Bookstore model finds success

12/15/2011

Point Reyes Books’ Community Supported Bookstore (CSB) program, which launched in mid-October and allows customers to deposit anywhere from $150 to $500 into an account for future purchases in exchange for a five percent discount, has already recruited 152 members and is on pace to meet its 200-person goal by the end of the year. “It’s already working for us,” co-owner Steve Costa said. “There are dozens of people that have stepped up in ways they haven’t in the past. They would maybe buy a few books each year, where now they’re frequent buyers through the program.” The upfront cash will allow the bookstore to remain afloat and offer its full slate of events during the winter months when tourism and revenue dips. Dozens of bookstores across the country have phoned Costa to inquire about the program, and about five have decided to develop their own versions of it next year. Several bookseller and publishing newsletters have written about the idea, and Costa and his wife and co-owner, Kate Levinson, have been invited to present their insights at January’s American Booksellers Association Winter Institute in New Orleans.