The Published Page: Saving an Iconic Bookstore
Save The Published Page Bookshop!The Published Page is facing the biggest challenge in its history. Unless we can pay arrears in property taxes, and refinance the building, our shop faces foreclosure and will go out of business. Connye & I believe that saving this wonderful store is important. Watch the video for more information.
If you believe in books, bookstores, and want to help save an important and iconic "old School" bookshop, contribute to our GoFundMe campaign. Donations of any size, $1 or $1,000, all are welcome and will help save The Published Page. We do have perks and rewards for different levels of contributions. These are described in detail at the bottom of this page.
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What is "The Published Page"?
We are one of the largest used/out-of-print/rare & new book stores in Texas. The shop is located on the courthouse square of Cleburne, Texas, a small Texas city on the outskirts of the DFW metropolitan area. We have more than 150,000 books in inventory, along with thousands of movies, vinyl records, CD's audio books, vintage magazines and ephemera.
The shop is located in the historic 1880 Chambers Building, constructed by Barzilai Chambers. Chambers was the founder of Cleburne, one of the early national leaders of the Greenback Party, and its vice-presidential candidate.
The Published Page is both a literary and cultural center for the community, and it hosts dozens of events and activities each year. These include writers' group meetings, book club meetings, author book signings, community activities, and parties. The bookstore also serves as a gathering place for book lovers and readers of all ages.
The Published Page is the only bookstore in the city of Cleburne, the only bookstore in Johnson County, Texas, and is one of only a handful of large independent bookstores in the entire Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area.
Who are we?
I, Jim Hart, am the co-owner with my wife Connye. I founded The Published Page 23 years ago. I have been a bibliophile all of my life. I am a past president of The Independent Online Booksellers Association (IOBA), am a member of the American Booksellers Association (ABA), the Mountains and Plains Independent Booksellers Association (MPIBA), and The Texas Booksellers Association (TXBA).
Connye joined the shop full time in 2017, following her retirement from her duties as chaplain and as a mental health care facilitator. She also has been a lifelong book lover and reader. in addition, Connye has extensive experience as an event organizer and planner.
Cindy Miller came to the shop shortly after we moved to Cleburne. Cindy also has decades of experience as a bookseller. She was a store manager for both Barnes & Noble and Half Price Books, and also owned and operated her own shop.
Together the team has more than 60 years of professional experience handling and dealing used and new books. Where does the money go?
The need is two-fold. We must catch up on arrears in both payments and in taxes before we can refinance. There are also a few critical repairs that must be made. The roof is leaking, the mezzanine office area needs repairs, and the A/C unit requires assistance. Meeting the campaign goal should ensure the long term viability of The Published Page Bookshop on the square in Cleburne for decades to come.
Why did we get behind?
Several factors conspired to cause the shortfall, but the short version is, the building repairs took longer and cost more than budgeted. The delay meant our shop was closed for business months longer than planned, including the critical Christmas season of 2017. Downtown business was far more depressed than we had realized. After two years of steady work it is finally showing real progress, but in the interim we fell thousands of dollars short each month. And personally, one of our daughters had complicated medical issues, as did Connye. These combined to keep Connye away from the business for days at a time, and also absorbed a significant amount of our personal income.Is this just a band-aid? Are we going to get behind again?
While business is never completely predictable, we should never need this type of assistance again, if the campaign goals are met. Our sales have increased monthly since we moved here. The last three months' income has been more than 45% greater than the same period last year. There has been a major transformation in Historic Downtown Cleburne since we bought the Chambers Building. More than a dozen new, exciting shops and dining places have opened in downtown
. We are already seeing the results of this renaissance in the store. We project the pace will only accelerate as more of the new venues open and welcome people to Historic Downtown Cleburne. So, what are the results?
For the first time in decades, citizens of Cleburne are expressing excitement about their downtown and the direction it is taking. Once we clear this temporary rough spot, The Published Page Bookshop will be a vital and important part of this new direction. We are planning to add regular spoken word events in the new year. We already are in contact with several exciting authors for shop appearances. This will include both new Texas voices, and established best sellers. We will further expand the shelving and the number of books on the west side of our first floor adding both books and additional community space. We currently have around 50,000 books on the shelves. Before the end of 2020, that number should be approaching 100,000. These are books we already own which have not been catalogued and shelved.
Most exciting, the repair and restoration of the beautiful, historic second floor is scheduled to start in late Spring, 2020. We hope to have the floor back in service before the end of the year.
Our goal remains, as it has been since the beginning, to build one of the finest bookstores in Texas and the nation, right here, on the courthouse square, in Historic Downtown Cleburne, Texas.
You mentioned rewards and perks?
We want to make sure that every contributor receives recognition, a physical reward commensurate with the contribution, and the satisfaction of knowing that they were part of creating something valuable and permanent in Historic Downtown Cleburne, Texas. GoFundMe does not provide your contact information to us, so please send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org
), a Facebook personal message, or contact me by voice or text to my personal cell (817-217-0656).
