Also, watch out for a free online event, coming up next week!
How are you? This isn’t as hollow question, just to get you engaged with the post. We miss you! The support that we have received from customers (new and longstanding) has been heartwarming and a relief, if I’m totally honest! Obviously, we miss the level of book sales, or at least, the bank account does. But more than that, we miss seeing our customers. Being part of the community in Brentwood has always felt like such a privilege, so not being able to have the daily chit chat is tough.
When the lockdown was first discussed I felt a horrible sense of impending doom. Those of you that have followed us for a while will already know that we have been through some ups and downs as a business. That’s often the journey of any business. We’d just got ourselves into a solid, what felt like a safe place and then, the rug was pulled from under everyone.
So, I had a sulk for a couple of days. I think that’s allowed, isn’t it? A little bit of a grump. And a fair amount of chocolate… Anyway, once I’d washed the melted chocolate off my chin, I started to plan. I love the list. It’s very satisfying. I often write things on the list that I’ve already completed, just so that I can check it with a quick tick. This list proved slightly more challenging, but equally, possibly more satisfying. Within a few days, our tuition centre migrated to online provision, as did our Book Club. We quickly added two weekly storytime sessions, which are live-streamed via our Facebook and Instagram pages. These have proved so popular, that post lockdown, they will continue to be a part of the services we offer.
There have been so many positives. I have learned how to use tech which I’d never even heard of – clearly I’m talking about Zoom. I can’t say that I’ve embraced the tech, but I have accepted it and can see the benefits. So much so, that we have two online author events already planned and more on the way. As I have said, we will continue to use Zoom et al after lockdown. It makes our events so much more accessible for those that may find it tricky to travel to the shop. And I am grateful for that.
We are now planning the transition phase. If the stats stack up, we may be able to open our doors this summer. What will that look like? I don’t have a definitive answer. It will involve masks, screens and hand sanitiser. But it will also involve, most importantly, smiles all around and a good old chat. When we do re-open, rest assured that we will do our best to keep you safe within Chicken and Frog. If you’d rather not visit, we will continue to provide a home delivery service.
Until then, stay safe 🙂
Do you love writing? We love reading!
During the lockdown, take part in our writing competition. The theme is ‘Everyday Heroes and Heroines’. We will split the entries into three age categories: Under 10s, 11-14, 15+. The winner of each category will receive a Chicken and Frog Bookshop gift certificate, to be redeemed either side of the lockdown.
- One entry per person
- Entries must be clearly marked with your full name and date of birth
- Entries to be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, no later than 5:00pm on Saturday 30th May 2020
- Entries can be typed or handwritten (and scanned!)
Ready, set, write!
In addition, we are holding quite a lot of stock, including Tonies. If you live in Brentwood or Billericay, we can provide a contactless, doorstep delivery service. Just email us what you need!
Stay safe and happy reading.
Hello you lovely readers of Brentwood and beyond.
Times are tough and we are here to support you as best we can. Until we are instructed to do so, we will remain open. However, if you can’t get to us, we can still get books to you! Either call us on 01277 230068 or contact us using the form below, so that we can arrange home delivery.
In addition, classes and Book Club are being offered via Skype. If you want more information, just get in touch.
And, lastly, we want to say a huge thank-you for your overwhelming support so far. we are humbled, grateful and exhausted in equal measure!
Hello again. Twice in as many days!
A version of this lovely message has been shared by a wonderful fellow bookseller, who has kindly said that we can adapt and share it with you.
This is our Top Ten for supporting us indies, authors and illustrators:
- Buy a book in the shop
If you can, pop into the shop and buy something; even just one book makes a HUGE difference to an indie bookshop.
- Order remotely
If you can’t get out, you live too far away or are self-isolating, you can get in touch with via email, phone or any of our social media channels. If it’s in print, we can get it! As long as the postal service is up and running, we can get books to you. If you’re local to us, we can deliver books personally.
- Send a book to a friend
Someone self-isolating or going through a tricky time? Then why not send a book to them to let them know you are there and thinking about them.
- Ask for book recommendations
If you are not sure what you want to read then give us a budget, an idea about what you like to read and ask for suggestions. This is what we do every day and we would love to do more of it.
- Write a positive review of the bookshop
On Google, Tripadvisor, Facebook or a local website. Raise the profile of the bookshop so that people know we are here and open for business.
- Follow on social media
We are on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Get involved!
- Like, share, comment and engage on social media
Follow ourposts, share them with your friends and comment. If you have a picture of a book you have bought from us, share it – we would love to see this and so would the brilliant authors and illustrators who fill our world with wonder.
- Post a book review
If you have read a great book, post a review, with a link about buying locally.
- Tell your friends about us
Do talk about us and what we can offer.
- Be kind
This one is a given in Brentwood. Our customers are already wonderful. We know that many of you are stressed during this tricky time and we are trying to respond to a rapidly changing environment, so keep in touch and help us to help you.
Hello all. We are only too aware that the coming weeks, possibly even months, are going to test us all. We do not have plans to close unless we are instructed to do so. All classes, clubs and in-store events are still on track, but please do check on our website or social media for updates. We are following current guidelines, wiping surfaces down regularly with anti-bac, as well as washing toys used during our Rhythm and Rhyme sessions.
There is a contingency plan in place if we have to stop tuition, but we are hoping that this will not be the case. Technology will allow us to Skype, so please don’t panic – especially our GCSE students, who have exams on the horizon.
In addition, we can offer home deliveries, as well as in-store pick up on any book which is in print – that means books for adults too!
Using our knowledge, as well as keeping an eye on current stock levels, we have put together an educational title list for those of you who may wish to study at home. If you would like a copy, please feel free to contact us using the form below.
Well hello there. Sorry, it’s been a while since we last spoke. It’s been 7 weeks, or thereabouts since we relocated to Crown Street and we love our new home. If you haven’t visited the area before, Crown Street is a beautiful, quirky little road bursting with character and individual businesses.
Although it’s only been a few weeks, we have been super busy already, with in-store events such as Harry Potter Book Night and Minecraft Creative Writing, as well as a whole host of school visits – Michelle Harrison, Vashti Hardy, and Lisa Thompson so far, plus creative writing workshops with yours truly.
And there’s more to come. Our Isadora Moon Party and Lego World sessions are fully booked, but there are spaces for art on Saturday,
We are regularly updating the events page with fun activities to keep you busy. The Easter break is already starting to fill up, so don’t miss out!
And, just before I go, a quick update re the Crowdfund rewards. The good news is, we are having bespoke badges made. The bad news is that they are being manufactured in China, which means a delay in production. As soon as we have a date, we will let you know. To save on postage, supporters who opted for a book or two, we are asking for your patience, so that we can send everything out in one hit.
That’s all for now.
Until next time, happy reading!