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Azizi Books stocks shelves with Black authors

with 4 comments

Azizi Bookstore features thousands of titles by African-American authors from Toni Morrison and Olivia Butler to Stephen Carter and Walter Mosley.


Written by Symphony

December 26, 2007 at 9:29 am

4 Responses

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  1. That’s an interesting decision. I’ve written a little bit lately about the troubled business model for black-owned bookstores.

    I’ll be very curious to see how and whether he can make this into a successful enterprise; so many indie bookstores are struggling right now. I wish him the best.


    December 26, 2007 at 10:45 pm

  2. I am the subject of the article, and would like to point out some things that we hope will bolster our chances for success. First, some corrections. Free publicity is nice, but they don’t always get things right (for example, misspelling Octavia Butler’s name). My daughter, Maia, and I are co-owners in this venture, after she joined me in an existing internet book business, So, we don’t fear internet shoppers. She manages the bookstore, and I manage the internet operation and purchasing. Combining the operations gives us leverage in inventory selection and purchasing power. We spent considerable time in developing a cogent business plan for the store, which took into account the effect of competition. However, the revealing data was the significant numbers and buying power of the surrounding black community. We frequently receive responses such as, “I’m glad you’re here” or “It’s about time.”

    In our second month of operation, we are already close to meeting our projected numbers. We don’t expect book purchasers to buy from us just because we are black. We want to earn your business by providing selection and excellent customer service, by offering discounts when possible, and by exposing our customers to experiences that will add value to the buying process (via author signings and participation in community events). Believe me, we are well aware of the struggles of independents, but some manage to maintain. Hue-man is a good example. So is Karibu Books in Maryland. We look to those businesses for inspiration and affirmation that it can be done.

    Kevin Roberts

    December 27, 2007 at 1:12 am

  3. Thanks for dropping by Mr. Roberts and for clearing some things up. I hope your venture (and your passion) is a successful.

    If you ever have anything coming up, please let us know.


    December 27, 2007 at 8:12 pm

  4. I’m impressed by your model, and also am hopeful that the business meets and exceeds projected numbers.

    If you have anything coming up, let me know as well.


    December 30, 2007 at 11:29 am

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