Tag Archives: book store

To enhance your reading pleasure, let a Copperfish into your life

Recently, I raced up to Punta Gorda to meet the owners of Copperfish Books. I’m a man who loves bookstores, and I’d never had the opportunity to fish there. My visit was most delightful and informative. Cathy Graham and Serena Wyckoff have created a well-planned, well-stocked, and most comfortable space to browse, peruse, contemplate, and ask for advice. You can even sit down.  

They keep track of and stock the potential and actual best-sellers as well as a wide variety of other new books. Like most independents, they combine new books with used – and they also have an antiquarian section. They stock a deep assortment of Florida writers, particularly Charlotte County scribes, and they offer stimulating selections on Florida yesterday and today.

They will handle special orders, including searches for out of print titles. They have introduced a 20% discount on most newly released adult hardcover books. They insist, “If we don’t have it in stock, we can order it for you.”

Cathy and Serena

If you, your organization, or your book club need multiple copies of the same title, Cathy and Serena offer 25% off most new books with a minimum purchase of 20 copies. They also have a trading/credit program that can save book addicts a good deal of money. Also, they support local authors by offering to stock their books through a consignment program.

At Copperfish Books, you can enjoy range of literary events. Readings and signings by local authors are scheduled regularly. There is a book club that meets on a website-posted schedule with two sessions on meeting days: 9am and 6pm. New copies of the book club selections are discounted 10%. RSVPs are requested.  

Because the owners planned for Copperfish to be a lively cultural meeting space, they made it possible to rearrange some of the display furniture and seat up to 80 attendees comfortably. . . .

To read the entire article, including an interview with the proprietors, as it appears in the August 3, 2017 Charlotte County edition of Florida Weekly, click here: Florida Weekly – Copperfish Books

This article may appear in other editions of Florida Weekly. Let’s hope so! So many books, so little time.

Leave a comment

Filed under Authors and Books, Florida Authors

P.J. Boox – not your ordinary bookstore

Phil Jason interviews Patricia Jefferson  

Phil (on left) with Michael and Young Richards

Phil (on right) with Michael and Young Richards

On June 25, I had the pleasure of meeting the proprietor of this unique bookstore, which is located on Reflections Parkway just off Cypress Lakes Drive. I knew right away that it was a special place. On that day, thriller author M. A. Richards was also at the bookstore with his wife Young for a book signing. After strolling around and enjoying the distinctive layout of the store, I just had to share Patti Jefferson’s vision with my readers.

  1. How — and why — is P. J. Boox different from other bookstores?

In many ways we are just like every other bookstore you have ever been in. We offer great mysteries, romance, poetry, children’s books and a bunch of other genres. In spite of that, almost everyone who walks through our doors knows that we are definitely NOT like any other bookstore that they have ever seen. I suppose it starts with the fact that our books are all displayed face out. You can see the cover of every book that we offer. Turns out that the old adage of “don’t judge a book by its cover” is really about making assumptions about people and not books at all!

Patti in her Boox store

Patti in her Boox store

Of course the biggest difference is the fact that the books we sell are all by independently or small press published authors from around the world. What does that mean for the average reader? Not much actually. I have never yet met a reader who cared who the publisher of a book was — they just want a good story with characters they can love or hate. Working with these authors directly gives us different advantages than a big box store does. For instance, most of our books are signed by the author and we can Skype or Facetime with them for a book club. Readers can connect and follow the authors on social media because they are accessible to their fans. It’s just a different way to connect authors and readers.

  1. How does your selection process work?  

    A woman and her Boox

    A woman and her Boox

For a long time, independent or small press publishing had a bit of a stigma as being an inferior product to traditionally published books. In the recent years, however, independent authors have fought to correct that ill-conceived notion so it vital for us to be able to present the best books available to our readers. We get submissions on our website directly from authors and we also solicit select authors on-line. We judge the books by their cover designs, whether the manuscript was professionally edited, and we look at reviews in places like Amazon and Goodreads. We check out the authors other marketing platforms, and we are especially interested in books that have won national or international book awards.

