Posted by Dana on 01.30.2009 at 9:00 am
Benyamin Cohen is a funny guy. He’s a funny guy that tackles the serious subject of reconnecting with his faith and spirituality in his memoir My Jesus Year. Benyamin is the son of an Orthodox rabbi who grew up practicing his Judaism while thinking that the grass looked greener at the church across the street. As he grew up he felt that he saw in Christians a passion for their religion that he was missing. So in an attempt to reconnect to his Judaism, he decided to spend a year with Christians. Read more…
Posted by Chip on 01.28.2009 at 8:26 am
I love online shopping . I find that my Christmas spirit usually dies in
the mall parking lot while I search for a space. Mall parking lots during the holiday season can make anyone say “Bah Humbug.”
This year, I am also proud to say, I got my holiday shopping done early. Generally, I procrastinate and find myself giving out drawings of the presents I intended to buy.
I tend to get into the holiday spirit late.
I get into the holiday spirit around December 26th when all the
Christmas items go on sale. Suddenly, I feel the spirit.
I like to buy holiday decorations on clearance and give them to my relatives as gifts the following year. If you have a relative that enjoys Santa Clause and decorating, a glowing plastic Santa makes a great gift ( especially at clearance price $5.99 from $29.99!).
Sure they can’t actually “use” it until next Christmas but they will never forget what you bought them for christmas that year.
Have your say » | Tagged Uncategorized
Posted by Dana on 01.28.2009 at 7:47 am
Born in 1932, Updike released more than 50 books in his career, many of which were bestsellers. He was known for his literary style and in addition to the two Pulitzers, he was also the recipient of two National Book Awards and many other literary prizes.
His voice will be sorely missed.
Posted by admin on 01.26.2009 at 5:00 pm
From today until February 6th, 4 out of 5 of our new book orders on BetterWorld.com are going to come with a Valentine surprise from us to you, courtesy of an amazing social enterprise – Divine Chocolate.
No worries Charlie, no Golden Geese or Oompa-Loompas were harmed in the production of this chocolate surprise. Divine Chocolate comes from the Kuapa Kokoo co-op in Ghana, West Africa. From their site:
Divine indeed. Will you get a golden ticket?
Posted by Dana on 01.23.2009 at 3:05 pm
A couple weeks ago, I had the privilege of chatting on the phone with internationally acclaimed and award-winning activist Van Jones about his book The Green Collar Economy. Van was both informative and funny – at one point comparing clean coal to having unicorns pull our cars. I sincerely hope you enjoy listening to the interview as much as I enjoyed talking to him. Read more…
Posted by Xavier on 01.23.2009 at 12:15 pm
To the stakeholders of Better World Books:
To this point in its history, Better World Books has posted a cumulative loss. In short, more money has been spent than has been earned, sacrificing short-term profitability for long-term growth. We’re hardly the first company to do this: Amazon lost over $1 Billion before it turned the corner. We do not have a billion dollar cushion. We have neither a dot-com bubble nor wealthy founders to draw upon to fund continued losses. As a responsible B Corporation, we have succeeded in many ways: creating jobs, funding literacy, and saving books from landfills. Economically, the company has grown revenue year-over-year in a way that very few businesses have. But towards the goal of becoming a profitable enterprise, we have not yet succeeded. As a management team, we regret it deeply.
In a better economy, we may have grown our way to profitability or raised additional outside funding. As the world looks now, we see the very real possibility of a deepening worldwide recession and have to prepare for the worst. This means making sure that Better World Books supports itself and its future growth solely through the sale of books. As such, we’ve worked since November to implement a “profit improvement plan” that spanned every aspect of the business.
Many aspects of this profit improvement plan have been achieved over the past three months with significant improvements in productivity, decreases in expenses, and growth in sales on BetterWorld.com. Unfortunately, this only gets us part of the way to our goal. While we expect considerable sales growth and future operational improvements, they are far from certain and we can’t bet the company on them. Most of the expenses that are discretionary have already been cut. Regretfully, we have to get the rest of the way to profitability by reducing payroll.
There is no good or painless way to reduce payroll, but we tried to do it in a way that best fits with our company’s values. By instituting across-the-board salary cuts, at the suggestion of some employees, we saved 30-40 jobs. The salary cuts will be in place for at least six months. These cuts will be reviewed in August 2009 and our hope is that we can reinstate compensation to its previous levels if we are running profitably.
1. The salary of the founders and CEO will be cut by 20% for at least six months. VP’s will take a 15% pay cut for at least six months.
2. Other employees, both hourly and salaried, will take a 10% cut if they make over $30,000, or a 5% cut if they make $30,000 or less, for at least six months.
3. We will cut 42 full time positions across Indiana, Georgia and California. In most cases, the reduction will be a capable person who was working in a role that the company can no longer afford. In some cases, it was a relocation of mission to consolidate or save the company money. In no cases was it easy.
