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Children's & Fantasy/Sci-Fi Books

Interview with Lisa Kovach from B&N Oceanside, CA

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Lisa Kovach is the Community Relations Manager (CRM) at Barnes & Noble Oceanside. As the CRM, Lisa partners with the community to support local pre-K-12 schools and non-profit literacy and arts organizations through in-store and off-site events (including book fairs, author events, and children’s events), institutional business, special events programming, and various community outreach programs at the store. Lisa also handles bulk book and NOOK sales for institutional and corporate businesses.

BNOside

What makes your bookstore different and special?
The caliber of our booksellers is unparalleled and truly sets us apart. From college students to teachers, our booksellers have a diverse set of skills and interests that enable them to make expert recommendations to our customers. Our booksellers’ passions are eclectic but our commitment to service is shared and the customer experience is more engaging as a result.

Do you carry products beyond books?
Yes, we definitely offer more than just books! We have a wide selection of products including our eReader devices, such as the NOOK HD and Simple Touch, home and gift items, music, television and movies, toys and games as well as magazines. We also have an amazing Café, which has everything you could need, such as Starbucks coffee, sandwiches and soups, Cheesecake Factory Bakery desserts, fresh-baked cookies and desserts and Harney & Sons teas.

Henry: Come for the books, stay for dessert. Cheesecake? I may never leave.

Do you offer book-related services to your customers?
Every month we have two book clubs that meet in our café to discuss select titles. We have a fiction book club, which has been around for more than 10 years, and a science fiction book club that will be celebrating its 10-year anniversary this August. The club’s members include Barnes & Noble employees, as well as customers.

Do you cater to certain types of readers?
As the world’s largest booksellers we encourage all types of readers and we do not cater to a specific genre or type of reader. However, since we are near a military base, we do have a large selection of military books.

What are some of your upcoming events?
Some upcoming events include:
July 27, 4:30 pm – Catherine Follestad
July 29, 3:30 pm – Lean to Read and Write with LeapFrog
July 31, 11:00 am – Carlsbad High School Lancer Dancers
August 10, 7:30 pm – Fiction Literature Book Group

We also have regularly scheduled events, including Mom & Tot storytime every Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. and a Pajamarama storytime every Friday at 7 p.m. During Pajamarama, kids are encouraged to wear their pajamas. We also host NOOK University every Saturday at 9:30 a.m., where customers can learn everything they need to know about NOOK.

Henry: Kids have all the fun. When I wear my pajamas in a B&N, it’s just creepy.

How do you engage in an ongoing way with your customers?
Our goal is to make every customers’ experience in our store a positive one and for them to leave our store with a smile on their face and a book in their hand. One of the ways we aim to provide a positive experience and engage with our customers is through offering excellent customer service and going above and beyond for our customers. We also engage with our customers by offering fun and exciting events that our customers would be interested in. Through our events we can engage with our customers and develop relationships with them that will hopefully last a lifetime.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about your book store?
Our bookstore is more than just books. It really is a place for families and friends to come, find what they need – whether that is a new fiction release, their favorite children’s book or one of our items from toys and games -, visit our Café, meet up with friends, and  have an overall great experience that makes them want to return again and again.

This article is also posted to the San Diego Children’s Books Examiner.

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Author: Henry Herz

Children's book author

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