I, Tim, am currently writing this in pain, as I managed to knacker my back while putting shelves into storage (Huge thanks to Wolves Lane Centre for letting me store the stuff). I am taking painkillers and it is hopefully improving. I’m a bit sore, but I hide it well.
Last time I promised to report on the open meeting about the future of a physical bookshop in Wood Green which took place on 29th January. The response was brilliant, with over 50 people attending. We covered quite a bit of ground in one and a half hours and our next step is to have a gathering of our working groups on the 28th Feb (location TBA) so we can discuss progress. We will have another, larger, meeting in March.
New Name – New Website
Firstly though, you may remember that I put out a suggestion for a name for our new venture in the last newsletter. This was The All Good Bookshop and I asked anybody with a strong objection to let me know by February 11th. I’ve had a lot of responses in now and the overwhelming majority like The All Good Bookshop as a name.
So I am proud to announce that the name of the shop is
There will be a blog piece coming soon about the name over at our sparkly new website, courtesy of Carole McNally and Casper Creedy: www.allgoodbookshop.com.
A New Cooperative
I, Tim, handed out forms (and these have also been available online) at the last meeting for people to declare whether they could donate time, money, expertise and/or any other skills. The results have now been collated into a spreadsheet.
If you weren’t at the meeting, our plan is for a cooperative membership to democratically run the business. Becoming a ‘member’ could be based on investment of any of the following:
We will be setting up a group to look into business models as well as issues of governance. This group will also be seeking advice from organisations such as Cooperatives UK and Haringey Council’s cooperative champion.
What we need
What would we need in terms of a new cooperative?
We’ll need space for a small physical bookshop – at least 10 bays (sets of bookshelves) to start with, along with a separate space for events in the daytime and evening and even, possibly, a café.
Obviously, we are nowhere near finding premises. But we would need to be on or near a high street in order to catch passing trade. Wood Green would be the preferred area – say within a half mile radius of the Big Green Bookshop – but Turnpike Lane, West Green or the top of Green Lanes could also be considered.
Successful aspects of the old bookshop, for instance taking sales by phone or through social media, would be part of any new cooperative venture and, of course, a new bookshop would seek to build relationships with schools as ‘Big Green’ had in the past.
In terms of costs, a bookshop would need £3/4000 a month for rent. Landlords require three months in advance and with business rates at around £1000 a month you need a minimum of £21,000 to open the door, leading to a conservative estimate of £45,000 to start up and cover the first 3 months (without fixtures and fittings). Various ways of attracting funding are being considered including a crowdfunding campaign. (Any ideas on the funding front welcome by the way.)
As above, we’ll be forming working groups (this process has already started) and setting up a public meeting in March to report back on progress. If you offered to help, we may be in touch soon.
Finally, a reminder to everybody: the new website for the project is www.allgoodbookshop.com. There’s a forum there too, if you want to raise ideas/chat about things. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also search for Wood Green Bookshop Co-Operative Project or All Good Bookshop on Facebook.
I, Tim, will also sporadically and begrudgingly tweet under the handle @teach_tim so follow me for random tweets and updates.
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Thank you for taking the time to read this and caring about a bookshop in the area. I’m off to have some tea and painkillers.