Wednesday, December 21, 2011

An Ebook Reader Christmas? You can still support Local Bookshops!

Despite what everyone seems to be saying ebooks & your local bookshop don't have to be a mutually exclusive proposition - in fact there are a few ways you can happily use both, thus benefitting your local community and your digital drive!

Here are our very easy suggestions:

Go to our webshop http://www.lincolnbookshop.co.uk/ & use our ebook affilliate links - this is perfect for buying Kindles on and for buying kindle books through - as each sale using this link helps us just a little and costs you nothing more than to favourite the site and click through for your purchases of any amazon product ;-)

Come into the shop (or email/phone/tweet/Facebook us) and buy a National Book Token from us & then you can buy ebooks with it at http://www.hive.co.uk/shop/lincoln/unicorn-tree-books-crafts/
Hive has multiple ebook formats available (though not kindle) and you can also buy Google Ebooks through them as well.
Every single sale from hive.co.uk helps an independent bookshop - not always us depending on where you are but it will always be supporting a local independent bookshop! (and sometimes it's even been known for the books to be cheaper than Amazon's price!).

So there you go - easy ways it can be an Ebook Christmas without being Scrooge like for your local Independent Bookshop here on the High Street or in The Market :D
Remember we are here to serve you and we really appreciate your support - go on Shop Local - it's better for all of us when we go local to go global ;-)

So we'll look forward to seeing you, recieving an email from you, chatting on the phone (01522 525557) with you or even facebooking or twittering with you!
Oh and happy season, may the coffee be good and the chocolate be rich and may it be a cool yule and a Blessed Christmas & New Year to all you friends out there!
 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Polskie książki teraz dostępny! - Polish books available!

Polskie książki teraz dostępny przy Unicorn Tree Books!

Wielu głównych autorów fikcji i style zarządzili w - inne tytuły mogą być zarządzone na życzenie!

Yes, That's right, Polish books coming to Unicorn Tree Books soon!
Many top fiction authors and styles ordered in - other titles can be ordered on request! 


We are really happy to say that we are now able to source a wide range of books in Polish so that we can better serve our new neighbours and friends here in Lincoln and across Lincolnshire. 

We are committed to really being a bookshop that serves the community we are in, and so getting in Polish books really was an important item on our list of how we can better serve the community. 


We are really happy to have found a supplier in Gardner's Books that also feels that committment and is carrying polish language titles as part of their stock range too, the added benefit here is that these books are also available on www.hive.co.uk - the website that supports independent local bookshops through every sale of a book or ebook download.

The first selection of fiction in Polish will be here in the shop and on the shelves by Wednesday 21st December, with an expanded range to follow in mid January. 

It's hoped the choice should appeal to a broad range of readers with some crime, thriller, romance and childrens books too!

We are starting out with a small selection but as people come in and let us know what they are interested in and as they spread the word we really hope to be able to grow the range and space given to these books to really be able to serve our growing multi-lingual community.

Books can be ordered - just let us know the title you are after and we'll do our best to get it.
Remember you can either pop in to the shop to order in store (and check the shleves to see what we already have in stock) or you can go online to www.hive.co.uk where you can then have them delivered either to your home or arrange to collect them direct from Unicorn Tree Books.



Remember we are here to serve you and we really appreciate your support - go on Shop Local - it's better for all of us when we go local to go global ;-)


So we'll look forward to seeing you, recieving an email from you, chatting on the phone (01522 525557) with you or even facebooking or twittering with you!



Jesteśmy bardzo szczęśliwi z tego,  że jesteśmy teraz w stanie pozyskać szeroki wachlarz książek po polsku, tak abyśmy mogli lepiej służyć naszym nowych sąsiadów i przyjaciół w Lincoln oraz w Lincolnshire

Jesteśmy zajęci się naprawdę będąc księgarnią, która pracuje dla społeczności jesteśmy w, zatem dostając po polsku książki naprawdę był ważną rzeczą na naszej liście z jak lepiej możemy pracować dla społeczności.


Cieszymy się znaleźć w Gardners Books dostawca, który jest zobowiązany do dostarczania książek również po polsku jako część ich pasma towaru. teżdodatkowa korzyść oto to te książki są również dostępne na www.hive.co.uk - serwis internetowy, który podtrzymuje niezależne lokalne księgarnie przez każdą sprzedaż książki albo ebook pobieranie danych.


Pierwsze książki fikcji po polsku będzie tu w sklepie i na półkach przed środą, z rozszerzonym zakresem nastąpić później w styczniu.
Miało nadzieję, że wybór będzie pracować dla szerokiego zakresu czytelników z jakimś kryminałem, romans i childrens książki również!


Startujemy z małym wyborem ale jako ludzie odwiedzać i mówić nam jakich książek oni chcą, i ponieważ oni rozpowszechniają wiadomość o naszym serwisie, naprawdę mamy nadzieję móc rosnąć zakres i przestrzeń daną tym książkom aby naprawdę móc pracować dla naszej rosnącej wielo-językowej społeczności.


Książki można zamawiać - daj nam znać tytuł szukasz, a my dołożymy wszelkich starań, aby je zdobyć.Pamiętaj, możesz wstąpić do sklepu na zamówienie w sklepie (i sprawdzić shleves aby zobaczyć, co mamy już w sprzedaży) lub możesz zobaczyć w Internecie www.hive.co.uk gdzie można je dostarczony do domu lub zorganizować je odebrać bezpośrednio z Książki Unicorn Tree Books.


Pamiętać, że mamy tu obsłużyć cię i dziękuję za twoje wsparcie.
Proszę robić zakupy Lokalny - to jest lepsze na wszystko gdy idziemy do pobliskich sklepów do mieć globalnych rzeczy; -)

Więc nie będziemy móc się doczekać widzenia cię, recieving e-mail od ciebie, gadając przez telefon (01522 525557) z tobą albo nawet facebooking albo świergocząc z tobą!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A meander around the shop!

