The Power of the Listserv

Josie Leavitt - February 16, 2011

Yesterday, as I was checking my email I was struck again by the rapid response of the New England Bookselling Children’s Advisory Council listserv.  Here’s the timeline:
At 3:oo a member asked a question about trying to find a particular title.
At 3:11 a member responded with the title.
At 3:17 the above member sent a link to the newspaper article the questioner had wondered about.
At 3:18 another member responded to the query, via her iphone, with the title.
At 3:33 a third member responded with the title, its subtitle, and its ISBN.
In all there were five people who responded in less than an hour to the original question. This kind of response allowed the questioner to satisfy her customer, order the book and ultimately make a sale. Without the listserv the sale might have been lost. What this tells me is this is a very active list and we all seem to be online all the time.
This listserv is a wonderful product of the New England Independent Booksellers Association, and NECBA is a part of that. I must say the list helps keeps everyone up to date on issues, concerns, and is a great way to share good news. The ABC listserv is also a highly helpful list and we all use it to help find titles and talk to booksellers outside our region.
Booksellers often feel like they toil in isolation, but with a listserv we remain connected and that is a benefit to us and our customers.

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