A Message to Our Friends

This is our very first email communication to our mailing list! We will be sending you a monthly newsletter of events and other book-related news, plus an occasional bonus message. But we promise not to inundate you. And we will never share your email address.

You will receive our July newsletter in a few days. Here is our first bonus message.

Roberta Dyer and Sally McPherson
1714 NE Broadway
Portland, Oregon 97232
(503) 284-1726

Broadway Books State of the Union 3.0

Because so many of you have asked, for the last two years we've updated our community of customers, friends, and supporters (most of you are all of these), as to the general health of our business, recent changes, and future plans. This update usually comes in April, but this April was just too hectic to calmly sit down and write. So, with apologies for the lateness of the hour, here's a brief report.

2012 was an amazing year for Broadway Books. We saw an unprecedented growth in our business, partly due to several huge once-in-a-lifetime events that helped us pay our bills and expand both our inventory and our outreach.

We were blessed by several local angel authors whose books sold like crazy, and whose dedication to our continued existence compelled them to send much business our way. Thank you Cheryl Strayed, Storm Large, Tom Hallman, Lidia Yuknavitch, Chelsea Cain, Chuck Palahniuk, Paulann Petersen, Robin Cody, Brian Doyle, Kim Stafford, Bruce Carlin, and Whitney Otto. You all rock. In fact, every single author that came to us in 2012 rocks!  And some of you really know how to party.

In addition to authors, there are a number of local literary institutions that worked with us last year, and we are very grateful for their continued patronage and partnerships. Thanks to Wordstock for including us in your amazing event, to Mountain Writers for your stellar readings for which we are happy to supply books to sell, and of course to Literary Arts for inviting us to be involved in so many of your lectures, readings, the Writers in the Schools program, and the Oregon Book Awards over the past twenty years. Last year we also enjoyed working with AHA, Roosevelt High School, LiveWire, the Union Gospel Mission, and many others who share our love of books and authors. We hope these friendships continue for years to come.

Last May we celebrated our 20th anniversary. Those of you who attended our Sunday event know that we, too, know how to party! We had so much fun. We gave away a lot of books that day and sold even more.  Thanks to the hundreds of you who showed up for champagne and cake and the photo booth and to wish us well. We are still exhausted from that day, in the best possible way.

So here we are, in the middle of 2013. And guess what? We're still here, and still looking forward. The ginormous sales we experienced last year have abated somewhat, but we knew that last year was an anomaly and so we expected (and planned for) things to slow a bit. But even so, if we factor out a few monster events such as our anniversary and three or four other parties we had or went to, our sales are holding at a respectable level . And for that we have those of you who are reading this to thank. Almost every day (and especially on a good sales day), we look at each other and say, Whoa.  We're paying our bills this month, we're ordering and receiving and shelving and selling some awesome stuff, we're seeing hundreds of friendly new as well as familiar customers every week.  We love our small but incredibly literate, hardworking, flexible, imaginative staff. And we love our jobs.

As the worlds of writing and publishing and bookselling and reading continue to change at an alarmingly fast rate, we know that we face many challenges. Our recent experience tells us that the future belongs to those who can adapt to these changes but hold onto the core things that matter to an engaged intellect. Among those bedrock values are an appreciation for and willingness to support education, a desire to read for pleasure as well as for information, a sense of local community that is inclusive and face-to-face, a sense of humor and wonder about the world in literature and in life, and a belief in fostering connections and dialogue with others. These values are alive and well in Portland.

For the rest of this year, and for next year and the next, we are optimistic!

We continue to work on making our interactive website the best it can be. Because we know that many of you are reading ebooks as well as print books, we have partnered with Kobo to sell their ereaders and ebooks because we believe their program is the best. As always, we endeavor to sponsor events in the store that entertain as well as provoke thought and discussion. We are transitioning our monthly newsletter from ink-on-paper to an email version, beginning this month. This new format gives us much greater flexibility in staying in touch with everyone. You will be receiving our July newsletter in just a few days. Please let us know what you think.

We're striving to stay light on our feet and change with the times, to hold on to what's dear by spreading  it around, and to be the bookstore where your grandchildren will shop. Your support is crucial, and we feel it every day.  Thanks so much. Onward!

Roberta Dyer and Sally McPherson
June 2013