For those as may not have been able to make it to the shop in person or for a goodly while, here is a few minutes madness as we take a walkaround the shop! Oh but we realise we didn't do the outside of the shop and the sheer wonders to be found out there and in the glass gift cabinet too - still leaves us something else to do on another play day :D
Enjoy the visit!

Part 1:


Part 2:


Of course as great as this is we still really love seeing you in person and servng you directly because we really are here to serve you and we really appreciate your support - Go On Shop Local - it's better for all of us when we go local to go global ;-)

So we'll look forward to seeing you, recieving an email from you, chatting on the phone (01522 525557) with you or even facebooking or twittering with you!

Friday, November 11, 2011

UTB Video Book Review - maybe never again!


Lol - ok can you tell that things were a bit quiet in the shop! Anyway this is what happens when you decide on the spur of the moment to try to record a video review in the shop on your smart phone - the phone may be smart the owner not so!
Anyway lets pretend for a minute that its one of those experimental indie art films, weird angles totally required, along with strange talking head moments!
That aside though the book, Rumors of God, is really very good and totally recommended!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

we are part of the Hive network and it's competition time!



The Hive network is great because it supports independent bookshops across the country - every purchase you make on hive.co.uk supports the nearest local bookshop or the bookshop you choose, It's a great place for getting books and ebooks! it also includes google books too!

You can find us there too! http://www.hive.co.uk/shop/lincoln/unicorn-tree-books-crafts/

Of course as great as this is we still really love seeing you in person and servng you directly because we really are here to serve you and we really appreciate your support - go on Shop Local - it's better for all of us when we go local to go global ;-)

So we'll look forward to seeing you, recieving an email from you, chatting on the phone (01522 525557) with you or even facebooking or twittering with you!

Friday, October 07, 2011

Christmas is Coming - Bible Refresh Offer!

Christmas is Coming!

Now I know that at my house in the lead up to Christmas one of the things we do is smarten up a bit, a touch of redecoration ( and no not putting up tinsel and baubles!) but smartening up the things that over the year have taken knocks and got a little tired so that when the guests come at Christmas the house looks welcoming for them.

Based on this idea I thought maybe this might be something Churches might like to do it too - and one of the things I find gets a lot of wear and tear in many churches is the Pew Bible!

So here's a rather good deal to anyone who thinks they just might like to do a bible refresh before the Christmas guests arrive!

(Here's the link to the flier telling of the offer just in case the clever picture doesn't show up!
Don't worry if your church doesn't use the NRSV, just contact us as we can do some great offers on other versions of the bible too - just ask us!

Remember we are here to serve you and we really appreciate your support - go on Shop Local - it's better for all of us when we go local to go global ;-)
So we'll look forward to seeing you, recieving an email from you, chatting on the phone (01522 525557) with you or even facebooking or twittering with you!


Unicorn Tree Books, Central Market, Lincoln. LN5 7ET
www.lincolnchristianbookshop.co.uk 
www.lincolnbookshop.co.uk
www.jigsawsandmore.co.uk
www.cardmakersupplies.co.uk
www.lincolnartistsupplies.co.uk

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

We are 5 Today!

Today is our 5th Birthday, we've seen an awful lot of change in those five years not only in Unicorn Tree Books (& Crafts) but in the economy, in the market and in the booktrade and we are happy to say we are still here and smiling widely!

 We've drunk a lot of Caramel Latte's, shifted a lot of units, re-arranged how many times and seen our minions fledge and go off to found their own businesses - this bookshop boss thinks that's one heck of an achievement and to celebrate is having a venti caramel latte today!

However I know we wouldn't be here still today if it wasn't for all you lovely customers and I want to say the biggest and most heartfelt THANK YOU! to all of you.

You make each day different, fun and, hey, maybe even a little more crazy than it would be even with the bookshop boss in attendance anyway - so thank you.

As a little birthday celebration we are today giving 5% off all books to celebrate the 5 years of trading and we are also giving 1 reward point for every £5 spent instead of the usual £10 

So come in and celebrate with us as we journey forth into our next 5 years of bookshop bosses, minions and cheerful customers, along with coffee, books, crafts and other fun fuelled things!

So there we go 5 years old today so go on come in and browse and treat yourself to a gift from us that will act as a gift to us, because the best gift we can ever have is your custom!

We'll look forward to seeing you, recieving an email from you, chatting on the phone (01522 525557) with you or even facebooking or twittering with you!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Hmm - that's a lot of books for a small shop with a seemingly small selection!

(Updated with Images of facefronted sections as requested by Phil Groom in the Comments section - cause we always aim to please!)







I have just been told by a customer that they had been told that we here at Unicorn Tree Books & Crafts didn't have a lot of Christian Books in stock!
They told me they would be going back to Church and suggesting perhaps the person that told them that should actually look and not make an assumption based on a quick glance around what seems like an admittedly small space - as he felt we had an exceptionally wide and varied selection more than equal to some large shops he had been in.
I thanked him for his kind words.

Based on this I just checked the system and currently we have 2273 different Christian titles in stock in the Christian books section and that doesn't include multiples of the same title - it is solely individual actual titles in stock right now, it also doesn't include Childrens Books & Resources, Bibles or service books!
So now I need to see what those excluded sections carry too - this enquiring mind needs to know!
In terms of Bibles - there are 102 different Bibles & New Testaments and then 46 Different Childrens Bibles as well in stock.
Childrens Books & Resources has 497 Different titles in stock.
In terms of Service books - there are 38 listed and then a few pamphlets/leaflet types not actually accounted for on the system.
So in total there's 2956 individual christian/religious titles recorded on the system and probably just over 3000 titles if we include the tracts, pamphlets, leaflets and books without barcodes that aren't listed on the system! And remember that's individual titles and not just books stocked as that's going to be a much higher figure due to multiples, oh and it doesn't include secondhand stock!

