Christmas and Exams

Well it’s approaching that time of year again and by now most of you are probably just looking forward to your time away from college and not trying to think about what comes afterwards. So we should remind you all that it’s not just school books we sell, if you’re struggling to think of a last minute present for someone, remember we do sell all the latest best sellers, so why not get them a book? Just because your lectures have ended doesn’t mean we’ll be shut, the campus bookshop will be open all the way until the 21st of December and you can expect the same friendly service you’re used to the rest of the year.

At the same time though someone has to be the first to mention the dreaded E word so we’ll say it: exams. No one likes them but sadly they’re an unavoidable part of college. Well we can help you with them too, we will be open during exams so if there is some book you need at the last minute come in and see do we have it, and remember if we don’t have something in stock we can always order it for you no problem, just talk to one of our staff in store.

Finally all of us here at the bookshop want to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas!

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Book Synopsis of ‘I Wished For You’ by Amy Huberman

I Wished For You is the story of Grace who is at that age where there are six weddings a year and the question on everyone’s lips is: who’s next? She and her boyfriend Robbie seem the perfect fit, but when he unexpectedly goes down on bended knee, Grace freaks out. Cue the mother of all meltdowns.

On top of that, Grace’s passion for fashion is not exactly fulfilled by her job – dressing well-to-do ladies with way more money than style. Cue – in her addled state after the bended knee fiasco – losing it in work, with disastrous consequences.

Into Grace’s train-wreck of a life comes Verity – ex-Hollywood costume lady and vintage clothing queen. Verity is not called the Vintage Vixen for nothing: she has seen it all and done it all and her life makes Grace’s look about as exciting as Songs of Praise. Verity tells Grace that the secret of happiness is to discover her ‘heart wish’. If only Grace could work out what her heart’s greatest wish really is …

I Wished For You is the eagerly awaited second novel from Amy Huberman whose debut, Hello, Heartbreak, was a massive No 1 bestseller in 2010. Since then Amy has gone on to star in Comedy Central’s Threesome and her fan-base is growing all the time.

Book Synopsis of ‘My Olympic Dream’ by Katie Taylor

World renowned boxer Katie Taylor has released a book of her memoirs called ‘My Olympic Dream’ ready for the Christmas market and is available in the University Bookshop.

She is the Irish, European and world number one in female boxing and has most recently come home from the London Olympics with a gold medal, making her the first ever female lightweight boxing champion in the Olympics. She is a major sporting hero in Ireland and around the world at only age twenty-six.

The book reveals how she trained to get fit and ready for such a major event, the Olympics, in one’s career not only physically but mentally preparing herself too. As she was chosen to bear the national flag at the opening ceremony of the Olympics, this created an added pressure to do well in such a tremendous tournament. She tells the story of how and why she started boxing, and the battles she faced to get to where she is today. With such a weight on her shoulders and the trophies behind her to back up the massive support Ireland and boxing fans around the world gave her, she achieved what was once thought to be the impossible.

The book covers her story from the most important point of view; her own and gives everyone an insight into this amazing woman’s life. The only way now for her is up; she is truly an inspiration to all.

Group Awesome’s contribution to the Maynooth University Bookshop’s social media marketing

It’s time to pause and evaluate the past actions of the social media pages and the future plans of activity for the Facebook and Twitter pages.

When we first set up the social media page for Maynooth University Bookshop, we got a good number of likes on our Facebook page and also gained a high number of followers on Twitter. We would frequently update our status and tweet up to date news, relevant to our followers about the shop.

Of late it is evident that the rate of likes we get has significantly declined and new followers to twitter have been on a downward slope also. By looking at the facebook insights graph it is very evident that followers and the number of people talking about the page has declined. We feel this is due to the lack of new updates made and also the lack of facebook advertisements used that could be utilised and would significantly raise awareness for the page and the shop.

The shop owner sends us regular updates of what is happening in store in order for us to be able to share the upcoming news with people in contact with the Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Twitter has been more successful than Facebook in terms of getting more followers and re-tweets. We have made some suggestions in order to make the pages more worthwhile while also being a source of marketing for the shop. We hope that in the future these pages will grow and become a major tool of interaction between customers and the shop.

