Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

On the Shelves Kids Ink

A thirty-year resident of Indianapolis, Indiana, Kids Ink has some veteran's advice for what's on the shelves. 
What sets Kid's Ink apart from other bookstores?

Often new customers come in and say, "This looks just like the bookstore where we used to live or This is just like the bookstore in that movie."  I don't think of Kids Ink as apart from other children's bookstores.  In many ways we are all alike in carrying quality books and offering the best service possible.  One difference is that Kids Ink is now over 30 years old…a dinosaur in bookstores!

What has been a successful author visit and why do you believe it was more successful than others?
 If success is measured in sales, the most successful are those visits where one has to have tickets and people line up down the block!  Those visits have included Jeff Kinney, Patricia Polacco, Tomie DePaola, Stephen Kellogg, Jan Brett, Ann Martin, Brian Selznick, Kate Di Camillo, Sara Dessen and Chris Van Allsburg.  For several of these we have partnered with the library to have more room.
Author visit with good sales and great fun:  Has to be the launch parties for my son, Mike Mullin, and his three Ashfall books.  These author events were especially good because he is a former employee and understands how to help make the event the best.  He participated in planning the launch parties and they were big festive events. His books include tae kwon do so he invited his dojang to come and preform.  We couldn't do it in the store so they were out in front with their long spears, etc.  It was really fun to see and attracted lots of attention.  Mike also put on his tae kwon do outfit and broke a cement block. 

What in your opinion makes a bestselling book?
The book needs excellent writing, is well-edited, and honest.  I look for books that are written from the heart ie the author really has a story they want to tell. For nonfiction I look for books that have been well researched, have notes, a bibliography, table of contents if applicable, and the qualifications of the author that pertain to the subject.  These qualifications may not make a best seller in general but can make a best sellers at Kids Ink.

How is Kid's Ink involved in the community?
We are often out in the community speaking about books and selling books.  We are called upon to help teachers find just the right book(s) for their curriculum or help social workers, nurses, etc with books that speak to the difficult problems of childhood.  Kids Ink serves as a resource for many professionals that work with children. We also donate to countless organizations supporting the fundraising efforts of schools and other groups that work with children.

Personal Book recommendation?

This is an impossible question!  I'm really loving Gertie's Leap to Greatness by Kate Beasley, a debut novel, and Applesauce Weather, another wonderful poetic novel from Helen Frost.