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In The News

White Birch Books Leads Video Shelf-Talker Challenge #IndieYoureNext

By Emily Behnke on Tuesday, Jul 24, 2018

Nichole Cousins of White Birch Books in North Conway, New Hampshire, is bringing shelf-talkers into the digital age. Cousins has helped establish #IndieYoureNext, a community on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook where booksellers can post short video reviews for books they love and tag others to do the same.

Nichole Cousins of White Birch BooksWhite Birch Books logoThe initiative was spawned in 2018 by an ongoing conversation between Cousins and other booksellers that began at the American Booksellers Association’s Winter Institute and the New England Independent Booksellers Association’s (NEIBA) All About the Books education event on June 14 that focused on the importance of building a customer community online. Cousins’ idea was then bolstered by White Birch Books owner Laura Cummings, who posts Staff Pick Fridays videos to the store’s Facebook page.

“I have a fantastic boss,” said Cousins, who credits Cummings for granting her the opportunity to explore this new way of interacting with customers. “I will throw all kinds of ideas at her and she’ll just let me run with them and we’ll see what sticks.” Cousins has also worked with Beth Ineson, executive director of NEIBA, to encourage more independent bookstores in the region to participate.

Each post to #IndieYoureNext follows a similar layout: booksellers introduce themselves, give a brief synopsis of a book they love, and then tag another bookseller to post their own review. While there are no official guidelines for posting in the tag or choosing who to tag next, Cousins urges booksellers to tag the publisher, publicist, and any other representatives associated with the book being discussed.

“Another cool thing about the #IndieYoureNext videos,” said Cousins, “is that all of these smaller presses are getting picked.” These videos are a way for booksellers to provide publicity for lesser-known books, which helps get them into the hands of more customers and can even foster author engagement if they see the posts. Lorena Alvarez, author of Nightlights (Nobrow Press), thanked Print: A Bookstore bookseller Stephanie Heinz, after being tagged in her video.

“Different connections that people have made is how they choose who to tag,” said Cousins, adding that booksellers are welcome to tag whomever they’d like, both regionally and nationwide, as long as that person is a member of the bookselling community. “There’s really no rules to it.”

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The 10 Best Bookstores in New Hampshire!

By Hilary Gunn

Best of NH

White Birch Books
White Birch BooksLocated in a charming little house that looks like it deserves its very own storybook, White Birch Books is an escape from the congested commotion of modern life. Its diminutive demeanor belies a sizeable inventory, full of best sellers as well as special finds. An exciting recent addition, White Birch has started a Happy Hour the fourth Thursday of every month, featuring food, beer, wine, special discounts, and advice on your next must read.

Read the entire article http://bestthingsnh.com/bookstores/

The Case for Local Bookstores
It's time you paid your neighborhood bookseller a visit

By Erica Thoits

New Hampshire Magazine

Local Bookstores Books matter. More specifically, real books matter. Paper, glue and ink — holding the physical product of someone’s imagination in your hands beats a screen any day. Technology that expands access to reading and knowledge is a wonderful thing, but in our zeal for the next new, shiny thing, we shouldn’t forget the power of the actually written word.

If you can be convinced to put the Kindle down for a moment, then here’s what you should do next — resist the lure of Amazon’s “Buy now with one click!” button and go to an independent bookstore.

Blockbuster blinked out of existence with the digitization of movies, yet bookstores remain. New Hampshire is no exception — in fact, we have a rich history of bookselling here in the Granite State.

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White Birch Books Delights Readers with Friendly Staff and Great Selection

NH Homes Magazine

In recent years we may have seen the rise of electronic readers but according to a 2016 study released by the Pew Research Center, print book are still way more popular among American readers versus their mobile counterparts. That's good news for bookstores such as White Birch Books of North Conway, which has been the town's local independent bookstore for nearly a quarter century.

"White Birch Books is a local independent bookstore that services our local community as well as the many visitors to the area," says owner Laura Cummings. "We've been here for 24 years and counting. Our staff is friendly, personable and engaging. We all love what we do and I think it shows everyday.

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Community keeps them alive: An Interview with an Independent Bookseller

By: Brianna Meagher

North Conway, NH – Owning an independent bookstore isn’t easy, especially today, but according to bookstore owner Laura Cummings, it’s worth it. Cummings owns White Birch Books located in the tourist town of North Conway, N. H. She purchased the store back in 2005 from Donna Urey, the founder of White Birch Books, after realizing her Chamber of Commerce job might not be the right fit for her and her lifestyle. She started when Urey “offered [her] a part time job” and she said that talk began immediately about her buying the store in the near future. But it hasn’t all been easy for Cummings. She purchased the store right before what she referred to as a “perfect storm of nastiness as far as being a bookseller goes.” What she’s talking about here is a combination of a recession, the advent of online sellers like Amazon, and large chain bookstores like Barnes & Noble. The late 2000s were a rough time for independent booksellers and many stores closed their doors during this time. Cummings said that she survived “by the skin of [her] teeth and you know a little bit of infusions, some cash infusions from family” and she said that she “wouldn’t have been able to do it otherwise.” Her family and the community surrounding her are the reason that White Birch Books is still around and thriving
today.

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