The May 6th event with the management team of Kepler's Books on the future of independent bookstores drew an unprecedented crowd of highly engaged booksellers, publishers, and book industry people from as far away as Italy and France. The Kepler's business model, which prioritizes paying living wages to its employees and community service in its programming, pulled the company from the brink of bankruptcy into a financially stable organization that has seen a 75% increase in employee wages across the board. The Kepler's team of Praveen Madan, Jean Forstner, and Amanda Hall describe the journey they took to re-invent the bookstore and offer some perspective on how others can apply the process to their own businesses. What they have to say will enlighten and inspire, even -- or maybe especially -- in these uncertain times.
The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance is a trade association which represents hundreds of bookstores and thousands of booksellers in Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky,
Virginia, and Mississippi. SIBA exists to empower, promote, and celebrate our core member bookstores in a spirit of partnership. "Core members" are independent, privately held, brick and mortar, commercially zoned bookstores with a
retail storefront, in our region.