We don’t have a boss; we make decisions by vote at meetings. One of the dealers, who is great at that sort of thing, has taken on the responsibility of the rather archaic bookkeeping system for the rest of us. She tracks the monthly sales, calculates the rent and pays the bills, and she does an admirable job. She is sort of our unofficial manager. There are other jobs that need doing, such as changing displays when a dealer is not there at rotation time. One dealer does the very complicated scheduling – probably a nightmare when you take into account that some dealers have other jobs, some have other stores, and some do a lot of book fairs. One of the dealers likes to organize poetry readings or book signings. One of our former dealers has designed and maintained a right fine web page for us. My interest is in making signs and posters for events, and I’m trying to put together an e-newsletter for our customers.
It might behoove small dealers in small towns to consider grouping together as co-ops. Having done some research on the subject, I have found only a couple of cooperative bookstores in the United States. They were run differently but the idea was the same, to save independent booksellers from having to shoulder the full expense of a single store. Feel free to contact me at Booktown Books or in Nevada (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you think this might be a suitable option for your community. Our web page is at www.booktownbooks.com. Take peek a when you get a chance, and come on in to visit if you are California bound!