Christopher J. Jarmick, owner of BookTree, Kirkland’s independent bookstore, discussed the challenges small bookstores face in today’s book market. He covered his journey from script doctor and screenwriter in LA to his current role as bookstore owner, writer and poet. In addition to explaining how to get your book and/or an event into his bookstore, he emphasized that authors need to market the book and the event. He pointed out that books by unknown authors don’t automatically sell even if they are good books. He also covered the consignment process and the 60-40 split of profits (60% = author; 40% = bookstore).
As a bookstore owner, he feels that one of the challenges is competing with Amazon, especially since they have opened brick-and-mortar stores. He mentioned that selling “gently used” books was one way he is able to make a profit.
In addition, he read two of his poems, one about bookstores and one about why he likes dead poets. He was asked if the poetry readings he used to hold at his store pre-pandemic would start again, and he said he’s hopeful they will.