Queens, New York - Online Bookstore cbbooksdistribution.com -Opens Two Bookstores in Queens
C&B BOOKS was started in 1995 by Carol Rogers & Brenda Piper.
Two years later we started the C&B Book club. The club has grown immensely. Visit the site to join the club authors and readers are welcome.
The motivation behind this book business was the lack of affordable books written by African American authors. We decided to become an asset to our Youth and the community as a whole. We offer our books for less than the major distributors. We knew this would provide our readers with a wide variety of reading materials.
We carry titles for all ages and cultures. We stock titles in all categories, fiction, nonfiction, spiritual and inspirational etc.
We support self-published and first time authors by providing various services: Distribution is only a part of our package. We promote (plan events - such as book fair), market, sponsor events in an effort to make the authors book public.
In 1995 Caroline Rogers & Brenda Piper became booksellers after selling a few books at the St. Nicholas flea market located in Queens, New York.
When Caroline and Brenda first opened for business at the market, It was to sell sensual items, perfumed gift baskets and floral arrangements, which were crafted by Brenda.
One Saturday after a little spring cleaning, we decided to bring a few books from our personal collection to the flea market, not believing that shoppers would actually buy the books! We didn't believe that we would actually gain much profit or should we say become book sellers as a result of selling our personal book collection. However at the end of the sale day, every book was sold and we started our career as the Book Ladies of Queens.
We believed that it was due to our sale prices, which ranged from $1.00 and up, depending on the value of the book. We soon found out that books were in high demand. People love to read.
The children really inspired us, they liked the Dr. Seuss, Lil Elmo,Curious George, Blue Clues, all children titles. At that point with the children in mind, we decided to specialize in children books.
Caroline is business smart, and she decided to sell the books at affordable prices, with emphasis on children books. Her concept was, if you make a book affordable, you were helping to educate others and draw many loyal customers. I agreed with Caroline and C&B Books Distribution was established.
We never changed our prices this increased our sales. The concept being the less you charge the more the customer can afford to buy. Caroline, would say, "Greed is not necessary if we get the books at a discount price." "Why not give the customer the same savings."
We became known as the Book ladies of Queens. The customers would flock to us, requesting titles never complaining about the book cost, they knew that we would give them the best deals.
I suppose you would actually have to sell a book to see the expression of satisfaction on a customer's face to realize what we felt, especially the smiles of the children. I just can't put those feelings into words; it would take too many words. Actually it would take a Book.
We sold books at St. Nicholas for the next two years. Our last year was during the Christmas season, we went to St. Nicholas to sell our books at their Christmas Holiday indoor market. We began to setup the books, when a nice woman approached us and asked us, "Did we carry any books written by African American authors?" We being the business smart women that we are (smile) replied, "Which titles are you interested in? She told us she would return with a list.
Caroline & I will always be grateful to Ms. Betty Miller Mason, she is the reason that we became Booksellers. When we asked Betty if we could mention her name in this writing, she was elated. Betty we want the world to know that people like you are the reason that we are successful African American Book sellers. Betty Miller Mason from the bottom of our hearts we thank you for your inspiration and our first African American Book Sale.
Betty returned the following week with her order, the order was for over twenty different titles. We remained poised and assured her that we would fill her order by the following weekend
When she left, I turned to Carol and asked her, "Where in the heck are we going to get these books from?" We had absolutely no expertise in that area. She responded and said, "We will find a supplier." "Not to worry." Caroline came through, like I said she is a smart business woman.
Caroline was so excited that someone was interested in African American books, and very impressed with the large order for African American books, she was determined not only get these books, but to offer the books at the same discount.
The next weekend, the nice woman returned. We gave her all of the books that she'd ordered! She was like a little girl in a candy store! As she went through her box, other customers began to hover over her, trying to buy her books. Now as I mentioned before the smart business women that we are, (smile) we were prepared for a response like that.
It was actually our plan a marketing strategy. We knew once she opened her box of books, it would interest others. We sold out and had also taken over a dozen new orders that day. It took us a week to research and find every popular African American book available.
Our customers were all races, ages, and from all walks of life. Some became our friends and others came just to visit or place their order. You may wonder why we attracted so many people. The reason that we attracted so many loyal friends and customers, was due to our concern for their satisfaction and happiness, not just their dollars.
Children have always been our specialty, so whether the parent could afford a book or not, we never let a child leave without a book, on us. Our children are the future, and reading will offer them that future. We have never denied any child a book and we never will.
In 1997 after we left the St. Nicholas flea market. Carol and I ventured street vendors business. We began setting up in all five boroughs of New York; we worked out a schedule, for each place of business. We set up shop in front of various companies that would allow vendors to sell. People came from everywhere; our nickname, The Book Ladies Of Queens became very popular we certainly were in demand.
The other street vendors, mostly men respected us. We were their sisters and they were very impressed with two women out there selling books on the street. Everyone spoke of our dedication to the book business and community. We didn't allow anything to get in our way.
We beat the odds, bad weather, hot days, long hours, every weekend; nothing stopped us from getting books into the communities. Yes, we wanted to gain profit and we still do. However the real reward is when you can provide books for all the people who want them.
In 2000, we decided to sell books from home. We set up a mail order service in-house. We really wanted an Internet service but weren't educated in that area. We researched and educated ourselves about the Internet business.
It wasn't until February 2002, that our dream became a reality. We were contacted by Mr. Phil Andrews, Public Relations Director, and a member of the 100 Black Men of America. He encouraged us to build a website and put the books on the Internet.
We didn't feel that we were ready to take on a venture that large. Caroline was not as unsure about the Internet business as I was. Eventually they both won me over. We began to build the site.
Phil Andrews joined C&B Books Distribution Center as our Public Relations Director on March 1st, 2002.
During her research, Caroline contacted a web-designer and asked her to take a look at out our site. Diane of Difs Web-Design, came to us with a site that we couldn't refuse. She continue to keep up our site.
We also promote -- host signings for self-published authors -- visit the author's gallery.
We are now full time Book Sellers/Distributors/Promoters- Online and off.
To speak with Caroline please feel free to contact via, telephone, 1-718-591-4525, email at: cbbookdist.@aol.com website @ www.cbbooksdistribution.com post a message in our GuestBook.
To All Supporters & Those Who Believed In C&B's Mission Thank you -