Sister Store Sundays: Bookworks of Albuquerque!

Welcome to the fifth installment of our new blog series “Sister Store Sundays”.
Every Sunday we will feature a quick Q&A with another Independent Bookstore. We want to introduce you to some of the fabulous people who are nurturing the cultural conversation around the country. This week we are excited to feature Bookworks of Albuquerque, NM! Marketing & Events Manager Amanda Sutton was kind enough to answer our questions.

OBOFS: Why did you get into this bookstore?

BW: Our co-owners, Danielle Foster and Wyatt Wegrzyn, were employees of Bookworks founder and owner Nancy Rutland. When Nancy announced she wanted to sell the business, they partnered to buy it and are running it together.

OBOFS: How many people do you employ?
BW: 20

OBOFS: How has social medial helped the business?
BW: We use Facebook especially, and also Twitter, to get the word out about our many store events, publishing and bookselling industry news, and staff book recommendations. Recently we have joined Instagram, which we use to photo our author events, book covers, and in-store displays. We also use a local online social forum, Duke City Fix, to keep in touch with our local audiences.

OBOFS: What is different today from when you started out?
BW: This is my first bookstore gig, but I have been in book publicity for 10 years and book publishing for 13 years. Obviously, the electronic world has vastly changed the industry. More self-published authors. More people are buying e-books. More publicity and publishing is being done online. Authors are doing events via Skype and the internet. The biggest and most pervasive change is the internet's massive influence on how we do business and how our audiences acquire and read books.

OBOFS: What do you wish you had known then?
BW: I'm not sure about this question--maybe I wish I had known how much the industry was going to change, but I don't think that would have deterred me from my love of books and desire to be in the publishing and bookselling industry.

OBOFS: What should the public know about independent bookstores that they probably don’t?
BW: We only make a fraction of the list price displayed on the book, so a few dollars from a paperback sale and not much more from a hardcover. I also wish people knew that we can special order books and have them to you as quickly as Amazon, with you supporting a local business that does a ton of work and collaborations in our community.

OBOFS: What plans does the store have for the next year that people should keep an eye out for?
BW: We want to continue to build our partnerships with community groups and organizations. We also want to do more group author events and a publisher showcase on a monthly basis where we feature multiple books from one publisher--probably starting out with local and regional publishers. We will continue to get the big-name authors to our city, too. In the fall, we are hosting Terry McMillan, for instance, and there will be others.

OBOFS: How do you handle the “Amazon Showroom” Phenomenon?”
BW: We like to remind people that we have access to ordering most of the same books carried on Amazon and we can get them in and to the customer in about the same amount of time: 3-5 business days in most cases.

OBOFS: What do you offer your community that they and B&N don’t?
BW: We provide books to students and schools; we donate gift certificates to charitable and nonprofit organizations; we show up at community events and for author talks at a number of off-site venues and sell books for almost anyone who asks; we employ local people and pay local taxes and support other local businesses and initiatives; we read--ALOT--and recommend wonderful reads for our clientele because we know our customers. Personally.

OBOFS: What are you reading right now that is captivating?
BW: And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini. We host him June 9th at the University of New Mexico. Narcoland: The Mexican Drug Lords and Their Godfathers by Anabel Hernández. Raw: A Love Story by Mark Haskell Smith; The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan.

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  1. A Wilmington Institution since 1982
  2. Buying Old Books: The ultimate Recycling
  3. Best African American Literature Selection in Town
  4. Extensive Foreign Language Section: Spanish, French, German, Italian, Chinese
  5. The ONLY bookstore in town to deliver!
  6. Paperback Classics at affordable prices (Great for English classes!)
  7. Incredible Judaica Section
  8. Largest selection of scripts and Theatre/Film books in Town
  9. Where else are you going to find a first edition for under $10?
  10. Bibliophiles rock!