Monday, August 18, 2008

Georgia Bookseller Raises $25,000 to Save Store

By Edward Nawotka -- Publishers Weekly, 8/18/2008 9:22:00 AM

Faced with a large chunk of debt, Wordsworth Books of Decatur, Ga. was in danger of closing earlier this month when it launched an aggressive fundraising campaign that culminated last Friday with an event featuring author Jack Pendarvis and his book Awesome (MacAdam/Cage). The two-week blitz enabled Wordsworth to raise nearly $25,000, taking itself out of immediate danger. “We came very close to our fundraising goal,” said owner Zachary Steele.

Steele’s August 4 e-mail blast generated lots of publicity in publishing circles and the store received a big boost when NPR’s All Things Considered ran a four-minute segment on August 11 outlining the store’s need. Contributions came from 18 states, as well as Canada and the U.K. Additional funds were provided by higher sales and some 40 new members signing up for the store’s loyalty program.

“The signs are out of the windows and I’m filled with hope, but there’s still a lot of work for me to do,” Steele said, indicating that the $25,000 still doesn’t erase the store’s total debt burden and in the coming months he will be seeking additional investors, including one willing to come in as a full business partner. “Still,” Steele said, “to have so many flood us with support, both financially and emotionally, has been a tremendous boon.”

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