4. We are consolidating the marketing team to Atlanta to reduce costs and increase effectiveness.
Along with these announcements, we have refined our strategy to reflect that we will have to do more with less. It comes down simply to some things we will do a lot more of, some we will stop doing, and some we will maintain while focusing on profitability. Your supervisor will share this list with you and can discuss how it may change your role. As always, we encourage you to contact members of the leadership team directly with any questions, big or small.
Again, we empathize with you during these painful changes. We thank you for your continued support during this transition and for being a part of Better World Books.
5 Comments » | Tagged Uncategorized
Posted by Xavier on 01.22.2009 at 12:17 pm
I can’t wait to meet you! You sound like such a well read person. Although, I have to say, it sure has taken you a while! I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, but how would you like to spend five months sandwiched between Hamlet (bipolar) and Fundamentals of Thermodynamics (pyromaniac)? At least Hamlet was an upgrade from that stupid book on brewing beer. How many times did the ol’ brewmaster have one too many and topple off our shelf at 2am?
I can’t wait to meet you! You sound like such a well read person. Although, I have to say, it sure has taken you a while! I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, but how would you like to spend five months sandwiched between Walter the Farting Dog (oh, the stench) and Fundamentals of Thermodynamics (pyromaniac)? At least Walter was an upgrade from that stupid book on brewing beer. How many times did the ol’ brewmaster have one too many and topple off our shelf at 2am?
From: LindaCreated: 1/19/2009 3:53:17 PMTo: Better World BooksSubject: Mental illness – a poor subject to mockDear BetterWorld staff:While I am certain that your email below was intended in a humorous vein, I have to express my considerable disappointment in your making light of mental illness.I have bipolar disorder and am reasonably sure that my mother had it as well. She, unfortunately, was not properly diagnosed, and committed suicide in January of 1987.The following is taken from “emedicine® from WebMD: Bipolar Affective Disorder” and was written by Stephen Soreff, MD, President of Education Initiatives, Nottingham, NH; Faculty, Metropolitan College of Boston University, Boston, MA, and Lynne Alison McInnes, MD, Associate Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry and Genetics and Genomic Sciences, Department of Psychiatry and Human Genetics, Mount Sinai School of Medicine:Mortality/MorbidityBipolar disorder has significant morbidity and mortality rates. In the United States during the early part of the 1990s, the cost of lost productivity resulting from this bipolar disorder was estimated at approximately $15.5 billion annually. Approximately 25-50% of individuals with bipolar disorder attempt suicide, and 11% actually commit suicide.If I need to drive the point home further, perform this little test: line up a group of your friends or coworkers and have 1 in 4, or, worse yet, 1 in 2 step forward. In total, they represent the ratio of those who suffer from bipolar who will attempt suicide in their lifetimes.It serves as a painful illustration that bipolar is an inordinately poor choice of maladies of which to make jest.As much as I do love a good laugh, I would sincerely hope that you will revise your future shipping confirmations in such as way as to not belittle those who face the challenges of living with mental illness – not least of which is the stigma that mental illnesses are amusing – which they most certainly are not.In the past, I’d recommended your services highly to friends and colleagues. After receiving this email which perpetuates the stigma of mental illnesses, I regret having touted your services and philanthropic nature to people whose relationships I value.Should you choose to make a public apology to your customers for this error in judgment, I will continue to do business with you. Barring that, I will not only take my trade elsewhere, but will also notify my friends and colleagues of this less-than-amusing email and suggest that they also consider purchasing their books from other merchants.Sincerely,LindaSanta Clara, CA
8 Comments » | Tagged Uncategorized
Posted by Jack on 01.21.2009 at 12:36 pm
What you missed while selling your daughter for cases of meat and beers…
-We referenced an outside post about Emerson
-We gave a ton of books to the NCFL
-We laid out some strategery
-Chip tested The Secret
-Dana interviewed Marion Nestle
-We wanted to know how you felt about books cum movies this year
-We peeked at the latest MENSA word list
Have your say » | Tagged Week In Review
Posted by Chip on 01.21.2009 at 9:28 am
Since last week, the universe has not brought the book The Secret to me. It is my understanding that The Secret teaches the law of attraction and how we can attract the things we desire in life by attracting positive energy through positive thinking. So to test this theory, I will continue to focus positively on the book and see if I can get the universe to manifest The Secret into my life.
Last week, I also brought up the notion that we (human beings) should invent a sarcastic symbol or perhaps a sarcastic font. This would be especially helpful for text messaging and instant messaging purposes. I don’t know who invented Read more…
5 Comments » | Tagged Flabbergasted
Posted by Jack on 01.15.2009 at 11:04 am
[stolen from an email I received]:
Here is the Washington Post’s Mensa Invitational which once again asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition. The winners:
1. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.
2. Ignoranus: A person who’s both stupid and an _______ (you get the idea).
3. Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.
4. Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.
5. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.
4 Comments » | Tagged Uncategorized, hilarious posts, mensa, washington post, word list
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