Published novelists and writers looking for exposure may want to bookmark a local hidden gem. Located in the small East End Market, Bookmark It promotes and supports community involvement by featuring local writers and their work.
"A big part of our mission is that we cater to local writers," said Bookmark It employee and UCF alumna Vanessa Blakeslee. "We have a lot of wonderful literary talent in this town, so we really want to make people aware of that."
Though small, the bookstore offers a diverse variety of genres.
"About half of the store features local poets, fiction novels, story collections and a lot of Florida-centric nonfiction books that are written by a lot of local writers," she said. "We also have a spotlight on several of the small presses in town such as the Burrow Press and the Literary Press."
To get involved, Blakeslee said all a writer has to do is come into Bookmark It with a copy of the book or books he or she wants to feature and speak with a manager or the owner, Kim Britt.
"Every few months, the managers will get together and decide which books they want to feature," Blakeslee said. Authors could have their books featured at Bookmark It for up to a year.
Blakeslee added that Bookmark It features a lot of UCF writers, such as author and professor Nathan Holic and poet Ashley Inguanta.
"Kim Britt has had my books on her store shelves as long as she's been in business," Professor Holic said. "She's been terrific about reaching out to authors who live in the Central Florida region," he said. "Reading is such a solitary activity, but Bookmark It offers opportunities for real community and interaction," he said.
In terms of payment, Bookmark It offers a 50/50 consignment agreement to any author who wishes to feature his or her book in the store, said UCF alumna Britt.
"[Authors] leave 2 to 5 copies — depending on the author and if we've had experience with them before — to put on the shelf, and once they sell, we pay quarterly," Britt said. "So, we go back at the end of each quarter and see how many books they sold and pay them a commission."
Bookmark It's mission to support local writers is in alignment with the East End Market's greater mission of promoting the locavore movement.
The idea of the locavore movement is to support a community by conducting business with local entrepreneurs, tradespeople, farmers, artists, chefs and and many more. The East End Market is located at 3201 Corrine Drive, Orlando.
If you go
3201 Corrine Drive, Orlando
Open Thursday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Monday through Wednesday.
Eric Gutierrez is a Digital Producer for the Central Florida Future. Follow him on Twitter @atticus_adrift or email him at EricG@CentralFloridaFuture.com.