Bookseller Questionnaire

If you wish to be interviewed by Pat Bertram, please answer ten to fifteen questions (do NOT answer all questions — it makes for a long and boring interview) and submit them in the reply section below along with whatever links you’d like included. Be sure to mention the name of your store and where people can find it. If an answer to a question is yes or no, please explain why. Feel free to include your own questions. To make the interview even more personal, feel free to use any of the questions from the character questionnaire. (I didn’t add any here because I didn’t want you to think I was prying.) Also, please include links where I can find a picture of your store, a store logo if you have one, and a photo of you (optional).

  1. What is the name of your bookstore? How did you come up with the name?
  2. What is your name? Brief bio?
  3. Why a bookstore? In this economy and at a time when independent book stores battle for survival, it takes a lot of passion, courage & possible sacrifice to run a bookstore. How did you get into the business? Did you inherit a family shop? Fall in love with books & dream of owning a bookstore?
  4. What is the general background of your store?
  5. Do you stock a variety of genres or do you specialize in certain types of books?
  6. Do you cater to your customers or to the public? If you cater to your clientele, how do you do it?
  7. What makes your bookstore special?
  8. What’s the hardest thing about being a bookseller?
  9. What’s the best thing about being a bookseller?
  10. What is the most rewarding part of being a bookseller?
  11. What is the most surprising part of being a bookseller?
  12. What are your goals for your business?
  13. Do you think owning/operating a bookstore changed your life? How?
  14. What book do you wish would sell better?
  15. What little-known book do you think is underrated?
  16. What well-known book do you think is overrated?
  17. What is your reading preference?
  18. If you could invite any author for a book signing at your shop, who would you choose?
  19. Describe your store in three words.
  20. What book is your greatest treasure? Why?
  21. Do you have a saying or motto you live by?
  22. How has the eBook revolution affected your business?
  23. Are bookstores still relevant?
  24. Is print going to survive?
  25. Some people think that with more titles available today than at any other time in history, the novel as an art form is dying. Do you agree? Disagree? Why?
  26. What do you think the most influential change in book publishing will come from?
  27. How do you reach potential readers/customers?
  28. How do you choose the books you stock?
  29. Bookshops seem to be fast disappearing. How is that affecting you?
  30. What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned from selling books and/or running your own business?
  31. What music, if any, do you play in your store? Why?
  32. What is your favorite place, real or fictional? Why?
  33. If you could have lunch with one person, real or fictitious, who would it be?
  34. What words would you like to leave the world when you are gone?
  35. What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?
  36. What makes you happy? Angry?
  37. If you had the power to change one thing in the world that didn’t affect you personally, what would it be?
  38. What makes you think that change would be for the better?
  39. What is the weirdest thing a customer has ever said to you?
  40. What is the nicest thing a customer has ever said to you?
  41. What question does no one ever ask you, that I would have asked if I had known what an intriguing answer I’d get? And what is the answer to that question?
  42. Where can people find your store online and offline? Please include store hours and address and any other information you wish.

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