Monday, December 21, 2015

Sponsor Letter December 21st, 2015

Hello, everyone,

This is the last sponsor email of 2015, and what a year it has been.  Thanks to all of you, we're still here, and feeling very optimistic about 2016.  It's going to be pretty exciting, and I hope you'll come along for the ride!  Please forgive the lateness of this note.  I had been delaying sending it because I hoped to have some good news about preordering sponsorships (and, if you wish, giving them as gifts).  One delay added to another and here we are at the 21st of the month.  However, I do have that good news - as of now, our website is ready to accept renewals of sponsorships and preorders.  Check the information below for all the information.

High points (details below):

1)  Happy holidays and happy new year to all.

2)  Sponsorships for 2016 are available for preorder now.  The link to use is

3)  Plus One sponsorships available.  For an equal price you can have an extra sponsorship (or two or more) that can be "lent" to friends and family.

4)  Second Sponsor's Open Mic scheduled for January 22nd at 7 pm.  Please email Greg Roensch at if you would like to participate.

5)  Advance sale of a notable collection for sponsors.  Mostly hardcover first editions of 1970s and '80s SF, many signed.  Including a number of Gregg Press titles as well as works signed by Frank Herbert (sadly not including Dune), Fritz Leiber, Roger Zelazny and others.  Saturday, January 23rd from 10 am to noon.

6)  Schedule for upcoming Sponsor Socials: Thursday, January 28th, 2016; Saturday, April 2nd, 2016; Thursday, July 14th, 2016; Saturday, November 12th, 2016; and Thursday, January 26th, 2017.

7)  Sponsors' General Meeting, Thursday, March 31st, 2016 at 7:00 pm.

8)  Lots of cool sponsor-only events planned for 2016, including a month of The Business of Writing lectures, a perfumery demonstration, various tours.

The long version:

1)  Happy holidays and happy new year to everyone!  We wish you a joyful end of December, and we hope that 2016 brings peace and comfort to you.  The bookstore has been quite busy this year, so we're both happy and hopping around here.  We're so grateful for all of your support, and so happy to still be here.

2)  Sponsorships for 2016 are available for preorder now!  Just use this link: . You can use the link to buy a 2016 sponsorship for yourself, or to give one as a gift to someone else.  (If you have multiple sponsorships to purchase or if you're interested in a "Plus One", you can use the website, but it's probably easier to call at 888 893-4008 or email so you don't have to enter the same info repeatedly.)  A quick reminder that sponsorship benefits apply to a single person -- not a couple or organization.  Thanks again to everyone who was so patient while we worked out the quirks with the online form!

(You can also renew your sponsorship by mail, phone or in person.  If you're going to mail us a check however, please date it January 1st, 2016 so that we can stay in the tax-man's good graces.)

3)  We're trying out a Plus One (or more) sponsorship program this year.  Since our first obligation is to our sponsors, many of our events that have a limited number of attendees have been restricted to sponsors-only, and we have not been able to accommodate guests.  If you've found yourself in that position this year, we're trying a solution.  For the same amount as your sponsorship, you can get a "Plus One" sponsorship.  Rather than being associated with a specific person, that sponsorship is yours to lend to anyone you wish.  You can even arrange with us in advance for someone to use it even if you won't be attending the event.  Though we're calling it a "Plus One" membership, you can get any many as you would like.  There are only two catches; first, _all_ sponsor benefit do not accrue to that membership, specifically someone using a Plus One may not rent the cafe or bookstore for private events.  The other catch is that, if you want to order one using the form on the website, you'll need to specifically mention that in the "Notes" section of the on-line form.

4)  The last Sponsor's Open Mic was quite a success, and so we're doing it again on January 22nd at 7 pm in the Cafe.  If you just want to attend, you don't need to do anything except show up (although you might want to take advantage of your seat reservation privilege because it might be crowded).

However, if you want to read, you should get in touch with fellow sponsor Greg Roensch at  He suggested the idea and he's been kind enough to take care of organizing the event.  Participation will be open to writers of all levels (as long as they are sponsors), and also open to any type of writing, in any genre.  All we ask is that you keep the reading short -- five minutes max.  So, if you want to read, get in touch with Greg and he'll take care of the scheduling and so forth.

5)  One of the benefits of sponsorship is that you get first chance at new acquisitions when I buy large, interesting collections.  On Saturday, January 23rd, from ten in the morning to noon, you'll have the chance to be first to look over and purchase from a collection I just purchased. The collection is mostly 1970s and 1980s SF and fantasy with some later and earlier works included as well.  Some of the "big" books are not represented (no firsts of Dune, The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, and so forth) but there are some very nice titles including a first of The Forever War by Haldeman, Gilden Fire by Donaldson, the Gregg Press edition of Leiber's Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser stories and more (please don't ask me for a complete list -- I don't have one and I won't until _after_ the sale).  There are also a number of neat but not hugely valuable titles (for example, I love Circus World by Longyear, but the hardcover first is not an expensive book, just uncommon).

Jude, Jeremy and I will be going through all the books prior to the sale and pricing them. However, before we enter them into our inventory and shelve them, you're going to have a chance at them.  Come down at ten Saturday morning, come in through the cafe, and you'll find them in rows on tables (and, probably, on the floor -- it's quite a lot of books).  Since buying them before we take the time to grade, inventory and shelve them saves us a bunch of work, I'm going to give you a discount of 10% off the marked price as well.  This is the first time we've done this and I think it'll be fun.

6)  We have set the schedule for upcoming 2016 Sponsor Socials -- we're optimistic that way. The dates are: Thursday, January 28th, 2016; Saturday, April 2nd, 2016; Thursday, July 14th, 2016; Saturday, November 12th, 2016; and Thursday, January 26th, 2017.  I hope you'll join us for one or all of these awesome parties.

(7)  We're having a Sponsors' General Meeting on Thursday, March 31st, 2016 at 7:00 pm. I hope that I'll be announcing that we've met our requirement to remain open through 2016.  Of course, if we haven't made it, I'll be making an announcement of a very different sort.

Assuming we make it, I'd really like to have a chance to talk with you about how things have gone through our first year as a sponsored store.  I'd like to know what we've done right, what we've done wrong, and what we can do better.  I'd also like to have a chance to talk to you about some ideas I have for the future as well as getting your ideas and suggestions.  What I have in mind is something much like the original meeting we had in February that was the genesis for what saved the store.  I'll outline where we're at and then ask for comments. You're welcome to bring a guest if you think that they'll have something constructive to contribute.  I hope to see as many of your there as possible because some of what we'll be discussing will shape how I'm going to move forward with the sponsorship program and the business as a whole.

8)  Lastly, we have lots of cool events planned for sponsors in 2016, including a perfumery demonstration with author (and sponsor) Megan E. O'Keefe, a month of The Business of Writing lectures in February, and tours of places of interest around town ranging from a brewery (we do like to take a drink now and then) to a real, old school book printer and bindery.  I'm also going to see if Mary Robinette Kowal will be in town at some point so we can have a re-do of the Scotch tasting she hosted.

-Alan Beatts