May 2017 - Between The Pages: New Mexico Book Co-op
Collaboration is the name of the game when it comes to the local, New Mexico book scene, and no one realizes that more than Barbe Awalt. Awalt is the co-founder of The New Mexico Book Co-op, a partnership of over 1,500 local authors and publishers. The partnership's sole purpose is to showcase and sell local books. “The idea for the Co-op came from a meeting at the Albuquerque Press Club,” shared Awalt. “A number of us were mad that opportunities were not available for book people to network and hear the current trends. We were told, up front, that book people would not work together, and, obviously, that isn't true. We have had shows, events, and [we] promote each other in these very hard times.” The co-op has been wonderfully effective at supporting New Mexico authors and the books they have worked hard to create. “NM book people work together to further NM books. The Co-op tries to further libraries, organizations, reading, local bookstores, and book publishing, in general.”
The New Mexico Book Co-op also organizes a variety of activities that allow local authors and publishers to promote their books and to make them available for sale to the public, along with creating several alliances with booksellers to showcase local books. They also produce a monthly electronic newsletter called CoverReads that goes to 1,200 libraries, bookstores, and gift shops. The New Mexico Book Co-op has received several awards, including the 2005 Book In Hand Award from the New Mexico Book Association for its significant contribution to bookselling in New Mexico, the 2005 Silver Cumbre Award from The New Mexico Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America for an exceptional Institutional Promotions Campaign, and seventeen major website awards. “We have found we are stronger together,” expressed Awalt. “The Co-op has no elected officers, board, or other rotating system of leadership. It is a co-op, so everyone helps.”
The New Mexico Book Co-op is a true jewel in the New Mexico literary climate, and we are excited to announce that they will be providing content for our Between the Pages section of New Mexico Entertainment. With the well of authors they have access to, we know that New Mexico writers will be represented in every issue.