JILL HENDRIX: FICTION ADDICTION

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I first had the good luck to meet Jill Hendrix, owner and manager of Fiction Addiction, when she graciously hosted me at an author’s luncheon to chat about THE MEMORY THIEF. This past year, we met again when I spoke on a panel at her bookstore with two other authors. Whenever I’m in Greenville, SC, I make a point to visit Fiction Addiction—and so as soon as I decided to launch the bookseller interview series on my blog, I knew I had to include Jill! 

Welcome to the blog, Jill! I’m so excited to have you. Can you share a bit about what inspired you to open Fiction Addiction—and what your journey’s been like along the way?

I had been working for internet startups in New York and had decided that I wanted my own startup. I had always been an avid reader and took a workshop on opening a bookstore. My mom convinced me to move back to Greenville to open the store here. I opened the store in 2001 as primarily a used bookstore and today we’ve completely flip-flopped and are now 99% new books.

If you could tell authors—and readers—each one thing about engaging with independent booksellers, what would it be?

I would tell readers that independent bookstores are a great place for discovery. If we don’t have the particular book you were looking for, take a chance on a staff pick or talk to us about your likes and dislikes. Then as we get to know you as a customer we’ll tailor our inventory and soon we’ll have stocked exactly what you’re looking for.

I would tell authors that author events are the lifeblood of independent bookstores but that every author is not a great match for every store and to not take rejection personally.

You’re one of the official booksellers for Read Up, Greenville’s fantastic YA book festival. Why are festivals like Read Up so important, and what role do independent booksellers play in helping them succeed?

M. Judson and Fiction Addiction are the official booksellers for ReadUp Greenville. Festivals are a great way to raise awareness with publishers, invigorate your community of readers, and bring more authors into schools. Independent bookstores are great resources for all aspects of festival planning: from sourcing authors to creating panel topics, to selling books onsite.

What’s next for Fiction Addiction? Any big dreams or new developments on the horizon?

We’ve recently started guided self-publishing services for local authors and have published 12 books so far. We love working being able to give the benefit of our advice so much earlier in the publishing process, when it can actually be useful.

I’ve always felt that independent bookstores reflect the spirit of their community. How does Fiction Addiction embody the culture of Greenville?

As a Southern community, we are very hospitable and Fiction Addiction tries to ensure that all our visiting authors feel welcome and well taken care of. Greenville is also a foodie town and so we have found that our Book Your Lunch author event series has been very well received. Greenville, like many communities, tends to be a very busy, bustling place and so we try to save our customers time and energy by keeping track of their favorite authors and letting them know when they have a new release.

What books are you most excited about this spring? Tell us what’s on your TBR pile!

It’s almost summer reading season so we’ll have a new crop of great beach reads by Dorothea Benton Frank, Mary Kay Andrews, and Mary Alice Monroe. We’re also looking forward to the new Paula McClain, LOVE AND RUINS, and the newest from Lisa Scottoline, AFTER ANNA.

ABOUT THE BOOKSELLER 

Fiction Addiction is owned and managed by Jill Hendrix. Mrs. Hendrix grew up in Greenville and was 1991 valedictorian of Southside High School and one of its first International Baccalaureate diploma recipients. She went on to graduate magna cum laude from Yale University with a B.A. in History.

She worked briefly in the Editorial Department of St. Martin’s Press and then for a series of internet startups in New York City, including Juno Online Services. The startup bug proved contagious and she decided in 2001 to return home and open her own business, Fiction Addiction, which she has managed ever since.

