February 20

Queen Anne Books looking for buyer



The owner of Queen Anne Books, Patti McCall, is looking for the next adventure in her life. She has decided to put a Queen Anne institution on the market.

McCall sent this letter today:

Dear Friends of Queen Anne Books,

Almost 14 years ago, Cindy Mitchell and I met with Randy and Alice to discuss the possibility of buying Queen Anne Books, sealing the deal July 31, 1998. It has been an amazing ride: Borders Books and Barnes & Noble were the ‘big, bad, box stores’; Amazon was a new and far-reaching idea just beginning to take off; Tower Books was our nearest competitor; and there was no such thing as an e-book. After a couple hundred book club meetings, four amazing Harry Potter parties, countless author events and 14 Holiday Magics, I have decided it is time to turn over Queen Anne Books to a new owner — someone who will bring fresh energy and ideas to a business undergoing a radical and exciting transformation.

As most of you know, I lost my husband to cancer last May and I am eager to move on and discover what the next stage of my life will hold. I initially believed I would continue to be a bookseller but, because the business is changing so much, I have realized the store requires more than I can give right now. I am hoping someone in the Queen Anne community will find the business as fulfilling and exciting as I know it can be.

The Sale:

* I am selling the business for the value of the inventory, computers and fixtures.
* My lease is up October 30, 2012 but there is a 5-year-option available.
* I am currently working very hard to settle the details of losing a husband — probate, taxes, etc. So Cindy Mitchell, who knows the business as well as I do (even though she “retired” four years ago), has volunteered to answer the initial queries into the store’s possible sale. You can reach her through the store email: QueenAnneBooks@queenannebooks.com. Please put Attn: Cindy in the subject line.

The Serious Buyer:

· Reading is essential, but you must also be an astute business person. Margins are tight in this business; skill, constant appraisal, and reappraisal are required to make a profit.

· You need to plan on working in the store. The presence of the owner in the store on a regular basis is key to the store’s financial success.

· You must be open to the expanding presence of ecommerce, ebooks and social media in the book industry.

· Plan to work hard, learn a lot, and be surrounded by an amazing community who will support you and celebrate the richness of the written word with you!

Thank you for your many years of support. I will do my best to ensure Queen Anne
Books continues to be a vital part of this community.

Sincerely and Gratefully,

Patti McCall
Queen Anne Books


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