January 01, 2004

Happy New Year

by Alan Beatts

Happy New Year everyone! I don't know how 2004 seems to you so far -- but from where I'm sitting things are looking pretty good. In terms of sales, the holiday season was really very good this year, a record breaker in fact, and we had a great time helping customers find books and so forth. And now the busiest part of our year is over and we can catch our breath and gear up for 2004.

There are a number of things that I'm really looking forward to this year in both business and personal life. On the business side, we're only going to be doing a few conventions this year but they all look like they'll be good ones. The World Horror Convention is our usual start for the year in April and 2004 will be no different. This year it's in Phoenix, Arizona, and that makes it even better than usual. First, the folks that run it there ( http://www.leprecon.org/ ), under the talented leadership of Mr. Mike Wilmoth, know their business back to front and put on one smooth, pleasant and 100% professional show. Second, since it's closer than the last few years, we'll be driving out. Which means that we'll be able to bring all kinds of great stuff that we don't usually bring to cons. It may well be the best selection of books that we've ever brought to a convention. That should be a treat for those of you who don't make it to the store very often. Finally and personally, it's a return to the scene of the crime for me.

WHC was last in Phoenix in 1998 and one of the attendees was a very nervous, very new bookseller who had never been to a convention before. My experience at that convention forever set my opinion of writers and other professionals in our field as being one of the nicest and most pleasant groups of people I've ever had the pleasure to deal with.

The end of the year will see us back in Arizona (Tempe this time) for The World Fantasy Convention at the end of October. Again we will drive out and bring lots of goodies. And also again, Mike Wilmoth will be chairing the convention along with another stone cold pro, Mr. Larry Vela. (Mike, if you're reading this, thanks for all the work. Don't you think you need to find a less stressful hobby?)

In between we'll be hitting the other big con of the year, The World Science Fiction Convention in Boston at the beginning of September. This is the biggest convention that we attend and we expect this to be an especially hectic one. We may be hosting a private party for our friends, customers and their guests. Watch for more news in future emails.

In addition to all those conventions, I'll be taking a trip to New York to visit the center of publishing sometime around March or so. Hopefully, that will be all the business travel for this year. I spent a lot of time on the road in 2003 and I'd like a break.

On the San Francisco front we have a few plans for the store this year and we could use your advice for one or two of them. We're planning on increasing our stock of magazines and I was wondering if you have any suggestions. Titles don't have to be strictly within our specialty but they do need to be around the edges (for example, we're going to be stocking Wired Magazine and Writer's Journal). Any suggestions are very welcome. Second, we are also going to be expanding our graphic novel section. Suggestions for titles there are also welcome. Just drop me a line at abeatts@borderlands-books.com or you can even reply to this post if you like.

Other changes at the store are going to be still more new shelves (once I have time to build them) and we're going to start working on an expansion into our basement. Slowly working, that is. Might be finished this year, might be next year, we'll just see how it goes out. Once it's done, it will add about 50% more space to the store as well as giving us a place to show movies, host smaller author events, and give our bookclubs more room. I'm really pretty excited about it (despite all the work it's going to be).

I think I've probably taken up too much space at this point so I'll close with a heartfelt, "Thanks" to both my staff (without whom there would be no Borderlands) and to you, our customers. 2003 was a great year and 2004 will be even better. And it's all your fault.


No comments:

Post a Comment