Amanda Overend, Founder of Books & Pieces
Making book-buying easier, quicker and cheaper!
In our house, it can go from totally manic to lovely and peaceful; the missing ingredient is a book – best enjoyed together on the sofa!
Engaging my three boys in books and keeping that love going is my passion. I’ve always been a bookworm and I want storytelling to be part of their lives too.
I’d go to events when my eldest was a baby and there’d always be a bookseller. I like a bargain, so I started to wonder: ‘Is it possible to source really good books at low prices?’ Feeling braver still: ‘Could I take on big sellers like Amazon?’
I was pregnant with my ‘middle man’ when I did my first table-top sale; it cost a tenner for the pitch at our local village hall! After a lot of research and trial and error, I found my ideal model: selling books for nought to six-year-olds.
Many people want to read with their young child or baby, but they don’t know how or where to start. I help families find books that they can love together, so that adults have the passion that’s required to engage their child in the story.
I never intended to have a mega-business; I just wanted to do something for myself… to have a go and see.
It got to the point where everything felt like such a juggle – doing the nursery and school runs, selling books and working part-time doing PR for a university. I stood back and thought: ‘I can’t do it all. What’s going to give me and my family the best life?’ Selling books was the obvious decision.
2016 was my ‘Think Big’ year. After experimenting with selling at large shows, I was able to hand in my notice that summer! After a steep learning curve in 2017 I invested in coaching and a website, and posted a profit last year. I’m now rolling out a book subscription service, which is so exciting! I’ve built a sustainable business I love that fits around childcare.
My background is in sports comms and the media. Thinking about it, all my career has been sharing stories and the written word, so selling books is a natural progression!