In 2009, she launched the succeessful Book Your Lunch author event program, which has brought bestselling authors like Elin Hilderbrand and Dorothea Benton Frank to Greenville and introduced readers to debut novelists like Beth Hoffman. She is currently serving as the Treasurer of the The South Carolina Academy of Authors and is the immediate past president of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance.

http://www.fiction-addiction.com
http://twitter.com/FictnAddictn
http://facebook.com/FictionAddictionBookstore

I first had the good luck to meet Jill Hendrix, owner and manager of Fiction Addiction, when she graciously hosted me at an author’s luncheon to chat about THE MEMORY THIEF. This past year, we met again when I spoke on a panel at her bookstore with two other authors. Whenever I’m in Greenville, SC, I make a point to visit Fiction Addiction—and so as soon as I decided to launch the bookseller interview series on my blog, I knew I had to include Jill! 

Welcome to the blog, Jill! I’m so excited to have you. Can you share a bit about what inspired you to open Fiction Addiction—and what your journey’s been like along the way?

I had been working for internet startups in New York and had decided that I wanted my own startup. I had always been an avid reader and took a workshop on opening a bookstore. My mom convinced me to move back to Greenville to open the store here. I opened the store in 2001 as primarily a used bookstore and today we’ve completely flip-flopped and are now 99% new books.

If you could tell authors—and readers—each one thing about engaging with independent booksellers, what would it be?

I would tell readers that independent bookstores are a great place for discovery. If we don’t have the particular book you were looking for, take a chance on a staff pick or talk to us about your likes and dislikes. Then as we get to know you as a customer we’ll tailor our inventory and soon we’ll have stocked exactly what you’re looking for.

I would tell authors that author events are the lifeblood of independent bookstores but that every author is not a great match for every store and to not take rejection personally.

You’re one of the official booksellers for Read Up, Greenville’s fantastic YA book festival. Why are festivals like Read Up so important, and what role do independent booksellers play in helping them succeed?

M. Judson and Fiction Addiction are the official booksellers for ReadUp Greenville. Festivals are a great way to raise awareness with publishers, invigorate your community of readers, and bring more authors into schools. Independent bookstores are great resources for all aspects of festival planning: from sourcing authors to creating panel topics, to selling books onsite.

What’s next for Fiction Addiction? Any big dreams or new developments on the horizon?

We’ve recently started guided self-publishing services for local authors and have published 12 books so far. We love working being able to give the benefit of our advice so much earlier in the publishing process, when it can actually be useful.

I’ve always felt that independent bookstores reflect the spirit of their community. How does Fiction Addiction embody the culture of Greenville?

As a Southern community, we are very hospitable and Fiction Addiction tries to ensure that all our visiting authors feel welcome and well taken care of. Greenville is also a foodie town and so we have found that our Book Your Lunch author event series has been very well received. Greenville, like many communities, tends to be a very busy, bustling place and so we try to save our customers time and energy by keeping track of their favorite authors and letting them know when they have a new release.

What books are you most excited about this spring? Tell us what’s on your TBR pile!

It’s almost summer reading season so we’ll have a new crop of great beach reads by Dorothea Benton Frank, Mary Kay Andrews, and Mary Alice Monroe. We’re also looking forward to the new Paula McClain, LOVE AND RUINS, and the newest from Lisa Scottoline, AFTER ANNA.

ABOUT THE BOOKSELLER 

Fiction Addiction is owned and managed by Jill Hendrix. Mrs. Hendrix grew up in Greenville and was 1991 valedictorian of Southside High School and one of its first International Baccalaureate diploma recipients. She went on to graduate magna cum laude from Yale University with a B.A. in History.

She worked briefly in the Editorial Department of St. Martin’s Press and then for a series of internet startups in New York City, including Juno Online Services. The startup bug proved contagious and she decided in 2001 to return home and open her own business, Fiction Addiction, which she has managed ever since.

In 2009, she launched the succeessful Book Your Lunch author event program, which has brought bestselling authors like Elin Hilderbrand and Dorothea Benton Frank to Greenville and introduced readers to debut novelists like Beth Hoffman. She is currently serving as the Treasurer of the The South Carolina Academy of Authors and is the immediate past president of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance.

http://www.fiction-addiction.com
http://twitter.com/FictnAddictn
http://facebook.com/FictionAddictionBookstore

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