Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Setting the Table (or Keeping the Business of Books Hospitable)

Tip of the Day: Taking a trip to Burlington, VT? If so, you must stay at this B&B! The Willard Street Inn is the epitome of fabulous location, grounds, staff, breakfast, and cookies. Total hospitality.

After reading Kate's post from Monday, I was inspired to blog about an adult non-fiction book that I am reading (a recommendation from my sister Andrea Lipomi, author of AMERICAN SPASPITALITY):

Danny Meyer is the successful restauranteur of 11 restaurants in NYC, and this book talks about how he got to where he is -- and the secrets to his continued success. Namely, hospitality.

Now I haven't finished reading it yet, but based on the first half and the words of my sister, Danny's thoughts on hospitality can apply to any business or service you offer -- not just food service.

For example, at a public library, the service you expect is checking out the materials you want. But extra hospitality in the library is when the library staff is happy to serve you, sees what you enjoy reading/viewing and recommends additional choices, tells you about other events coming up that you may enjoy, and genuinely wishes you a good day and thanks for their patronage.

If the library cannot give you the materials you seek, the staff focused on hospitality will offer options to get the items in as painful and quick a way as possible.

Now replay this scenario in a bookstore. Hospitality keeps people coming back. Booksellers who handsell midlist authors or other books the customers may not have picked up themselves show personal attention; they don't just point customers to the bestseller tables at the front of the store.

I'm not sure what my total point here is, lol, but I do know this:
1. We need bookstores and booksellers to talk to potential customers about books (ditto for libraries/librarians/patrons);
2. We need e-retailers to sell ebooks for immediate customer satisfaction (ditto for ebooks available through libraries);
3. The combination of (1) and (2) above is probably the best (a bookseller talks up Book A, customer is excited, bookseller sees the hard copies are sold out, customer can still immediately buy a copy for her ereader).

We need everyone who loves books to work together (read Megg's post from Friday for more on this) and keep the book buying/lending businesses/services hospitable to all.

Deena, Miss Subbing for Pubbing

1 comment:

Andrea said...

Yay! Randomly, a few months back, Jer and I were at Whole Foods and we saw Danny Meyer on the cover of Wine Spectator (May 31, 2012). There's a long article about his recent circumstances that goes way beyond wine talk. You'll like it - let me know if you don't have access to that issue and I'll bring it when we come to Rochester. :)