And yes that is just the Christian section, in the general section we have 3982 new books and probably just under that in secondhand!

Now don't get me wrong I know this still makes me a small bookshop - actually I like that it's a small independent bookshop - it means I know my stock, my customers, my delivery drivers etc perhaps a bit more than I would if I was having to run a large bookshop with all the administration and work involved in that,  but it's certainly not the smallest selection of Christian Books there on the shelf - indeed I'm pretty sure that's more books than at times we had in some SPCK shops (so ok I know that's quite a few more than I ever had in stock in the Brighton SPCK back in 2000, and probably about comparative to the Lincoln SPCK).

I've been thinking about this most of the morning and pondering therefore why it is that some people think we don't have many Christian Books instock given how many we do have, is it a now unreal expectation based on the wide range available online? possibly but to be honest I think what makes the difference is the display - it is a perception thing.

You see there is not much (indeed one could almost say no) room for face fronting of books here in the shop, that's a sadness but it's also a choice I have willingly made - you see I value breadth of offering and range, so given the small space I decided I'd rather have a good wide selection of books and titles spanning a multitude of subjects and churchmanships, than have a pretty face front and probably multiple heavy but significantly lessened range of books.

So therefore people don't see a pretty display of lots of face front books, they see lots of spines and due to the way they are now educated to perceive ranges of books (face front and lots of piled multiples on tables and shelves) in most bookshops like Waterstones, WHSmiths, Publishers Clearance Warehouse, The Works, Sainsbury's, Tesco and Amazon - when they then don't see this they assume there's not much there - they don't browse the shelves properly, they just make a decision based on perception for the most part.

Of course this is a generalisation and many book buyers really do browse and do appreciate the choice of range over display, but it is something I have to consider and work on - indeed as does everyone - therefore at the back of the shop there are now two small bookcases that look up the shop so when you turn into the department they face you - previously they were used for displaying gifts etc - now they are being used to display 'New Titles - Just In' face front and special promotions face front.

I'll wait and see if it makes a difference to how people percieve the size of the shop and range, but I'm still not willing at this time to sacrifice the range of books for the face front look, I'd rather sacrifice a few other things first - and yes that's my choice and it may be a little to my detriment, but less range is certainly to the detriment of the people who need the books that day or just may come across that one life affirming or altering book in amongst those spine facing books.

A few months ago I saw one shop self describing itself as large due to an impressive 7000 product lines, is this a good indicator?

Because I'm always intrigued by statements like product lines, you see if I started adding in just the prayer cards (120 different designs on just one spinner), candles (53 different sizes and types), music (212), dvd (48), gifts (127 in the display cabinet, 42 different witness pins on the spinner -and  I am not going and counting how many different childrens items, stickers, and gifts there are on the 3 other displays!) and cards (26 different card headings, I think at stocktake it was something like 287 different designs not including seasonal cards!), Church Stationary and Requisites ( 7 different types of wafers, 8 incenses, lots of different certificates,applications, registers etc!), let alone the christian craft items and so on then the numbers of product lines really do soon start rising.

So I'd be interested to know how many titles other shops have and what size they consider themselves to be.

On the whole i'm still admitting to being a small bookshop - but I don't think the range we carry is really too bad at all for our size and I'm just glad I get to be here and share it with others and am always happy at the surprised joy on some people faces when they really look beyond the initial impression and realise we had just what they wanted after all.

So there we go that's the bookshop boss done pondering for now - time for a maple syrup flavoured coffee I think - nothing like a bit of a change of pace now and again, especially after serious thoughts! 
So anyway come in, browse and, we hope, stock up soon - we'll look forward to seeing you, recieving an email from you, chatting on the phone (01522 525557) with you or even facebooking or twittering with you!


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Summer SALE Madness!

It's nearly August, 
the kids are on hols,
next week the beach arrives in Lincoln's City Square again right beside us,
And as from tomorrow pm Minion Conscripts have been called into action 
and Yay Me i'm away to the Lake District for 4 days camping and walking!!

So today to celebrate my summer hol mood, 
the Summer Sale has rolled out! 
 
All books, 
YES ALL BOOKS! are on BUY 12 & PAY FOR 10 
- any choice, mix and match, new & old! 
 
All DECOUPAGE & PEEL-OFFS are 
BUY 20 GET 2 MORE FREE! 
and All other 
CRAFT ITEMS are BUY 12 & GET 1 FREE!
 
It's what's in stock on offer folks, the choices are yours and it's while stocks last only 
- we don't think some items will be there long in some cases and we can't guarantee that items will be back in stock before the Summer Madness ends at the end of August 
- so be quick and get in here because I'm not likely to ever be this generous again because the only things not in the sale are the gifts and candles!
 
If the sun was shining I would think I'd got sunstroke with this one! 
 
So there we go that's the bookshop boss done being silly and summery for now - time for a mint syrup flavoured coffee I think -  that syrup makes me think of Kendal Mint Cake, hmm maybe I'll bring minion conscripts some back and some for you lovely customers too!
So anyway come in, browse and, we hope, stock up soon (you'll be mad if you don't with this offer!) - we'll look forward to seeing you, recieving an email from you, chatting on the phone (01522 525557) with you or even facebooking or twittering with you!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

York Book Fair - Collectable bookselling at its finest and we've tickets to give away!

