Wednesday night, Nutschell Windsor (Founder and President of Children’s Book Writers of Los Angeles), Angie Flores (Marketing Manager of CBW–LA and Author of Cub’s Wish), and I had the wonderful opportunity to drop off five copies of each of our organization’s publications: Story Sprouts Writing Resource and Anthology, Story Sprouts: Voice… How to Put Personality on the Page, and Kayla Wayman, Teen Time Traveler: Lost in the Stream to the brand-new Pipe & Thimble Bookstore in Lomita, California.
What a dream!
An organic mix of original artwork and jewelry, miniature sculpture, children’s chalkboard scribbles, carefully crafted books, and upcycled shelving come together to inspire, excite, and support creative minds.
The store will officially open to the public on Saturday, May 6, with a big old party from 11 a.m.–4 p.m., and after spending an hour or so talking with mother-daughter co-owners Barb and Ellie Lieberman, we know this will be a major destination for writers, artists, readers and creatives in the South Bay.
As Angie shared on social media within minutes of the meeting, “Check out the new jewel in the South Bay! Come and meet Barb and Ellie and see what they have created for you!”
The indie bookstore will carry titles for both independently published authors as well as works from small publishers. With days to go before opening, they already had an inventory of several hundred book titles, ready to go and beautifully displayed.
We’ve included plenty of photos of the store for your viewing pleasure below, but first…
Here are a few reasons we’re HUGE FANS of the Pipe & Thimble philosophy:
- All book are displayed at least once with the cover out. That’s right, authors: cover out! Barb and Ellie know how much time and effort you put into getting the cover just right, and they want to allow your book the space to shine. In a traditional bookstore, publishing houses pay for that front cover on the shelf, in order to stand out among the spines.
- They’re readers. Barb and Ellie have set a very ambitious goal to read every single title in the store, between them both. Know what awesome readers make? Great sales people and indie author supporters.
- They’re writers. They know what writers feel, and what they need to succeed. As writers and editors themselves, Barb and Ellie understand what writers are going through — from ideation to publication, to marketing and sales. They want indie authors to succeed. Questions about editing, covers, formatting, revisions, blurbs, marketing? They can help. And they will help.
- They encourage reviews. Books need an audience, and in order to grow an audience, authors need reviews. Any indie author knows how hard it is to get friends and family to leave a review, let alone a complete stranger. Barb and Ellie are planning review parties in the store, where attendees to gather, discuss books, and write reviews online in the moment! They also let customers know how and where to leave a review online, even when you buy brick and mortar.
- They will never send back a book just because it’s not selling. Barb and Ellie love to talk with customers and watch the way people interact with the books in the store. If your book is in the store, and the cover’s not attracting readers, or people aren’t buying it for whatever reason, they’ll actually try to move it to a new location in the store, or pick it up and read it themselves, in order to look for a great hook or quote they can put on the book’s cover.
- Displays are unique. Looking for crime fiction? You won’t find a sign that says “crime.” Instead, you’ll find police tape. Interested in scary stories? Look for the cobwebs. Want to read about musicians? There are shelves built into a guitar case for that. Whatever your readers are interested in, Barb and Ellie will make sure your book and its genre* stand out.
- Community matters. The only real limit to the space is the community’s imagination. Barb and Ellie are open to workshops, art exhibits, indie film screenings, book clubs, writer nights, read-alouds, and more. Success as a local business means embracing the community and making the store feel like the comfort of home.
- FREE Indie Author and Small Press Signings! That’s right. FREE! They’ll carry your book, set aside space for you and all your favorite readers, and even market and promote the event for you at no extra cost.
- They’re fair. The commission and author pay structure is very fair and equitable. We won’t give away any secrets, and you should really contact them directly, but know it’s a really good deal for everybody involved.
Pipe & Thimble exists in order to promote reading and writing, and to build community, and that value and commitment to the literary arts is clear in every single thing that they do.
If you’re interesting in having Pipe & Thimble carry your independently published or small press book, email them at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell them about what you write! They’ll send over more information about the process and get you set up in the store.*
*The only exception is erotica, and that is because they don’t read erotica, so don’t feel they can do the genre justice in their store. All other genres welcome for consideration.
Preview the Store
Cute, right?! Now go on, check them out yourselves!
Want to Know More About Pipe & Thimble?
Pipe & Thimble Publishing is a small publishing company founded on the idea that authors, and all artists, should be treated with respect and fairness. Our goal is to help independent authors get to the next level, while maintaining the same control they enjoy publishing on their own. —Pipe & Thimble website
When you visit the store, be sure to ask Ellie or Barb about the peace rose in the garden, and ask about how Pipe & Thimble got its name. We love the history of it all!
Want to Know More About CBW–LA?
Even better? If you’re in the L.A. area, join us for a workshop or critique session! In this digital age, we still believe there’s nothing quite like connecting with a real person in real life. Heck, we’ll even let you tease us and call us old-fashioned.