Before I get into all the details about what is changing, and what is staying the same, I want to say thank you all so much for your support during this period. We thousands of emails, likes, comments, and shares of our posts letting you all know what was going on and we appreciate it. I couldn't respond to everything, and I'm sure some stuff slipped through the cracks, but I tried to at least read it all.
We have the best community in the whole world right here in Dayton, and I don't take that for granted.
Since the announcement of the store closing we have been negotiating with the owners of the property to be able to change the lease terms to make it easier for us to stay here.
After a lot of back and forth we came to an agreement that we could accept.
With some extra work, elbow grease, and the support of the community, we will be able to make this operation work.
I can't tell you how relieved and excited I am about this...
But there will need to be some changes.
1. We will be closed on Mondays starting on September 16th. This is a cost cutting measure that will also allow us some uninterrupted time to focus on our e-commerce business.
2. We are going to be changing our hours on the 6 days a week we will be open. We will conduct a couple of polls in the Facebook group about these changes to get input from the community. You can join the group and have your voice heard at this link here.
3. We are doubling down on efforts to get our message out to local schools and work to do more to make an impact in the community, so you'll be hearing more about that. If want to get involved in our ongoing mission to give away a book for every book we sell, then send us a message on Facebook.
There will be more announcements later about changes to the store, but let's get into something a little more exciting.
This is shaping up to be the best September on record for...
If you haven't yet read my post about the store closing, you can find that here.
The very first thing I want to say is thank you so much for the support that you have shown...
Just in the last day hundreds of people have reached out by email, or text, or through Facebook to show their support for what we did here at Murphy's and I'm humbled by it.
Truthfully, my biggest fear as I made this decision was that no one would care...
That I would make the announcement and be met with crickets.
That all this time and energy was wasted.
That I'd feel alone with all this.
But, fortunately, you guys are awesome :)
What many don't understand about entrepreneurs and small business owners is that many of us aren't quite right in the head...
One of the best illustrations of this is this image below:
I know for sure that as with anything in life, you either win or you learn.
You only lose when you quit.
Awhile ago, I watched the process of the Acorn Bookshop close down in Columbus...
I learned a lot from the gentleman that ran that place about grace and kindness and knowing when it's time to say goodbye.
I also thought that the way he structured his final sale was pretty genius and so we are going to do something like that.
In addition, we are still going to be accepting books until the end of August for trade in, so we will have new stuff in all the time...
But, with this discount structure we do think we will see a lot of stuff move pretty quickly. So plan your trips to the store accordingly.
Yesterday after the announcement we had a bunch of people come into the store for books they have had...
We know that kids end up starting school in the fall a little bit behind from where they stopped in the spring... and that makes perfect sense.
Summer can be full of days in the sprinklers, trips to the pool, lazy Saturdays, and a whole bunch more...
But, in order to keep kids from playing catchup in the fall, there are a few things we can do...
A big one is to get kids to continue to read 20 minutes a day.
It's one of the most important habits kids can pick up from us, and it's one we can help with.
We decided do our part by creating the Million Minute Challenge at Murphy's Used Books.
The Million Minute Challenge is a plan to do a couple of things at the same time.
1. Reading 20 minutes a day is super important... and we want to help kids get into that habit. Check out the reasons why in the chart below.
2. Owning books is incredibly important as well. In fact, recent studies show that having a well stocked library in your home goes a long way to make up for not having access to other educational advantages.
So the Million Minute Summer Reading Challenge goes towards hitting both of those problems.
Sign up here for the Challenge, and we will get started today. We have an online program where you can sign up your kids to track their reading...
It's pretty amazing. You earn points for reading time that you can redeem for different prizes... including free books in the store.
Also, you don't have to live in the area to participate! We can also ship your rewards including books anywhere in the United States.
We hope to see you there... Help us hit our Million Minute Goal!!!
We have the best community in the whole wide world right here at Murphy's. Some of you guys have been following me for years and some of you are just now part of what we are doing.
The t-shirt campaign we did went so well that we want to do another one. Except that this time we want to try something new.
It will not be a surprise to many of you that I have a very limited skillset. I'm relatively good at writing you guys emails that can sometimes make you giggle and make you remember to come and shop at my store. And I'm decent at selling books.
You might not know this though... the last job I had before I dropped out of grad school to work on my business was washing windows.
And I got fired for being VERY bad at it.
So... what are the chances that I will be able to design a bunch of really cool shirts you guys would love?
Instead, why not make it a contest?
So, here's what we are going to do. From now until March 8th at midnight we are accepting designs for two different categories of merchandise.
T-shirts and bumper stickers.
Then the community as a whole will choose the winners.