Yes indeed - never ever let it be said that booksellers aren't kind and generous people - 
especially we here at the Unicorn Tree!  
We have 4 complimentary tickets to the York Book Fair to give away - each ticket admits two people and there is even a free shuttlebus from the railway station to the event! Amazing!




So what is the Book Fair?
From modest beginning with just 20 exhibitors at the White Swan Inn in York in 1974, the York Book Fair has grown into the largest, and many say friendliest, rare, antiquarian & out-of-print book fair in the U.K.. Held over two days, 215 of this country's leading booksellers offer for sale a breathtaking diversity of books, as well as maps & prints, ranging in price from just a few pounds up to tens of thousands of pounds. This year we also welcome a number of dealers from overseas.
You will find books over 500 years old, to review copies of recently published works, and everything in between. The venue is very easy to reach, there is unlimited free parking, and also a free shuttle bus from the Railway Station to the Fair every 20 minutes.
Who Will Enjoy It?
Anyone interested in books and reading. This is not just a Fair for dealers, but is open to everyone young and old, and a great place to start collecting. With over 100,000 books for sale, where else can you look at, touch, enjoy, and even purchase so many rarities under one roof. If you are already a collector then it is a great opportunity to meet new dealers in your area, and if you aren't already a collector it's one of the best places to be inspired to become one!

All in all it is a great day out for any book lover, regardless of whether you collect or not, and it's not just books, there are also maps and other ephemera too - it's lovely and I only wish I was going!

So if you want one of these complimentary tickets just go to our facebook page - Unicorn Tree Books - like it if you haven't already and write on the wall to tell us you want a ticket 
- the first four to do so get the tickets! it's just that easy :-)

So there we go that’s the bookshop boss being generous yet again – so I reckon that it must now be time for a hazlenut flavoured coffee I think. 
Anyway don't forget to come in, browse and, we hope, stock up soon, we also have some very good books and collectable things lurking here in Unicorn Tree Books & Crafts too remember and we really look forward to seeing you, recieving an email from you, chatting on the phone (01522 525557) with you or even facebooking or twittering with you!

Unicorn Tree Books, Central Market, Lincoln. LN5 7ET
www.lincolnbookshop.co.uk
www.lincolnchristianbookshop.co.uk

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Competition time for tickets to the Pickering Traction Engine Rally!

Competition time! 


So I'm going to give them to someone who can use them 
(Bah-working! I say - otherwise I'd be using them and you lot wouldn't get a look in!)

Now as there may be more than two of you who want them let's make this fun!
To enter the competition you need to go over to our facebook page:
Like the page if you haven't already and on there
I want you to tell me what Fiction Genre would best be at home at a steam/traction engine rally 
and why you think so!

Share the competition with friends and at the end of next week we'll get the topper down 
and put all the entries in it and see who the lucky winners are!

Good Luck and tell others!

So there we go that’s the bookshop boss done being generous and having competition fun for now – time for a vanilla syrup flavoured coffee I think – nothing like a bit of a change of pace now and again! 
So anyway don't forget to come in, browse and, we hope, stock up soon – we’ll look forward to seeing you, recieving an email from you, chatting on the phone (01522 525557) with you or even facebooking or twittering with you!

Monday, July 04, 2011

It's Independent's Day in Lincoln Central Market - So come support your Indie Retailers here!

PRESS RELEASE from Lincoln Central Market Retailers at Sylvia's Shoes, 2 by 2 Pet Supplies & Unicorn Tree Books.

Independents’ Day 2011 - your high street & Market needs you!


Today is the 4th July 2011 and here in Lincoln as well as across the country, the public have been encouraged to buy at least one item from their local, independent shop to keep the high street alive.

Skillsmart Retail and the National Skills Academy for Retail have teamed up with independent retailers and trade associations around the country to encourage the public to celebrate diversity on the high street & in the Markets and support their local, independent retailers on 4th July. Retailers downloaded the ‘Your high street needs you!’ poster online, ‘like’ the campaign on Facebook and following it on twitter.

We here in the Markets are all independent businesses and a number of us have been actively promoting today with posters on our stalls, with twitter and facebook posts and in person.

As the Lincoln Echo article on page 2 pointed out times are hard and closures are a reality, Fresh data from Local Data Company’s surveys of 2,700 UK retail destinations (out of a potential 4,400 total UK destinations), highlights that high street vacancy rates have started to rise again. The Local Data Company states that 14.6% of outlets are now vacant. This indicates that approximately 50,000 units are now not currently open to business on the UK high streets, showing just how challenging the situation is on the ground.

'In Lincoln Central Market a number of us are working to promote the fact that the high street and markets are still places of great value despite the percieved thoughts that supermarkets, national chains and of course the internet are where the best bargains are to be had - this isn't always true and independent retailers often sell things at the same or cheaper prices than the large retailers and yet give often more back to the community and local economies, Local independent retailers such as those in the market also supply items often not found elsewhere - our market in Lincoln is such a place with the only independent bookshop in Lincoln that also is now the only Christian Bookshop after two previous such shops closed down, 2 by 2 Pets also is the only city centre pet shop selling things not always found elsewhere, though Raw has closed down Sylvia's Shoes is still here in the market providing shoes as an independent, The Lincoln Stamp Centre is one of only a very few independent stamp collectors businesses still in lincolnshire - so though it may to some seem a 'drab' market hall it is certainly vibrant with unique independent businesses and somewhere perhaps worth checking out and promoting we hope.'


Anne Seaman, Chief Executive of Skillsmart Retail said: “We are delighted to lead this campaign and support small retailers. Raising awareness amongst the public is one of the biggest challenges smaller retailers face and our message is about encouraging the public to use their local high street & Markets and understand how important a diverse retail sector is.

It’s also essential that local retailers understand that to compete today they need to be top of their game. The time for sitting back has passed and action is required: Your high street needs you!”