  1. Clearly, you must have a different business model from the “usual” bookstore. Will you describe it? . . .

To find the answer and the rest of the interview, as they appear in the August 24,2016 Fort Myers Florida Weekly and the August 25 Naples, Bonita Springs,   and Palm Beach Gardens / Jupiter editions, click here: Florida Weekly – P.J. Boox

Leave a comment

Filed under Authors and Books

Books Across the Bridge

Sunshine 4

This was the working title of an article I submitted to the Naples Florida Weekly.  It was published in the August 20-26, 2009 issue. To read it, click here: Florida Weekly – Sunshine Booksellers.

 Here are some other book industry pieces in Phil’s archives:

Trident Press                                      Wickham Books South

Mina Hemingway                                  Whitehall Printing

Ft.Myers magazine – ArcheBooks

Stuart Unsworth in the south branch of Sunshine Booksellers

Stuart Unsworth in the south branch of Sunshine Booksellers

Leave a comment

Filed under Authors and Books

BOOK BEAT 42 – Mina Hemingway

BOOK BEAT   Naples Sun Times   May 9-15, 2007

by Philip K. Jason

Do you want to shop for books, sell books, or have a book designed and printed? Between them, the husband and wife team of Jon Rothenberg and Mina Hemingway can take care of your book needs. As an owner of Presstige Printing, Jon can provide you with information and service on all your printing concerns. He calls his outfit a “single source solution.” As the owner of Mina Hemingway’s Florida Book Store in Naples, Mina will open her shelves of used and new books for your perusal and recommend titles for your reading pleasure. She might also take some old books off your hands. Together, Jon and Mina can guide you through a personally tailored process from the design through the production and pricing of your book via their Kilimanjaro Books printing program. 

Presstige Printing, located at 10940 Harmony Park Drive in Bonita Springs, has a twenty-five year history in the area. Four years ago, Jon Rothenberg joined Bob Wiedenmiller to become a co-owner of the firm, which is not only a one-stop printing establishment but also provides direct mail services. Presstige has a digital press for short run print-on-demand jobs as well as the traditional ink-to-paper printing press for high quality larger print runs. Many customers choose to have a book produced digitally in order to have a small number, perhaps 25 or 50, available for showing to stores, distributors, or trade publishers – or even for proofing purposes – before deciding on the quantity of the full print run.

All Presstige Printing needs from a customer is a basic Word file. The less formatting the author has done, the better. Jon and his staff will reformat the material and send back design options, along the way developing an understanding of an appropriate cost to the author and an appropriate retail price for the finished product.

Two recent books printed at Presstige are Skyblue Pink, a gorgeous collection of Gulf Coast Florida sunset photographs by Jason and Kristyn Schwartz, and the 2007 edition of Valerie Miller’s Naples Restaurant Guide. The latter is a Kilimanjaro Books project, though the former could just has well have been due to the joint input of Jon and Mina on design and pricing issues. Mina wrote the introduction to Skyblue Pink.

She also wrote an introduction for a special printing of her grandfather’s classic The Old Man and the Sea, the sales of which benefit the Ocean Conservancy. This book is only available locally, and most conveniently at Mina Hemingway’s Florida Book Store, which is located in the Pavilion Shopping Center at 857 Vanderbilt Beach Road. That same address had already been a destination book store for over twenty years before Mina started here business there this past September.

Mina’s place is one of that vanishing breed of independent book stores in which customer and owner can genuinely enjoy talking about their reading interests. Mina is an enthusiast who has read widely, who keeps current, and who can match up customer interests with her own knowledge of related titles that the customer is bound to enjoy. There is no running to the computer – she can put her hand on the book suited to her customer’s taste or help the customer pick out a book for a gift.

As the name of the store suggests, Mina stocks a great many titles of interest to Florida residents and visitors. She is also generous in allowing space for books by local authors. As her own name predicts, there is a sizeable number of titles related to her grandfather’s life and career – as well as editions both popular and rare of his books. There is also a generous selection of magazines.

Other areas of specialization among the used and rare book holdings have to do with modern greats such as Edgar Rice Burroughs, Graham Greene, and other trailblazers. There is a good assortment of science fiction and an unusual collection of vintage paperbacks and magazines. Celebrity biographies are also available. And if Mina doesn’t have what you are looking for on her shelves, she may have it stored at home.

So come in, grab a cup of Manatee Coffee (or buy a bag with Mina’s picture on it for home brew), browse, talk books and Hemingwayana with the engaging proprietor, and breathe in the atmosphere of a place where books are not just displayed and sold, but truly loved.  

