After over a year of stress, nervousness, worry and late-night emails to my wonderfully calming web designer, 28 February 2012 officially marked the opening of our e-doors and over the course of this first month, as well as letting gallons of tea grow cold, staring vacantly out the window of my office consumed with the question ‘what the hell am I doing’ and getting wildly distracted by twitter, I’ve also finally become the bumbling sales assistant, marketer, book cataloguer, order dispatcher, payment processer, accountant, blogger and website updater of the book exchange and what a fabulous month it’s been!
Being a brand new fish in a very large pool of mega-machine-giant-enormous-corporate used book sellers it has been a daunting process starting the book exchange and I am so delighted that so many new members have joined our community of readers - it’s been utterly fantastic getting your feedback on the site and reading your book reviews, recommendations and Facebook comments. The failure of opening a book website is that you can’t see the beaming smile on my face each time you come through our virtual e-doors but rest assured it is there and I love you for it!
Many visitors have also got into the book exchange spirit and we have taken receipt of lots of recycled reader’s books and far exceeded my expectations for the opening month. I’m ecstatic that so many of you have embraced our ‘we love pre-loved’ ethos. This means we have been able to add lots of lovely credit to member’s accounts (which you have been only too happy to redeem already) and we have started to accrue a donations pot for the Dyslexia Research Trust.
What else have I managed to do this month? Log and upload over 250 new books for your browsing and buying pleasure; write some blog posts and book reviews; learn how to package books up for posting in under 5 minutes; take a literary tour of blue-plaque Knightsbridge; find my way around the back-end of the website (whoever said website CMS systems were easy to manage and understand were lying); sign up to various blogs and readers websites (I would strongly recommend Follow the Thread and We Love this Book); meet lots of lovely people on twitter and read a few books of my own. As I say it’s been a good and busy month!
It has also been a brilliant month of first’s - first sale, first recycled reader book trade-in, first blog comment, first twitter re-tweet, first reader review, first member, first newsletter, the first time I was able to reach my desk without having to navigate around copious boxes of un-logged books…
And the first time I’ve filled you in with what I’ve been up to - I’m going to try and post updates regularly so you can all share in the inevitable joys and traumas that I will face selling actual, physical, (some might say ‘proper’) books in this ever increasing digital age – so until next time wish me luck for month number 2!