ENDS

For more local information contact Melanie Carroll - owner of Unicorn Tree Books, Lincoln Central Market on 07789 249228


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Walter Wangerin's 'The Book of God - The Bible as a Novel' published by Lion - It's going FREE to someone!

I have a copy of Walter Wangerin's 'The Book of God - The Bible as a Novel' 
published by Lion - It's going FREE to someone!

The winner was Sarah Fereday who suggested Michael Palin writes about the Israelites escape from Egypt and journey through the Wilderness! - Congratulations Sarah and thanks to Mrs Jenkins for picking the name out of the steampunk topper!


To be in with a chance of it being you all you have to do is
go to our facebook page, LIKE it, and then on that page
 
tell us which well known author would you get to write which Bible story & why!
Yes, you can do more than one story and author!

Then on Monday I'll put them in the steampunk hat & get the first unsuspecting customer to pick out the winner of the book!
Go on join the fun and tell others about it too - after all it is Independent Bookshop Week and it's a free competition too!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Christian Resources Together Trade Retreat

It has been my great pleasure to escape the confines of the wonderful Unicorn Tree these last couple of days (minions of old were conscripted in to fill the empty seat of the wonderul bookshop boss - I am informed the shop still stands ready for my great return tomorrow - remember i'll be the one sipping on the caramel flavour nectar of the coffee bean!) and go to the Christian Resources Together retreat which is a meeting together of Christian retailers and suppliers/publishers. 
It is a wonderful time for keeping informed, social chats, networking and friend making and inbetween the coffee breaks there are even some rather good seminars, talks and useful training type things.
I was extremely flattered to be invited to contribute a  little something to a wonderfully entitled session being given by the great Eddie Olliffe on 'Albatross, Dodo or Jewel - is there still a place on the high street for Christian bookshops to shine!'
I did say to one of the other people also asked to contribute thoughts, the rather clever Steve Mitchell, that sandwiched between Him, Eddie and the very insightful Andrew Lacey, it was obvious I was to be comedic value - God having a rather grand humour decided to prove that one right and as I took my stage debut I promptly fell up it into a rather full slapstick faceplant! ahh well luckily my ego is such it provided an ample cushion and I picked myself up, dusted off and started all over again!
The following piece is a much longer version of what I said (much, much longer and what I said was too long for the squeezed time space given - mea culpe, Eddie).
It's not necessarily of great interest to all you lovely shoppers but it does perhaps give you a feel for the things facing a lowly bookshop boss these days, and not just this bookshop boss but many others and their cheerful minions too - so please do try to think of us here in the shops and when you can please buy local and support your indie businesses as we really do need you all more than ever these days!

Anyway see you in the shop soon, and don't forget mines a caramel latte if you feel like stopping by to chat :-)

How can our trade best communicate the good news in an increasingly post retail era and to a progressively digital era.

Just the kind of question I always loved when studying! So falling back on academic principles I’m going to break the question down into sections!

So first off then: how can our trade communicate the good news.
(For me this raises two main questions that need considering first off,
the simple one of – how do we communicate the good news already?
Then: how do we ourselves experience or define that good news or indeed what the good news is.
You see much of our answer to the bigger question as a whole depends on the answers we give to these questions and how we predicate our response to the questions and issues in relation to being an albatross, dodo or jewel I think.)

My response to the question of good news issues can be summed up in the fact that we are the good news not the books we sell, the books are tools but we are the witness, the living proof and so therefore it is our actions in the heart of the community, our local community, that actually communicates the good news and not the books/music/gifts we sell.
(This is really quite a freeing idea if we properly embrace it …
Think being sent out and not needing two coats etc, think about being the witness by the sharing of verbal word, attitude and action and not by written books or arcane wwjd codes! Think radical hospitality as just a few ways this works.)

So ok that’s a great theory or spiritually fulfilling outlook but in practice our job is actually to sell Christian product and to be a solvent venture while doing it or we aren’t in our trade or in business! So how do we reconcile these things – turn the theory to practical expression when the way we’ve done it before doesn’t seem to be working so well anymore?

Is it coffee shops, more secularisation and hiding our light under a bushel, a little bit of abramic selling out or peter like denial to survive?

No and Yes.

Yes – we widen our outreach to where it should be – the wider community, that’s the wider secular community and not just the churched community, after all that’s where the good news needs to be if we are talking of us communicating it! Because surely those in the churches already have it (though they might need a bit of re-education and a reminder on occasion).

So is this selling out?  Shouldn’t be, but ask yourself what your local community needs, is it really another coffee shop sandwiched in between the others on the high streets? Or could it do with a general bookshop/stationers, toy shop, health food store, secondhand bookshop to fill the library decrease gap, haberdashery or hardware store etc etc etc
All these things are not in anyway in conflict with Christian books and do nothing to lessen the communicating of the Good News – however there is not a reason to my mind for the Christian Books to be shunted to the back of the shop to make room for these others things so as to make the shop more acceptable to the secular shoppers, instead they should work together in tandem so that the buyers/browsers of one interact with the buyers/browsers of the other and in so doing act as witnesses together and build up the community as a whole and show clearly that being a Christian is not an extreme sport for the minority or radicalised but is instead something normal, real and liveable (and in so doing make the questions askable and the witness real) – the good news communicated through people that’s the original model after all.

Does this potential broadening of our retail offer and widening of our customer base dilute or alter our message? No!

Does this lessen our trade focus and offer? Not really – after all TMD for example aren’t lessened by the range of items they distribute, nor are Kevin Mayhew as they broaden their offerings either.

Does this broadening make us viable – possibly is the only answer here because the factors are many that determine viability but it’s certainly stands a chance of improving viability if done right!