Book Signing This Wednesday

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This Wednesday Patrick Flannery, author of Absolution, will be talking in the Iontas Building on North Campus beside the John Hume building at 12pm until 1pm. This talk is not to be missed! He will then be signing his book at the bookshop in the John Hume building at 4pm until 6pm. So don’t miss this chance to meet the man himself. The book, Absolution, has gotten numerous excellent reviews and is a must read for everyone. The book centres on a man, named Sam, who is writing an autobiography of a woman, named Clare in South Africa. As Clare tells her stories and unravels her life’s stories, Sam has some memories that rise to the surface and uncovers some secrets of his own.

Patrick was born in California and raised in Nebraska. After graduating from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and working for a time in the film industry, he moved to England. Patrick has completed a doctorate in 20th Century Literature from Oxford University. He has published many academic journals and articles and now lives in London, when he’s not travelling to different places to give talks and sign his book at NUI Maynooth. So don’t miss out on this chance to see the man himself this Wednesday!

How Social Media Can Help Small Shops and Businesses

Social Media can be influential in the promotion of small shops and businesses. Through the use of the major social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, these small enterprises can rise from being mere locally recognised enterprises to national and even internationally recognised ones.

Social Media sites give these small enterprises the opportunity to promote themselves on a wider scale. Ten years ago this was not possible. Print Media, Radio and TV often promote these shops and businesses, however they do not give a platform to go out and reach a wider area.

By using social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, these shops and businesses can create a page whereby their local customers can follow or like. However, one of these customers may have family or friends that live in another country or county. Therefore if they like or follow the new page, they are introducing the enterprise to a wider audience.

For example the Maynooth University Bookshop has recently set up new Facebook and Twitter accounts. These pages are available for anyone to look at globally. If there are past pupils who are living and working abroad they may come across the pages whilst browsing their social media accounts. By liking or following the page they become aware of the goings on and even special offers that the bookshop are offering. They may even be willing to order a book online from the website just from seeing the advertising on the Facebook and Twitter pages. If they are happy with the service they are likely to recommend it to friends who have never been or even heard of NUIM, thereby introducing new customers to the shop.

Therefore, you can see how the use of social media sites can help small shops and enterprises make a profit and more importantly help to attract new customers.

To find our social media pages go visit the ‘Other Pages’ tab at the top of the page! 🙂

Background on John and his shops

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John, currently owns two shops in Maynooth; one on North Campus of NUIM in the John Hume building and another on the Main Street in Maynooth village. He opened the shop on the Main Street in 1989 due to the growth in numbers in both primary and secondary schools, and the opening of Hewlett-Packard and Intel just out the road in Leixlip. This growth in people had a greater disposable income than was previously seen in and around the village. An old school teacher of John’s, who had become principal at the time, asked John would he set up a shop to cater for school children’s needs, as they were not being met. The parents of these children could not get the books that they needed for school and so he decided to open his shop in December, 1989.
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At the moment, between the two shops, John employs eight full-time and a maximum of five part-time staff. Due to the college year ending in May, turnover ceases in the shop on North Campus and so is closed until September and the employees are deployed to the shop on the Main Street.
Due to the recession, John has seen a decrease in revenue as most businesses have. In 2008 the figures decreased and have remained static since. To balance this loss of income John has reduced his overheads, insurance premiums and renegotiated his leases. He is even employing two people part-time to job share instead of one full-time worker. John explains the situation like this: ‘A few years ago a student would have their mother and father in full-time employment but now maybe only one of their parents work, if any. A few years ago a student could get any type of part-time work and now there is none.’
Even through this hard time, John has remained positive and both of his shops are still fully operational and making a profit.

How It All Started

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John, a native of Maynooth, left school aged 17. He was very interested in books and as there was no bookshop in Maynooth, he visited the university bookshop often. The shop was run by a German man at the time and one day he asked John if he wanted a job. John was about 19 when he started working in the shop.

Around 1975, Talbott Press took over the ownership of the shop and John managed it for them. After 10 years or so they pulled out and John took over the lease.

Now 56, John doesn’t recall a morning when he hasn’t wanted to get up to go to work and believes when that day comes, it’s time to retire. But for now is still enjoying life immersed in books and helping people.

John is a man with many stories to tell and one he shared with us was about his sister-in-law doing charity work in Liberia. She met someone there who knew John from the university bookshop and who John remembered from the countless requests for different books. Another story he told was when he was on holiday in Washington during a World Cup and meeting a student of NUIM who was working behind the bar of an Irish pub there.

These stories show the dedication that John shows to each and every customers query, every single day. Even though they may not see him for years, if ever again, they still remember the kind, helpful man who guided them with book choices throughout their time in college.