BIG THINGS IN STORE
On sort of getting our ish, or at least our warehouse, together
If you’ve ever seen Coach House, you know that one of our biggest challenges is space. After a billion years of publishing amazing books, you begin to run out of room to store them all. Sure, we have distributors who warehouse and ship our books, but we also need to keep some on hand for those times when a wandering soul stumbles onto bpNichol Lane and says, “Wow, what’s this magical place?” We chuck the books at them to get them off our property! I’m kidding, we need the books on hand for online orders, local events, etc.
That’s why it’s very important to have a clean and efficient warehouse that allows us to access all our books quickly and easily. Sadly, with the "fast-paced" nature of publishing, some things can get neglected. When I was brought on to the Coach House team in October, Alana told me the warehouse needed some love. And when I saw the state of the warehouse, it was clear that the kind of love this place needed was tough love! Like when Maury Povich sends those kids to prison to scare them straight – you know, where the convicts scream at them until they cry and then get all soft and are like, “Respect your mother” and stuff. That kind of love!
My main goals when cleaning up the warehouse were:
- Open up some space to move within the warehouse.
- Make every title accessible.
- Organize boxes in a logical way.
First order of business was making space. This process involved combining a lot of half-full boxes, getting new books shelves, and removing someunneeded furniture. It’s amazing what a little moving can accomplish within such a small space. Also, it’s amazing/horrifying how many spiders you can find while moving. You think regular spiders are scary? Wait until you see spiders raised on fine literature! By the end of Day One, the warehouse was already looking a lot less cluttered. The next step was to organize our shelves.
The shelves in the warehouse are split into four sections: Poetry, Drama, Nonfiction, and Fiction. I wanted to really optimize space, so I couldn’t organize titles by name or title – I had to organize them by size. It’s not a perfect system, but it works for now. We’ll have to re-evaluate things in the new year (or the year after that.)
The final step and biggest feat is organizing the boxes in a logical manner. I’d estimate there are about 6 million boxes in there – give or take – so it’s like a live-action game of Tetris where the little blocks you fit together are falling from all directions, including up from the floor. There are three main areas in the warehouse as seen in my crudely drawn map. (Note: on the map, the treasure is booze!) Area A is for frontlist titles like My Ariel, Curry, and The Doll's Alphabet, and Areas B and C are for backlist titles, including some beloved gems from the Coach House Press days.
As of today, the warehouse is in pretty good condition. Books are on shelves, boxes are out of the way, and the spiders are mostly gone… mostly. Now, I know what you’re saying, “How can I, a lover of literature, help win the war against warehouse clutter?” Well that’s a very good question and the answer is simple: by buying Coach House books you’ll be getting the books out of the warehouse and into the loving hands of readers like yourself. We're throwing our first-ever, super-nutty warehouse sale this Saturday to celebrate, but we'll be happy no matter how our books happen to end up in your hands.