(So does changing the focus, broadening the base make us an albatross, dodo, or jewel –as we  try to communicate the good news, well I think that really depends on how we see that good news and answer those first two questions.)

Ok ‘ in an increasingly Post Retail Era’?
I don’t think so. In fact I would go on to say that we now consume more than ever before, we buy more for less and use less for more! But it’s mostly all retail orientated still, yes people are all about cheaper and easier but not about not buying! The venue may have changed but the game of consumerism hasn’t!

But our shops are struggling, our sales are dropping like the proverbial stone in a mill pond, yes but that’s not because people aren’t buying it’s just they aren’t buying from us sadly.

(So is that due to us being retail dodo’s then – old fashioned, ugly, twee and outdated albatross shops? Or buried jewels hidden in sunken treasure chests?  )

Are we avoided because of how we look or act, what we stock or don’t or where we are situated in other words?
Possibly so.

There is for me a consideration we all need to look at and think on and that’s the fact that we in many ways over the years have managed to ghettoise ourselves to some extent, we have isolated ourselves on the desert island of being ‘Christian’ bookshops and by default and accident inferred we only serve Christians and that’s who we are there for etc
In some cases we have even gone one step further and not only infer we only serve Christians but in fact we only serve ‘Our type’ of Christian! We sometimes forget how easy it is to become trapped in our pride and prejudice and in turn become bastions of bigotry  - ‘ I am of Apollos, I am of Paul’ and when we do this we become our own downfall as we stop communicating the good news fully outwards.

I know this sounds really harsh and believe me I’m not casting stones as I’m not without sin but I do believe it is something we need to give real thought to as we outreach out – radical hospitality means talking the log out of our eye so we can use the wood to build bridges, inroads of communication and community centres.

The truth is if we open our doors wider there are lots of people out there shopping and browsing daily – it is still a national pastime.

However they aren’t using us and it’s not just because the doors are too narrow and people like playing at shop the net night and ebay gambling, it is however down to wanting more for less and I’m sorry to say there isn’t much we can do about this – it’s a producers and publishers fix, -  because while they give in and sell their  product at prices that allow their product to be devalued to such an extent that consumer mindset is full price is a rip off (and then don’t play with a fair trade ethos at heart by allowing independents the sort of terms that would ensure a more level playing field so that we can compete on price) well this seems like something we can’t beat doesn’t it.

But is it? I think we can and should campaign, shout and educate both in trade and in the secular arena – buy local campaigns, being honest in name, shame and explain tactics and finally at the end of the day if it is cheaper from Amazon then buy it from there! Of course then tell your supplier/publisher what you are doing and why – (also point out that though that may make their figures look good if they extrapolate the sheer numbers of indie customers doing that currently and then work out the outcome when those indies finally go under what the final impact to them may be maybe they’ll see that working with us is better for all, especially as there isn’t a bookshop in the country, secular or Christian, that doesn’t daily see customers come in to browse and choose books and then say to their friends or ebook/download tool _ I’ll get it from Amazon now I’ve seen it! So how many end sales lost will that really be??) Yes this is a double edged sword I’m playing with here but sometimes ‘I count my losses as gain’

So talking of Amazon what about this increasingly progressively digital generation!

First off perhaps we need to stop blaming the internet for our problems – after all the internet is just an inanimate object, a tool – it’s people that buy and that use the internet! If we are going to ascribe blame (and really should this be a blame game?) then let’s ascribe it correctly.

Wouldn’t it be better to stop seeing Amazon, Eden etc etc as the enemy and instead see them as a colleague the way we do each other – yes maybe not a best friend after all if you are on my back doorstep you are my competitor but not my enemy, we can still be friends and collegues – that same holds with internet shops, indeed they can in some cases even be an admirable ally!
Marketplace, A-shops, ebay, affiliate schemes etc all can be a radical tool in shop survival – after all in the immortal words of another big boy – every little bit helps.
We use the tools at our disposal and should thank god for them instead of bemoaning them and wailing lamentations of doom.

In this progressively digital generation there are still people out there that don’t want kindles and ebooks, that still enjoy the sensation of a real book and it’s ability to be shared with others, still people that like going in bookshops and so the rumours of the books demise are much exaggerated I think, and so too the end of all high street and independent bookshops!
However we can’t and mustn’t deny kindles and ebooks and other downloadable materials, so I advocate that here is the time we use our online competition as ally! An affiliate percentage is better than nothing while we petition our trade partners to work with us in finding a solution we can use well, be it a Christian offering like Gardners Hive, or a shop based scheme for digital download cards or cloud & app based download offerings etc. I’m not sure of the solution but I am sure we need to be working on it right now and together.

So yes it’s an increasingly digital generation but we can still be at the heart of it if we use the tools available to us.  Websites can be done cheaply – very cheaply and no one should be without one, if only for the avenue of online advertising it can open up!

Something worth remembering is that this digital generation want to be part of a community! Facebook, twitter, blogging and social networking are all proof of the want to be part of a community – yes it’s different than before but it’s still a want to be part of something more – we can be part of that something more, we can still be aprt of that community.

Lets not forget as well that the digital generation, regardless of their age, are still coming into town on Saturdays, they still want to see live bands, meet up with each other, go to the cinema, out for food, attend conventions and other events or group meetings, see their fave authors and interact with them etc – this all still leaves the door wide open for us – but probably only if we’ve widened the door for them first.


Books are not dead, our trade is not dead but it may be that they are being redefined – and to answer Eddies larger question (which I wasn’t asked to do!) yes we can still shine as jewels set in an ephod breastplate made from gold tested in the refiners fire.

Melanie Carroll

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Have you seen the new NRSV Bible with the Common Worship Daily Prayer and Readings included!

