It's 2011—the eternally morphing entity that is Exodus Books is even more neurotic than usual as we do our best to streamline and improve the store. Some of these changes are less visible than others, like the attic remodel that will allow us to store more books in the summer, thus reducing the number of backorders that we (and you) deal with. Others are more obvious, like the swapping of the office and the used book buying room. Regular customers will especially appreciate the integration of barcode scanners for both checkout and used book buying (waiting twenty minutes to purchase three items is—hopefully—a thing of the past).
Also this month, we are pleased to reintroduce Jonathan Winslow to our staff. Back after two years at school, Jon will be doing a lot of the used book buying, assisting with customer service, and managing "marketing," as it were. Keep an eye out for more random bargains, more drawings, more Facebook updates, more, well, just more!
One of our funnest (more fun? funnerer?) developments for 2011 involve you, The Customer, much more directly. We are hereby soliciting reviews for our website. That's right, we want you to share your valued opinions of curriculum, Christian books and literature (and games, and...) on www.exodusbooks.com for the benefit of your fellow customers as well as for our benefit (it helps us immensely to know what our customers think about the products we offer). Your kids can do it too (it would make a GREAT writing assignment!).
What's in it for me? you may ask. Never fear, Brave Potential Reviewer, we have taken this honest and legitimate question into deep consideration. And after long deliberation it seemed good to us to offer two monthly $25 gift certificates to the individuals with the best and the most reviews, as well as a third random drawing for $15 taken from the remaining names. Not only that (and this may seem like a joke, but we're serious), everyone who has submitted reviews throughout the year will have a chance of winning the year-end grand prize: fully paid airfare for two to anywhere in the United States.
It might seem like we're bribing you with these incentives, but rest assured—we are. We really do want as much participation from you as possible. There are, however, guidelines. Lest we are swamped by reviews of the "I really liked this book" or "boox r gr8" kind, we will be analyzing each posted review and deleting those we find inappropriate. Yes, there is a measure of subjectivity involved, but as the dispensers of considerable wealth for services rendered, we don't feel too bad about that.
We aren't looking for book reports, either; your comments don't have to be long. We want reviews that use specifics to either promote or discourage people from a particular item. For literature books, discuss any content you found objectionable, the quality of the author's style, highlight a favorite passage, etc. For curriculum reviews, what ages did you use the materials for? how much teacher involvement was required? was there enough support? how comprehensive and easy to use was the program? was it a good value for what you got? And please, only review items you've actually used/read—reviews based on hearsay aren't really useful for anyone.
More questions will be posed as the year progresses on our website and Facebook page to keep things fresh. Be sure to follow us on Twitter as well, and if you want to help develop Exodus into a resource, write those reviews! The first awards will be given in February, so you've got a month to post your words of wisdom, opinions, and insights. Happy writing, and have a great new year!