These are the various reward levels we have set up. Others may be added later. All levels
Any contribution will get your name entered on our list of "Literary Heroes of The Published Page" This list will be published on our site, and on Facebook. We will also prepare a display in our shop with the names of all contributors. Gift Certificate - $10.00, $25.00, $50.00
Contributors at any of these levels may request a Gift Certificate in the full amount of their contribution. Our gift certificates do not expire, and may be used both in the shop and online. Gift certificates will be available no later than November 30, 2019. They may be picked up in the shop, or we will mail them to you if you request.
Books for Schools - $25.00, $50.00, $100.00
We are setting this up for $25.00, $50.00, and $100.00 donations, but can structure it for any level gift you want to make.
For this reward you select a school for your gift. We will contact the school and will provide the amount of your gift in books chosen from our store stock. We will deliver free to any school in Johnson County, Texas. We will also place a "Donated by " label in each book if you desire.
We are willing to extend this to schools in other areas, but will have to deduct shipping charges from the donation.
We will start contacting schools on Monday, December 2, 2019, and delivering books as quickly as possible. We will notify you of the books selected and the date of delivery.
We can provide a receipt for these donations showing the donation to the school. Books Behind Bars - $25.00, $50.00, $100.00
This is similar to the Books for Schools program. The Published Page has shipped hundreds of books to inmates over the years.
For this program we will ship to the library at the institution (jail, prison, penitentiary) you select. We will consult with the institution, and select and ship books that meet their guidelines and needs.
The books will need to be delivered by mail, and the actual cost of postage will be deducted from the donation.
We will start contacting institutions on Monday, December 2, 2019, and delivering books as quickly as possible. We will notify you of the books selected and the date of delivery.
We can provide a receipt for this reward showing the donation to the institution.
Ceramic "Published Page Bookshop" coffee mug - $25.00
For a contribution of $25.00 you may select this quality ceramic mug.
For this selection, you will also be entitled to a 5% discount on all purchases from The Published Page for one year (December 1, 2019 through November 30, 2020). This discount will be in addition to any other discount you are entitled to (Military, Public School Employee, First Responder; College Student; College Teacher; KERA Member; etc).
Mugs will be ordered November 30, 2019. Delivery to the shop should be within two weeks following. They may either be picked up at the shop, or we will mail to any address within the United States. International mailing is available, but we will need to charge actual postage costs if you want the mug shipped to another country. Inquire for rates.
Cotton/Jute tote bag - $40.00
For a $40.00 contribution you may select a "Published Page Bookshop" cotton/jute tote bag. With this selection you will also receive a 10% discount on all purchases from The Published Page for one year (December 1, 2019 through November 30, 2020). This discount will be in addition to any other discount you are entitled to (Military, Public School Employee, First Responder; College Student; College Teacher; KERA Member; etc)
Tote bags will be ordered November 30, 2019. Delivery to the shop should be within two weeks following. They may either be picked up at the shop, or we will mail to any address within the United States. International mailing is available, but we will need to charge actual postage costs if you want the mug shipped to another country. Inquire for rates.
Ceramic Mug & Cotton/Jute Tote Bag - $75.00
For a $75.00 contribution you may select both the mug and the tote bag. With this selection you will also receive a 15% discount on all purchases from The Published Page for one year
(December 1, 2019 through November 30, 2020). This discount will be in addition to any other discount you are entitled to (Military, Public School Employee, First Responder; College Student; College Teacher; KERA Member; etc)
Mugs and tote bags will be ordered November 30, 2019. Delivery to the shop should be within two weeks following. They may either be picked up at the shop, or we will mail to any address within the United States. International mailing is available, but we will need to charge actual postage costs if you want the mug shipped to another country. Inquire for rates.
Mug & Tote bag, plus meet the author & signed 1st edition - $100.00
For this package you will receive the rewards described in the "Ceramic Mug & Cotton/Jute Tote Bag" package. In addition, you may choose to have a short personal visit, photograph, and signed 1st edition from one of the authors appearing in our shop during 2020. We have not finalized this list yet, but plan to have at least a dozen different authors & artists appearing here. Many are new local talents. A few will be established authors. This offer will be limited to no more than two per author. Wrap-up
We are delighted to be offering what we believe are quality and meaningful rewards. We are open to suggestions if you would like to offer additional ideas. Because of constraints of time and budget, we may not be able to incorporate all suggestions, but we will do our best to consider and respond to each one.
We do thank you for your time and interest. If you've gotten this far, you have shown that reading, literature, and bookstores are truly an interest of yours. We hope that if you donate to keep our shop alive you will believe that its continued ability to be part of the community, locally and around the world, is truly the greatest reward you have received. Connye and I promise to keep you and your friendship and support foremost in our minds and hearts each day as we greet the public in the shop.
This photo truly expresses how we feel about what we are doing. Thank you again for being part of our journey.