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Time flies when you're selling books

Wow, it's been five weeks since I posted about the grand opening of Organic Books, our family bookstore in Albuquerque. The time has sailed past. The store has been busy with holiday shoppers and folks from the surrounding neighborhoods. Old friends and local authors stop by to visit. Next thing you know, it's nearly Christmas.

The photo shows our sons Seth (in hat) and Max working at the counter at Organic Books. They mostly staff the store day-to-day, though I'm usually there on weekday mornings and Kelly (who still has a full-time job!) fills in on weekends. We've been so busy, we often need two people manning the store.

Since the grand opening, the bookshop has been featured in super write-ups by the Weekly Alibi and the University of New Mexico news service, and we're all over social media, thanks to our supportive friends. You can join the fun by following Organic Books on Facebook and Twitter.

The Facebook page is a good way to keep up with coming events at Organic Books. Starting right after Christmas, we have lots of author signings and poetry readings scheduled at the store. I'm in charge of that calendar, so local authors who want to do events should write me at abqbrewer@gmail.com. I'm booking February now!

Hey, that's one of the points I'll make in my Jan. 5 speech at SouthWest Writers. The talk is called "I've Looked at Books From Both Sides Now." Though we're still new to retail, I've got some ideas about how authors can help themselves when dealing with bookstores. And the story of how things fell into place for Organic Books is a story worth telling. As with any successful startup, there have been lots of little miracles.

Happy holidays to you and yours. And happy reading!


Organic Books has its debut

The grand opening of our new bookstore on Saturday truly was grand, with hundreds of customers visiting and welcoming us to the Nob Hill neighborhood.

Other booksellers in town also visited, bearing gifts, which was much appreciated. We already feel like we're part of Albuquerque's book-selling community.

We sold a ton of used books, as well as lots of new books by local authors. Many of the authors stopped by for the grand opening and brought more books. Our 10-foot-long "Local Authors" table is groaning under the weight.

We've also received a number of donations -- dozens of boxes of used books -- that we're cleaning and pricing and preparing for the shelves. We have a trade-in policy for store credit, but most of the donors said they just wanted to help a new bookshop get started.

It's been many years since Nob Hill had its own bookstore, so residents are eager to support us. We feel like we've found the perfect niche.


Organic Books' Grand Opening Nov. 10

Organic Books is taking shape! We've worked furiously for the past week, getting 10,000 books onto shelves, and it's starting to look like a real bookshop.

We've still got lots of work to do, but we anticipate a "soft" opening in a week or so, in advance of our official Grand Opening on Nov. 10.

The store has been getting lots of interest from passers-by since the signs went up in the front windows. That's Max Brewer in the photo, posing with the logo he designed.

All those shelves in the background? They're full of books now!

Mostly, we'll carry all kinds of used books. But we have a long, antique table in the center of the store that we'll keep stocked with new books by local authors.

The Albuquerque Museum hosts its annual Author Fair on Nov. 3, and I'll be there as usual, but this time I'll be talking up Organic Books and encouraging local authors to drop by the store afterward to sell us their books.

Our website is still under construction, but you can see our origin story at www.organicbooks.net.

Nob Hill hasn't had a bookstore in years, and we're getting a great response from the neighborhood. Please help us spread the word.


The latest on Organic Books

Our new family-owned bookstore in Albuquerque's Nob Hill neighborhood draws closer to a reality with every passing day.

We now have a logo, designed by Max Brewer with input from the rest of us:

We love the open-book artwork, which fits with the Art Deco decor of the historic Nob Hill Business Center. We plan to put this design in our large front windows, and it'll be featured on our bags, bookmarks, etc.

Last weekend, the Albuquerque Journal carried a business story about our plans to open the store. You can read it here.

The store is almost ready for us to start filling with books. Electrical, paint and plumbing work was done this week, following some minor demolition and renovation. The 1,300-square-foot space, on the Carlisle Boulevard side of the shopping center, was formerly a nail salon.

We hope to move bookshelves and other furniture into the store next week. Once we take occupancy, even before we're officially open, we'll be taking books in trade and buying from local authors. I'll let you know when we're ready.

Lots of paperwork involved in starting a new business, and we're trying to get it all done quickly so we can have a Grand Opening in early November. Stay tuned.


We're opening a bookstore!

Wouldn't you love an airy, well-lighted bookshop with a great selection of used and new books? My family is opening just such a store in Albuquerque.

Kelly and I signed a lease yesterday for space in the historic Nob Hill Business Center on Route 66. In keeping with Nob Hill's all-natural hipster vibe, the independent bookstore will be called Organic Books.

Our two sons, Max and Seth, will work at the store, so it'll truly be a family business. We're a family who loves real books, and we hope Organic Books will become a gathering place for book lovers.

As the author of 31 books, I've visited stores all over the country, doing book-signings and talks. We plan to have a busy calendar of such events at Organic Books, where we'll feature new books by New Mexico authors as well as a curated selection of thousands of used books.

The Organic Books space has a 13-foot ceiling and huge front windows that let sunshine pour inside. It was formerly a salon, so there's a makeover under way, with some interior walls and fixtures being removed. We should move shelves and books into the shop by mid-October, and hope to have a grand opening in early November.

Photos and more details soon. Whee!