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Meet Anne Saller of Book Carnival

Today we’d like to introduce you to Anne Saller.

Anne, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I have collected mysteries since my teens and am an avid reader. During my corporate career, I always attended annual mystery book conventions such as Bouchercon and Left Coast Crime. When I retired, a favorite bookstore of mine was being sold because the owner had passed and his children did not want to run it. I bought it as a retirement present to myself and have been happier than ever before.

After redecorating the store, I updated the store’s visibility through all social media outlets, built a website, newsletter, started a book club. A big thing with my store is author events – whether they feature a big award-winning author or a new one just starting out – as long as they write an interesting mystery, thriller, suspense I want my customers to have a chance to meet and hear them. My hope for the future is to expand the store’s visibility and continue to support mystery authors and provide customers with interesting events.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The beginning was difficult. The previous owner was well known in the industry and when he passed, everyone assumed the store would close. The challenge was getting publishers to recognize that the store was still a viable option for events, to learn the ins and outs of dealing with publishers, getting top authors who would draw a large crowd, balancing income and expenses (there always seems to be more of the latter than the former) and getting known.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Book Carnival – what should we know?
We are a niche store in that I specialize in mystery, suspense and author events. I’m proud of the fact that authors want to come to Book Carnival to sign. They want to have their launch parties at Book Carnival and that I have the best book club and the best customers anyone could ask for.

It really doesn’t matter when you have an author that fans want to see, meet and hear. I have had people drive from the San Fernando Valley, San Diego, the Inland Empire, etc., to Orange and Book Carnival because an author they enjoyed reading was appearing at my store. So, in a way, I feel we serve all neighborhoods. I ship to a lot of customers and have a big thrill when one of those and their family are on vacation in California and stop by to meet face-to-face.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Getting to know my customers, their taste in books, introducing them to new authors, being willing to order whatever they want (even if it’s not a mystery) and talking with them. My customers have become friends and Book Carnival is a ‘go to’ place to pull up a rocking chair and chat, to ask for a new series that they might enjoy, to share photos, to discuss vacations. Also, the store represents a different era – a bookstore that only sells books.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Thomas Pluck, Eric Beetner, Josh Stallings, Nolan Knight, S. W. Lauden and Duane Swierzincsky – all very talented authors. In the Michael Connelly photo my wonderful volunteers are Faith, Diane and Em.

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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