Connecting with the Community

Connecting with the Community

We have a business in Winnipeg that is part of the fabric of our community – McNally Robinson Booksellers. They have accomplished this by hiring positive people who care and initiating programs that connect the business with local authors.

Recently, I self-published my third book, Making Contact: How To Connect With People. I considered having my books published but was not prepared to live with the time-frame a publisher offered, not to mention the paltry amount an author receives for his or her efforts in our current book publication system. I did take steps to ensure the books were professionally written. They were re-written and proof-read several times, edited by a professional editor, designed by a professional, and printed at Friesen’s, one of the most respected printers in the country.

When I approached McNally Robinson to inform them of my efforts, their representative showed genuine interest, guaranteed the book could sell in the store, offered to host a book launch at their location and encouraged me along every step in the process. I felt McNally was like a partner.

I approached Chapters and was told they had little room on their shelves for self-published books but I should leave a copy and they could place it on the shelves in a few months. I was a little disappointed with the attitude but did leave a book. I went back six months later and was essentially offered the same verse. The only good news, the representative informed me, was that he had found the book I had left and I could have it back.

There are many local authors who face this situation and I have heard many similar stories from some of them. How does this impact those authors? They support the business with the caring open-door attitude – the one who makes the effort to connect with the community. I encourage anyone else, who believes that service and support is important, to do the same. Find those businesses that make you feel welcome and understand the importance of connecting with their customers and give them your support.

McNally Robinson is a treasure in our community with a tremendous reputation. The store in Grant Park is vibrant. Author readings & signings, book launches, live musical performances, and classes are the norm.

As consumers, we do have options and I have no problem driving a little further to support a business that supports local writers and the arts. I encourage everyone to do the same. That should be McNally Robinson’s reward for providing exceptional service and connecting with the community.

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