July 20, 2016
Deep Vellum Books set to open their Dallas store
by Julia Fleischaker
After a soft opening that had him reconsidering his plans, Will Evans, founder of Deep Vellum Publishing, has found a partner for his new Dallas bookstore. According to Shelf Awareness, Deep Vellum Books will open in September.
Evans had a soft opening for the store last December and in June announced that he had spread himself too thin (Deep Vellum Publishing is a nonprofit that has published 19 books in just three years) and needed to have a partner to continue the bookstore venture. As D Magazine put it: “He met marketing expert Anne Hollander, and the new business partners immediately clicked.”
As Hollander put it, speaking of their first meeting: “It was the weirdest thing. We articulated the same vision to each other, echoing each other, about what it is we wanted to do—what our vision is for this bookstore, and what our vision is for our place in the Dallas community. We both sat back, and I can’t speak for Will about this, but we went ‘Wow, this is real. This is so real and I am so in.’”
Evans talked with D Magazine about some of the challenges he’s faced as a startup publisher, and why Dallas has been a good fit.
Deep Vellum Publishing is a nonprofit, and as a startup nonprofit, there are a lot of hurdles you have to cross to start to be able to get into people’s minds as a vital part of the arts community. And that was my goal when I set up Deep Vellum. It was for literature to be included as part of the arts here in Dallas….
The Dallas community has really embraced us. They come to the events, they buy the books, and it made me feel bold enough that I could start a bookstore, which was always part of the mission of what I wanted to do. A bookstore is kind of the front line of getting people more involved in the literary culture.
The partnership between Evans and Hollander is the result of a shared Facebook post and the encouragement of a mutual friend. Hollander, who has worked with companies from startups to the Fortune 400, seems to have some ideas of the joys and challenges she’s in store for. “The idea of a challenge excites me. Here with the bookstore, it’s a challenge of a lifetime.”
Julia Fleischaker is a former director of marketing and publicity at Melville House.