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Random Musings About Evanston

Topics for your consideration.

Ever have one of those days...the kind where your mind overflows with observations and questions in no particular order?  If not, consider yourself warned: it's bound to happen at least once.  Today's my day for a mishmash of musings.  I'd love to know your thoughts on any of the topics below:

 

Whew…glad that’s over!

Northwestern University’s winter quarter exams end today and spring break officially begins. 

 

Hitting the road

A friend of mine whose daughter is enrolled at Giordano Dance School reports the school announced last week it's moving to Chicago. 

Another Evanston institution, Roycemore School is also on the move…though it will remain in Evanston.  The school's original site is 640 N. Lincoln and the new site is at 1200 Davis Street.  According to the school's website, the goal is to be ready for students for the 2011-2012 school year.

 

Eye-opening deliveries

Blind Faith Café now delivers.  Order online Tuesday through Sunday.

 

Authors seeking venues

While I've been editing my children’s novel, I've come to rely on a number of writers’ forums and online communities for support.  Several authors have wondered about scheduling speaking engagements in Evanston, asking which of our bookstores is best to hold a book signing or discussion.  I've found that authors frequently (and rightfully) assume Evanston is a great place to promote their books.  Barnes & Noble rarely if ever holds book signings/author engagements in Evanston due to the fact they don't have a full-time community relations employee.  Occasionally Barnes & Noble participates in author events held at The Evanston Public Library, bringing books to the event and taking names for additional orders.  Of course, we’ve got some outstanding businesses selling books, but not a single independent bookstore selling current titles.  We have the magical Bookman’s Alley (selling fine, used books and referenced in Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife), Howard’s Books (used books), Chicago-Main Newsstand (primarily magazines and papers, though some local books available), Comix Revolution (comics, graphic novels and pop culture titles), Chicago Rare Book Center (hard to find, out of print, rare and used books), Amaranth Books (used) and two separate locations of Market Fresh Books (also used).  The Evanston Public Library is certainly a place where readers can hear authors speak about their efforts, but wouldn’t an independent bookstore (like The Bookstall in Winnetka) be a welcome addition to one of our empty storefronts? 

 

Shore to shore

If you were to sail (or motor) directly east across Lake Michigan to the opposite shore, you'd end up in the village of Shoreham, Michigan.  Here's a comparison (thanks to Wikipedia and the 2000 U.S. Census*) of Evanston and Shoreham:

Shoreham is .6 square miles; Evanston is 7.8 square miles.

Shoreham's population was 860, compared to Evanston's 74,239.

Shoreham had 423 households and a population density of 1505.8 per square mile; Evanston had 29651 households and a population density of 9584.1 per square mile.

Shoreham's median household income was $51,333 versus Evanston's $56,335.

Shoreham's median family income was $64,375 versus Evanston's $78,886. 

Shoreham's per capita income was $32,449 versus Evanston's $33,645.

Shoreham has one dining establishment.  Evanston has more than 100.

 

*While Evanston's census information was updated in 2003, Shoreham's was not.

Candace Hill March 19, 2011 at 12:42 PM
We did h ave those lovely independent bookstores, and they were all put out of business by Barnes and Noble before Borders ever came on the scene. When it comes to scheduling book signings, this is better done by the marketing department of the publisher. These folks have relationships with the bookstores, and will arrange signings for a series of stores over a period of time, if they feel your book is worthy of that kind of attention. However, children's books are different. Schools love to have local authors come in and do readings, etc. Putting together a curriculum around your book helps you promote it at school events and special occasions. There's only one problem with that, if you are not in a retail environment, you have to do all the selling and cash collecting yourself. On the other hand, social media is a wonderful venue for selling and promoting a book. I had several articles about my book published around the country, just from people I knew who I could connect with via email. You can be a guest blogger, sign up folks to do online reviews, and do like I did, walk up and down Central Street looking for the best retail outlet for a certain kind of book. But, frankly, an local author's cooperative that would have regular events, book promotions and author lectures is not a bad idea at all.

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