Shelf-Talker: Counting Sheep

In October, Elizabeth wrote a blog When a Self-Published Book Is Done Right about the book Sweet Pea & Friends: The SheepOver. The authors, John and Jennifer Churchman, got an agent two days later and then the book went to auction; 10 days after the blog post ran, the Churchmans got a three-book deal with Little, Brown. We have been selling the book like crazy since we got it, but then last night the CBS Evening News ran a story on the book. Our website has exploded with orders that can be directly tracked to when the news aired across the country. Yes, we’ve been selling hundreds and hundreds of copies of this charming book, which is a delightful holiday story for our small independent bookstore in Northern Vermont. But the book and the subsequent news coverage has meant much more.

The holidays are always a fun and stressful time for all retail stores and we’re no different. Our season has been truly stunning this year, and the countless daily mail orders (almost exclusively the SheepOver) that we’re doing has put additional stress on an already over-worked staff. There are many details to mail orders that need to be done correctly and on the same day. We don’t have a shipping department, so this can be a challenge when the store is swamped and we’re helping customers, unloading books, or wrapping. Every day I have watched my staff be flexible, nimble, and good-humored about the new workload. Elizabeth and I are truly lucky to have the staff we do. We have all worked together for years and we are family. We support each other and laugh through much of the day.

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