I’m excited to bring you this exciting opportunity for local and regional authors – a space for you to write! The goal of the program is to not only give writers a place to work, but also give them casual visibility to customers.
The mezzanine level room will be turned into a Writer Room. On the wall outside the room will be an explanation of the room’s purpose. On the shelves closest to the door will be books on writing for customers to browse, ranging from books on craft to books on the research aspects of writing.
The back half will be dedicated to the Writer-in-Residence space, featuring a desk, a Keurig, and printer etc for a writer to have a free place to write, and then on a nearby flat surface will be a chalkboard saying “Writer in Residence” and whomever gets there first writes their name in and then sets up a small display of their books and mailing list sign-up sheet. Books would be rung up on our register, with the store getting the usual 40% commission. Writers can use space for free in exchange for us getting this percentage of book sales and also answering any questions customers might have.
We might also have an official time slot that’s advertised ahead of time (such and such author will be here Sat 2-4 etc) and those would be vetted and paid slots since the author would be getting added publicity–kind of like a booksigning on steroids.
Rules and parameters (though these are still a work-in-progress):
- Since the free space is first come first serve, establishing a limit on how many hours a week one author can use it before they have to start paying.
- Having a sheet showing peak busy times so if you’re one that doesn’t want to be disturbed by customers, you know when to come (we won’t know this data until we’ve been open for at least a month)
- Have a sign up that says to customers, “If earbuds in, do not disturb writer”
- No taking food or drink into the retail space–it needs to stay behind the desk.
- Limit on # of copies someone can make on the printer each month
- Lockable storage space for a fee
- Those who want to reserve a non-official time slot will be able to pay for it and reserve it so another writer can’t drop by.
- No active selling. Meaning, you can’t just come and stand in your area and accost any customer, trying to sell your book. Or worse, tell a customer not to buy whatever they picked up elsewhere in the store, saying it’s awful, and then pimp yours. This has happened at our store, otherwise it never would have even occurred to me someone would do this. It’s meant to be more of a passive venue–a place like Starbucks where you can write and if someone approaches YOU, great.
I know this wouldn’t be ideal for every writer, so if you’re someone who doesn’t typically go to Starbucks to write, or must have complete silence and be 100% undisturbed, you’re not my target audience for this program.