Now out from HarperCollins It's incredibly good value at only £17.99 a copy and would make a fantastic Confirmation or Ordination present amongst other things, or as just a treat for yourself!

'A new Bible published in partnership with the Church of England and designed especially for Anglicans. It includes Daily Prayer and Readings from the Church of England’s Common Worship.
As well as the full anglicized text of the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) translation, this Bible contains a number of features specially designed to make it ideal for members of the Church of England.
It includes Prayer During the Day and Night Prayer, which gives users a short prayer to say during and at the end of their day. It also includes a Lectionary of readings, giving two readings for every day of the year.
Until now, Anglicans needed three different books to go about their daily worship – a Bible, a prayer book, and a lectionary. Now they only need one.'

We can do a wonderful discount on Purchases of 20 Copies should any churches be considering new bibles - 
In fact we are cheaper than Amazon's price on these purchases! 
& Remember if your church is signed up to the partnership scheme you get  to count that to your year end tally too so it works out even cheaper than cheap!!

Contact us to reserve your copies by any of the regular methods - phone (01522 525557), email (unicorntreebooks@aol.com), twitter, facebook or indeed just come in and see us! 
Please remember to support your local independent shops and keep them in your Towns and Cities because sometimes buying online or big brand isn't always cheapest, quickest or best!

Biblefresh - Lincolnshire Bible Festival Today, 30th April!

The biblefresh Bible Festival is on in Lincoln Today - events all up & down the High Street with the Godpod in Cornhill Square, we here at Unicorn Tree Books in Lincoln Central Market are delighted to be the official event bookshop & have free maps & programmes for you, so don't forget to call in first and get one!

We are offering the Biblefresh 'The Big Story' Bible at only £14.99 instead of the RRP of £19.99 (and yes we are even cheaper than Amazon on this offer!!) whilst stocks last to support this great initiative - don't miss out as this is a fantastic offer and a great bible too, oh and there are also lots of other special offers in for the event too!

If you can't make it to Lincoln for this fantastic event but still fancy a wonderful biblefresh 'The Big Story' Bible then contact us to reserve your copy by any of the regular methods - phone (01522 525557), email (unicorntreebooks@aol.com), twitter, facebook.

Oh and just a reminder that you might want to reserve your ticket for the next Lincoln Theological Society Lecture on the 24th May at Bishop Grossteste University College at 7pm too -'Marcion, Heretic or Hero', subtitled 'Can a Christian really read the Old Testament?' The lecture is being given by Rev'd Canon Dr. Stephen Dawes and tickets are only £5, but do get them early ;-)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Bible Fresh Bible Festival & a Marcion Heretic!

Hello and welcome to Holy Week!

Just a quick update to tell you all that the Biblefresh Bible Festival is on Saturday 30th of April all day along the High Street Churches and with the GodPod in Cornhill Square - oh and we are the official bookshop for the event - we even get a lovely mention on the back of the programme!

Talking of programmes and maps for the event - you can pick one up in here right now to help you plan the day.

We are offering the Biblefresh 'The Big Story' Bible at only £14.99 instead of the RRP of £19.99 (and yes we are even cheaper than Amazon on this offer!!) whilst stocks last to support this great initiative - don't miss out as this is a fantastic offer and a great bible too.

Okay next heads up is of course for the Next Lincoln Theological Society Lecture on the 24th May at Bishop Grossteste University College at 7pm.
'Marcion, Heretic or Hero', subtitled 'Can a Christian really read the Old Testament?'

The lecture is being given by Rev'd Canon Dr. Stephen Dawes and should be really interesting indeed, after all there's nothing like a good bit of heresy to get the tongues going!

We will be there again with a bookstall which will include Stephen Dawes books - and again there will likely be an offer on his works (amongst others!) as well as the chance to get them signed at the bookstall after the lecture.

Now you can get your tickets from us here in the shop in advance of the event and we really do suggest you come and get them early given how full the last lecture was and the capacity of the lecture hall - after all you wouldn't want to stand all through the lecture would you!

The tickets are a bargain at only £5.00 for which you also get a glass of wine (and very nice wine it was too last time!) and are available now.

Contact us to get your tickets by any of the regular methods - phone (01522 525557), email (unicorntreebooks@aol.com), twitter, facebook or indeed when you come in and see us for your books or as part of the Biblefresh Bible Festival visit! to get your ticket for this fantastic event.

See you soon :-)

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Ebooks here to stay and we are there too - and in the Lincolnshire Echo!

Lincoln Echo: Saturday, February 26, 2011,

E-books here to stay

A BOOKSELLER from Lincoln is broaching the digital frontier and embracing new "e-books".

Bookshop giants such as Amazon recently reported that sales of downloadable texts have now overtaken paperback books.

And Melanie Carroll, of Unicorn Tree Books in Lincoln Central Market, says with the new digital books here to stay she's partnering with some of her biggest competition to ensure her customers can continue to support the Lincoln economy.

"E-books won't go away, so we can't ignore them," she said.

"This way people can still contribute to the local economy even if they now have a Kindle or e-reader."

Visit www.lincolnbookshop.co.uk to buy ebooks.

Thanks to the Echo and their fab reporters for picking this up as a news story, in the immortal words of the great T - Every little helps!

also just a quick reminder!
Come in and get your tickets from us for the Lincoln Theological Society Lecture at Bishop Grosseteste at 7:30pm on 3rd March -
The Rt Revd. Hon Lord Harries of Pentregarth
(Or Richard Harries as he's known as on his books)
will be talking on
"Allies or Opponents? Secular & Religious Voices in the Public Sphere"

There will be a bookstall provided by us and... tickets (£5) also get you a glass of vino too!