The winners get $100 in cash (or $200 in store credit) along with 10% of the sales of winning products during the launch campaign.
Here is what we need you to do. If you are interested in being part of the design contest you can join the Merch Mastermind here. It is totally free and is a community forum just for you guys.
If you just want to jump in and see what everyone else is doing and give ideas you can join too.
The big rule is be nice :)
If you have any questions.... join the community and ask them there!
So, my team here at Murphy's has been raving about a book, but I hadn't gotten around to reading it until I saw everyone going nuts about it on Netflix.
Being that the book is super popular, we didn't have any copies at the store, so I bought one from Amazon. (Which is honestly the only time it is ok... You have to check the bookstore first.)
The book is called Bird Box, and you can find it here.
It is post apocalyptic, which is something I super fancy, and to me what makes it extra terrifying is the kids. Kids in creepy stories always make the stakes higher in my opinion.
Also, what makes something the creepiest is when it is unseen. When we have an idea of something terrifying, but it's just out of the corner of our eyes, or on the other side of our blindfold. :)
The author does a great job of this, and I am definitely going to be checking out his other work
So if you are looking to see what all the fuss is about, you can check it out.
If you know much about me, then you probably guessed that I listened to the audiobook, which was deeply DEEPLY unsettling.
I have two different kinds of audiobooks that I listen to.
#1 For chores and driving... general life stuff.
#2 For laying in bed before I fall asleep.
This was definitely NOT a #2 kind of book.
If you get the book, let me know what you think.
P.S. I should give you guys a disclaimer, any of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means the store gets a little bit of money if you buy on Amazon through them.
I'd love to sell you guys copies of Bird Box here, but we haven't seen any yet. This is another way to support what we are doing without actually having to put on pants and brave the cold if you don't want to.
Together with my very good friend and fellow bookseller Sarah Jankowski, I am thinking about starting a podcast tangentially about books and bookstores. I've uploaded a demo that we recorded and I want you guys to take a listen and let us know what you think.
The best way to talk about it with us is in the Facebook group, Dayton Book Lovers.
You can join us here.
As always, thanks so much for all of your support.
We have a new customer loyalty program that is the absolute Bees Knees :) You are going to get a free book just for joining, but that is just the beginning.
There are three other ways to get free books using the new program.
But before we get to that, make sure you watch the video on this post to check out how to join from your phone :)
#1 Buying Books Like Always
This is a no brainer. To incentivize you guys even more to come hang out with us at the store every dollar that you spend at Murphy's is worth 5 points in our new rewards program. There are different reward tiers you can learn about here, but the more you spend, the more rewards you are eligible for.
#2 Checking In At The Store
Once you are a member of the loyalty program you can check in at the store to win prizes with just your phone number. No purchase required. There are all kinds of prizes you can win, just by checking in at the store including a $100 shopping spree :)
Checking in at the store is also how we are going to be doing all of our in store contests as well.
#3 Referring Your Friends
The feature I'm the most excited about is the ability to go into your customer portal and grab your personal link and post about the program to your friends. If they go through your link, set up an account and check in at Murphy's, you both get $5 in store credit!!!
This is going to be the thing that we think will really move the needle for us. We already know that we have the best community in the wide world, but now we can finally give back to you guys for helping get the word out there.
Once they are signed up and come into the store we can take it from there :)
In each of your new customer accounts there is also a wallet. That is where your rewards will go as well as store credit earned from buybacks. (No more using those business cards to write the store credit amounts on...
I know we are all busy and not everyone has the ability to make to the bookstore as often as they would like. Although, it couldn't hurt to come see us more often :)
But if you haven't heard I've been working really hard on a brand new opportunity for people that want to have access to books for the kids in their life and also make a difference in their communities.
We are rolling out our Books By The Box subscription program on Cratejoy. For now it is all only kids books but we will expand that in the future. We are so excited to finally roll this out for all over the country and we need your help to get the word out :)
Click here to learn more about our new book subscription program. As a bonus for those that subscribe you get access to something that my five year old daughter and I built together called Syd's Kid's Corner.
It is the safest space on the internet for kids and parents together to help build and nourish a love for reading and art for young kids and the people that love them. Over the next several months we will be building this community together, but you can only join by clicking here and being a founding member of our subscription book box program.
But you have to act soon. Orders have to be placed by midnight on May 31st to get in for June's shipment and to be part of Syd's Kid's Corner.
We have been working towards this for a long time, even before I even knew where this would end up. There was a bit of a beta test awhile ago to work the kinks out of the subscription service. I can't wait for you to join us and build something amazing for communities all over the country.
Thank you so much for believing in us :)
The First One is on Us :)