Saturday August 20th, with a view to fencing it off and making it into a garden/reading area. Oh, it'll be gorgeous. You mark my words.
Hopefully it'll be clear enough and clean enough to be able to put some stalls out there on the Sunday, when we have our next local market (check the website for details).
Keep the suggestions coming in for the first book you'd order if you owned a bookshop.
The other thing we'd like to mention is that our comedy night next Friday August 19th will be a Benefit Gig with all proceeds going to the Tottenham Fund helping those local residents and businesses affected by the riots and looting.
There's a Facebook group here with info or you can look on the events page of our website for more information (scroll down a bit).
Tickets are selling fast, so if you want to come, you'd better be quick.
Headlining the gig is Natt Tapley, who'll be playing his alter ego Sir Ian Bowler MP.
It will be rather good.