Get your tickets now - we only have a limited number left now!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

"Allies or Opponents? Secular & Religious Voices in the Public Sphere" - Get your tickets from us for the Lincoln Theological Society Lecture

Tickets are available from us for the Lincoln Theological Society Lecture at Bishop Grosseteste at 7:30pm on 3rd March -
The Rt Revd. Hon Lord Harries of Pentregarth
(Or Richard Harries as he's known as on his books)
will be talking on
"Allies or Opponents? Secular & Religious Voices in the Public Sphere"

There will be a bookstall provided by us and... tickets (£5) also get you a glass of vino too!

Get your tickets now - we only have a limited number left now!

Honestly this should be a fantastic lecture and fire up lots of debate and talking points as it's an incredibly topical subject touching as it does the faith and politics issue and also addressing the secularisation of society to the exclusion of faith debate currently raging - I'm really looking forward to it!

Pre-order your copies of Richard Harries newest books:
'Faith in Politics? Rediscovering the Christian Roots of our political values' (DLT £12.95)
and/or
'Issues of Life and Death: Christian Faith and Medical Intervention' (SPCK £10.99)
and get a 10% Discount on the books and 2 Free Reward Points on one of our Reward Cards when you collect the books on the night ;-)
Contact us to reserve your copies by any of the regular methods - phone (01522 525557), email (unicorntreebooks@aol.com), twitter, facebook or indeed when you come in and see us to get your ticket for this fantastic event!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

We are starting a Crafters Exchange here - it's a bit like a crafters swap shop!

Unicorn Tree Crafters Exchange

We are starting a Crafters Exchange here – basically that means that you can bring along an item such as a rubber stamp or punch you no longer use and get a credit for it to use on craft items from us!

So do you have craft items that you loved but now never use?
Or maybe something that came in a set that just isn’t your thing?
Rubber stamps, punches, scissors, embellishments – maybe even packs of cards and books of papers you’ve never touched?
Then how about exchanging them for a discount on something you might use??

Go on think about it, after all in the words of the giants ‘every little bit helps!’ oh and don’t forget to tell others, after all who knows what gems are out there sitting dusty in craft cupboards everywhere!

Now for the not as fun but just as important bit:
Even the art of creative self-expression has to work with some sort of guidelines!
So there are some rules and guidelines to the Crafters Exchange Scheme –


Some of which are pretty obvious like Only items in good condition can be exchanged.

Now we appreciate rubber stamps get inky and that’s fine so long as they are cleaned before you bring them in – also they must make perfect impressions.
Scissors & Punches too must be in perfect condition and cut or punch smoothly and cleanly.
Cards & Papers must be full sets & unused.

Any and all credits given are entirely at our discretion and terms and conditions apply - you can get the full set of these at the shop :)
Please note this is a Credit Scheme only and we do not ever give cash, all credit/exchange vouchers have a nil cash value.

So there we go, another way you can share and save - we think it's a great idea and we hope you do too! So go on tell others and let's see what we can find after all one crafters decoupage is another crafters topper!

Unicorn Tree Books & Crafts. Central Market, Sincil Street, Lincoln. LN5 7ET
T: 01522 525557 E: unicorntreebooks@aol.com Facebook: Unicorn Tree Books
www.cardmakersupplies.co.uk & www.lincolnartistsupplies.co.uk

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Something Inside So Strong With Lyrics

This seems to sum some things up that are going on - stay strong my friends - even when faced with adversity and unkindness!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Ebooks, Website Updates and a Fantastic Product of the Future!

Wow - Been busy recently - not only re-arranging the shop to make yet more space (honestly this place is like a tardis, always more space to be found, you never know what you might find in it and time in it seems to move in funny ways!) but also refreshing the shops websites too!

Yes the digital age is here, no use pretending it's not and ignoring it, which wouldn't work anyway as some of us have been reading ebooks for much longer than Kindles and the like have existed, pda's & now phones are a much better multi tool anyway, however that doesn't stop me buying the real things too! So it's a much better idea just to get on and go with it - so that's what we've done!

Now on our online shop sites of www.lincolnbookshop.co.uk & www.lincolnchristianbookshop.co.uk you will find a new page entitled 'Ebooks, Audio Books & Mp3 Offers' for your delight and delectation, this means even if you have gone 100% Digital you can still support us here locally!

It really is better to Go Local to Go Global - and yes this includes even in the cybersphere!
Local Community and Businesses puts more into the Local Economy, so by going Local you keep your Local area healthier and lots of healthy local areas and economies make a healthy world!

So please do use the sites and maybe put a favourites on them so you go to them everytime you want to make a purchase (Books, Ebooks, Cds, DVDs, Mp3s & lots more too!) each sale through the sites help keep us here and you don't lose out at all as our shop sites always match Amazon price, or other big name online shops!

Don't forget we are not just active online but in the real world too!


Remember that one of our favourite things is to actually see you in person, so please do come visit the shop too!

If you are members of the Community Partnership Scheme then tell your groups about these fantastic prices because if they come in to the shop itself and buy themselves copies of physical product then this will count towards your Schemes total! If you aren't signed up to Scheme then it would be well worth it - it's open to any community group or initiative regardless of size!

Just to let you know these are not the only bargains, come in store and see whats on offer at the minute - we'll look forward to seeing you, recieving an email from you, chatting on the phone (01522 525557) with you or even facebooking or twittering with you!

Anyway see you in the shop soon - if it's the real one remember i'm likely the one behind the counter sipping on the Caramal latte - and yes the counter has moved, we moved it to the centre of the shop at the end of September ;-) I'll provide pictures of the new look shop for all the blog watchers once I've finished this new crop of re-arranging!

Ohh and I nearly forgot about the Fantastic product of the Future! Here you go, it really is a fantastic product and I'm wholeheartedly endorsing it: