Marketing, Display, and Storytelling Excellence

Our new Marketing, Display, and Storytelling Excellence Course is designed to offer fresh perspectives drawn from the disciplines of design, writing, entertainment and anthropology.  Wherever you are in your journey, you can use this course  to help elevate and expand your thinking and practice in connecting with customers, and improve the things that matter most to you.
Instructors Lisa Uhrik and Steve Wax co-founded the professional volunteer organization "Beyond Bookstores" and are interested in helping all bookstores think and work "beyond the walls" -- both literally and figuratively.  They believe that pop-ups, B2B efforts, mobile shops and other innovations are critical to building book culture.

Student Resource Page
Our Course Instructors

Steve Wax is chief narratologist and board chair for Heydey Publishing and draws from a long career in film and commercial production. As cofounder of Campfire Media, he and his colleague used viral marketing with the Blair Witch Diary project long before that was an understood method of influence.  For the past two years, he and Lisa Uhrik have been working on a project called Beyond Bookstores, aimed at empowering bookstores with fresh, innovative, timeless ideas.  

Lisa Uhrik is cofounder of Plenty Bookshop and co-owner of Franklin Fixtures — organizations that share a dedication to elevating reading.  An SPHR (senior professional in HR) and organizational development facilitator, her career has been about helping businesses thrive with innovative structures and systems.  As a bookstore advocate, she has devoted the last decade to understanding sustainable models and best practices, leveraging her unique access through Franklin to a broad array of successful bookstores.

You bring stories to your community: one of them is your bookstore itself.  When we think about bookstores like a publisher thinks about a book, we get clearer about our big idea and the experience we hope to give our customers.  


Being an active member of the bookselling industry is a critical step in growing a bookstore and shows commitment to your chosen profession. Stores with students in all Professional Booksellers School courses are required to be current members of their regional trade association and/or the American Booksellers Association. Students must also be enrolled in PBS, which is free.

Course Components & Cost

This course is a read/practice/reflect learning model. It contains 5 workshops, each with a chapter to be read and field work assignments to complete in your store before coming to a live class to discuss, share, and learn together.

Those workshops are:

1.   Your Book Haven Space (Crafting Experiences & Setting the Scene)

2.   I’m Curious… (Marketing & Display as Emotional Curiosity)

3.   Knowing You, Knowing Me (Using our Experience, Strength, Hope and Connections)

4.   Better Together (How Marketing, Display, Events and Curation Work Better in Alignment)

5.   Unforgettable (Methods of Storytelling in Display at Macro and Micro Levels) 

Live classes are held on every other Wednesday: June 19, July 3, July 17, July 31, and August 14.  Each is 90 minutes long. Live classes begin at 12:30 pm ET / 11:30 am CT / 9:30 am PT

The course is limited to 30 students at the cost of $425 with discounts available for members of all Regional Trade Associations.  Find out what support your Regional Trade Association offers on our website.

2024 Course Syllabus

Course Objectives

The Professional Booksellers School Marketing, Display, and Storytelling Excellence Course provides booksellers with the skills and tools to:

  • Gain marketing insights that improve bookstore awareness and visibility. 
  • Gain display insights and skills that improve display effectiveness 
  • Connect marketing, display, curation and physical aspects of the bookstore in cohesive ways.  
  • Learn to use storytelling methods to craft store experience and spark curiosity for deep browsing. 

Course Schedule

When You Register

 When you register, you’ll receive the first assigned chapter to read, and the first Field Work assignment to complete in your store.


Workshop 1: Your Book Haven Space / Crafting Experiences & Setting the Scene

Reading & Fieldwork deadline: 06/19

Live Discussion: 06/19, 12:30 ET / 11:30 am CT / 9:30 am PT


Workshop 2: I’m Curious…  / Marketing & Display as Emotional Curiosity

Reading & Fieldwork deadline: 07/03

Live Discussion: 07/03, 12:30 ET / 11:30 am CT / 9:30 am PT


Workshop 3: Knowing You, Knowing Me / Using our Experience, Strength, Hope and Connections

Reading & Fieldwork deadline: 07/17

Live Discussion: 07/17, 12:30 ET / 11:30 am CT / 9:30 am PT


Workshop 4:  Better Together / How Marketing, Display, Events and Curation Work Better in Alignment

Reading & Fieldwork deadline: 07/31

Live Discussion: 07/31, 12:30 ET / 11:30 am CT / 9:30 am PT


Workshop 5:  Unforgettable / Methods of Storytelling in Display at Macro and Micro Levels 

Reading & Fieldwork deadline: 08/14

           Live Discussion: 08/14, 12:30 ET / 11:30 am CT / 9:30 am PT