Philip K. Jason, Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus of English from the United States Naval Academy.  A poet, critic, and free-lance writer with twenty books to his credit, this “Dr. Phil” chairs the annual Naples Writers’ Conference presented by the Naples Press Club. Send him your book news at pjason@aol.com.

1 Comment

Filed under Authors and Books, Book Beat

BOOK BEAT 35 – Wickham Books South

BOOK BEAT   Naples Sun Times   March 14-20, 2007

by Philip K. Jason

Remember walking into the neighborhood used book store and browsing the shelves for hours? Perhaps the establishment was also a coffee and dessert shop, with tables scattered about and a couple of chess boards. There was good conversation, a bulletin board for items of local interest, and perhaps a golden retriever sprawled near the doorway. The place was similar to those run by the independent dealers in new books, and many shops combined new and used stock. Such places are vanishing, but customer service can still be had in today’s internet used book trade. Just visit with Bill Wickham. 

Bill and his wife moved to Naples in 1990, when she signed up as the administrator at Lely Palms. Bill had been an urban planner, but after a few years in Naples he decided to follow the family business located in Duxbury, Massachusetts and start a used book outlet in Naples. Wickham Books South opened in 1993, and it continues to offer shelves of out of print and rare books at its retail location in the Treasure Island Antique Mall at 950 Central Avenue. Those shelves hold only a small fraction of the 13,000 titles in Bill Wickham’s inventory, all of which are listed online and warehoused in his home. Visits with Bill are by appointment, though sales at Treasure Island can be processed by other merchants who share the mall.

When Bill began, the online dimension of the used book trade was in its infancy. He did most of his business by scouring the pages of AB Weekly, the trade publication, and checking the thousands of wanted items listed by dealers against his inventory. Then Bill would send them quote cards, listing his price, and from there a deal would be made or not. The whole process could take a month before a customer received the book. But from the very beginning, Bill entered his stock into a computer file, and as the internet part of the business burgeoned, Bill was ready. Now, those 13,000 books available through Wickham Books South are computer searchable. 80-90 percent of Bill’s sales come from his internet presence, and about 15 percent of those sales are shipped overseas. 

Like others in this business, Bill offers his inventory through online dealer networks. As a member-subscriber to biblio.com and abebooks.com, Bill makes his books available to shoppers who plug a title into a search box. If he has that book, the shopper will find out the condition and the price along with the terms of sale – and also the condition and price of competitors’ copies. To look only at Bill’s inventory, one clicks on the “Bookstores” tab and then enters Wickham Books South (or searches further by clicking the “W” tab). Now you are shopping in Naples from wherever in the world you connect to the internet. Of course, this service comes at a cost to its members – not only the monthly subscription fee, but also a piece of each transaction made through the listing network.

Bill believes that specialization is not as important as it used to be. While he lists Travel, Florida, and Military as featured categories in his large stock, he doesn’t really think of himself as a specialist – except when he is in Miami. Then Florida titles loom large.

Each November, Bill rents space in the Antiquarian Books Corner at the Miami Book Fair. He enjoys a very profitable weekend, with many shoppers and a relatively small number of dealers. Not only does he sell a good number of books there, but he also plants the seeds for future business with people who walk through, grab a business card, and contact him later.

Even Naples residents first find Bill through the internet. Then they may engage him directly to help them fill their book requests. He doubts, given the economics of the business today, that it pays to have a large, separate store and fixed business hours. Those days of a clean enough, well-enough lighted place to browse, actually heft and examine lovely old books, listen to music, beat your friend at checkers, have some java and a croissant, and catch up on neighborhood gossip are over. The space at Treasure Island Antique Mall allows Bill to maintain a presence in the community and to keep his home a private place. Also, by networking with other dealers at Treasure Island, Bill finds out about estate sales and other sources of inventory.

A seller is first a buyer. For Bill, the excitement is in finding new stock. The fun of detective work and the joy of discovery are key pleasures. In this regard, Bill Wickham is like all booklovers – including those who look to him for their out of print and rare book needs. You can reach him at 774-5519 or send email to wickbkso@earthlink.net.  

Philip K. Jason, Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus of English from the United States Naval Academy.  A poet, critic, and free-lance writer with twenty books to his credit, this “Dr. Phil” chairs the annual Naples Writers’ Conference presented by the Naples Press Club. Send him your book news at pjason@aol.com.

Leave a comment

Filed under Authors and Books, Book Beat