Friday, January 15, 2016

This Bookstore Needs Your Help

Uh-oh. I feared that all might not be well at the Seattle Mystery Bookshop when, in September 2014, it moved back into its previous, smaller digs in the city’s Pioneer Square historical district. Now comes this note, titled “Save Seattle Mystery Bookshop”:

You know us, we’re old friends. We’re Seattle Mystery Bookshop, a specialty store dedicated to the art of the mystery novel. We’re also quite fond of thrillers, suspense, espionage, traditional cozies, culinary, pet and even urban fantasy mysteries. If there’s a crime, we’re interested! You, of course, are our dedicated and loyal friends, whom we adore. And we have a request.

Over the last 25 years, we’ve introduced new authors to you, brought in big names to meet with adoring fans, reviewed countless books, and provided personalized and non-algorithmic service (and sometimes even cookies!) to our beloved friends.

And we want to continue on doing all those things. We love our shop and our books and our customers and our authors!

However, this digital age—and that pesky recession—hit us kind of hard. We need your help to build back to our former glory.

We want to be able to carry all the obscure books that you’ve come to treasure. We want to be the meeting place for both new and upcoming authors as well as old friends and big names to visit with fans and friends.

We’ve set up a GoFundMe account, and our target goal is $50,000. That’s an awful lot of money, we know, but if you can pitch in even a little, it’ll help a whole lot!

Our plan is to use your donations to make sure the rent is completely paid off, all our suppliers are happy, and to restore missing titles and depleted series to our shelves. Some books are hard to find, but we’re up to the task--with your help!

Our aim to is get to a stable financial footing so that we can continue to be the place where you can reliably find the books you want, as well as a resource to answer the questions you have. Should we massively exceed our goals, we’d love to look into establishing our own publishing house. Or maybe even (*gasp*) move the shop to a more accessible location!

We’ve got some nifty rewards to thank you for your gifts. We’ll put those in a second blog post, but we wanted to let you know what we’re up to, and how you can help.

Basically, we want to be here for you, and this is our way of getting our feet back under us.
Those “nifty” thank-you gifts—available to anyone contributing between $1 and $5,000--are revealed here. The money goes to a very good cause. The Seattle Mystery Bookshop, which last summer celebrated its first quarter-century in business (not long before the death of its founder, Bill Farley), is a popular stop for touring crime, mystery, and thriller authors. In addition to its well-packed shelves of new releases, the store boasts an abundance of classic and out-of-print works. It was there, for instance, that I finally found the 15 entries I’d been missing in Erle Stanley Gardner’s series of Bertha Cool and Donald Lam mysteries. Whenever I’m in the Pioneer Square area (which is, sadly, less often now that I don’t work in downtown Seattle), I make a point of stopping by the bookshop, if only to browse and see what other rare or curious finds might be available.

Again, click here to reach the bookshop’s GoFundMe page.

READ MORE:6 Meccas for Mystery Lovers” (The Lineup).

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