An Update on Simon & Schuster and our Mysterious Benefactors
SIMON & SCHUSTER
It's been a full month of reducing our orders with Simon & Schuster and donating out profits to the ACLU. Since so many of you have engaged with us on our stance since our announcement, we wanted to give an update on how things have been going.
On January 18, the American Booksellers Association asked us to expand on our position for their newsletter, Bookselling this Week, and we were thrilled to oblige. While the statement on BtW is somewhat book industry-oriented, if you're curious about our expanded thinking on the boycott, you can read it here.
Several other media outlets have also picked up the story, and you can find links to their coverage here.
For the month of January, we were able to donate $2,209 in profits from Simon & Schuster sales to the ACLU. We encourage you to make donations with us. If you support what we're doing, you can also send your thoughts to Simon & Schuster.
You may have also heard that we've been visited by a series of mysterious benefactors who've been buying books in bulk to leave on our counter for us to give away to customers and people who would like to read them. In our own words, here's what happened:
1) A customer explained that they had bought some copies of 1984 at Point Reyes Bookstore and Green Apple Books to give away at their counters, and wondered if we would be willing to do the same thing.
2) Of course we said yes! They bought 50 copies. Those 50 copies flew off the counter.
3) A different customer saw our posts about 1984 on our social media. They came into the store and purchased all of our stock of The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood, and In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson, so that we could hand *them* out from the counter. They promptly disappeared.
4) The media picked up on the giveaway. See coverage on SF Gate, the LA Times, The Guardian, Yahoo!, BBC Radio (at 1:55:00), CNN, the Chronicle, and one book news journal based in Paris called ActuaLitté.
5) People began to pledge on social media that they too would like to sponsor books for us to give away. So, we ordered 100 more copies of 1984 that we are waiting to receive. A few people have pre-paid for copies we have yet to receive, and those will be given away as soon as they get here.
If you'd like to purchase a few (or several!) copies of 1984, The Handmaid's Tale, or In the Garden of Beasts for giveaway, we are more than happy to distribute them. You can do that by calling the store at 415.863.8688, or emailing orders[at]booksmith[dot]com and explaining your request. We will sell them to you at cost (read: no profit to us).
We'd love to keep this tiny act of resistance going as long as it can sustain momentum.