Aaron's Books was selected by Chelsea Green Publishing to test out their new indie bookstore consignment program. Right now the program is in just a handful of stores (like 5!), with Aaron's Books being the smallest and newest by far. We are so thrilled to be a part of this, and it's really an honor that a publisher would think of us as a good fit to test out a program for the rest of the country. Below is the official press release and some pictures of our new Chelsea Green display (still a work in progress).
Local Bookstore Among First in Nation to Join New Partnership With Famed Publisher Chelsea Green
NEWS RELEASE September 14, 2010
Aaron’s Books (Lititz PA) announces today it is beginning a unique new partnership with prominent independent publisher Chelsea Green to bring more titles about local foods, sustainable living, and earth consciousness to Lancaster County. Chelsea Green is developing a new business model for its relationship with independently-owned bookstores, and it selected Aaron’s Books to be one of the first in the nation to join this program.
Chelsea Green Publisher Margo Baldwin observed: “This branded area partnership is the only model that works to preserve and enhance the vitality of both indie publishers and indie bookstores. They need to move into alliances that support one another and build on local economies and shared communities and mission. We look forward to showing the rest of the industry that all is not doom and gloom if you can carve out authentic human relationship and build on it.”
This new consignment approach to bookselling is being tested in several of the largest and most well established independent bookstores in the nation to include Boulder Book Store (CO) and Northshire Bookstore (VT). Aaron’s Books, far smaller than the others has been selling books since 2005.
For 26 years, Chelsea Green has been the publishing leader for books on the politics and practice of sustainable living and is a founding member of the Green Press Initiative. It leads the industry in terms of content—foundational books on renewable energy, green building, organic agriculture, eco-cuisine, and ethical business—and in terms of environmental practice, printing 95 percent of books on recycled paper with a minimum 30 percent post-consumer waste and aiming for 100 percent whenever possible. This approach is a perfect example of what is called a “triple bottom line” practice, one that benefits people, planet, and profit, and the emerging new model for sustainable business in the 21st century.
The same triple bottom line practice has been core to the mission of Aaron’s Books since its inception, with sustainable living titles and information an important part of their store selection.
“By entering into this special consignment contract with such a great publisher as Chelsea Green, we are able to double our inventory in this area and make a far stronger commitment to offer works on sustainable living to the Lancaster community,” says Sam Droke-Dickinson, co-owner of Aaron’s Books. “We love that Chelsea Green understands how our small independent bookstore benefit from this new model for providing inventory and is willing to offer this opportunity for us. This selection is an honor for the store and the community it serves.”
For its part, Aaron’s Books will feature a special display of Chelsea Green titles selected by the store as the best match to the needs of community. The stock will be rotated periodically to reflect demand and new Chelsea Green offerings. This initiative builds on Aaron’s Books already active participation in local sustainability efforts, including the Susquehanna Sustainable Business Network, the Lititz Farmer’s Market, the Pennsylvania Downtown Center, and the Mother Earth Harvest Festival at Spoutwood Farm.
“We are most excited that out of the hundreds of smaller market independent bookstores, Chelsea Green selected Aaron’s Books to be a test store,” states Ms. Droke-Dickinson “They were encouraged to try a smaller market when they understood our dedication to sustainable living books.”
Regarding the recent experiments in consignment, American Booksellers Association (of which Aaron’s Books is a member) CEO Oren Teicher said, “We think it’s extremely encouraging that publishers are taking a fresh look at trade practices and asking themselves whether there are potentially profitable new ideas to be explored. In our discussions with publishers, ABA has encouraged them to examine such new avenues as consignment, which we believe have the strong potential of selling more books, a definite win-win for publishers and booksellers.”
Aaron’s Books opened in 2005 as a used book store and began featuring many more new books over the past few years. Founded on the principle of being a family and community center for Lititz and all of Lancaster County, Aaron’s Books hosts a variety of events including author appearances, book groups, lectures and discussions on a variety of subjects, story time, and an annual children’s literature festival.