PR Tip: Sell Some Books

Photo credit: Brett Casto

Photo credit: Brett Casto

It's a book store. It's a bed and breakfast. It's both? Yes.

"For years my husband and I had talked about owning both a bookstore and bed breakfast," said Mindy Casto, who recently purchased The Tibbetts House in Highland, Illinois, alongside her author husband, Brett. "I'm Active duty Air Force and getting closer to retirement so we had been discussing different options for my next career.  The Air Force gave us orders to transfer out here to Illinois and we had not thought to much about the possibility of retiring out here until we were looking for houses and this one came up."

The house was most recently a chocolate shop but Brett instantly saw an opportunity to turn the page. "He said to me one day that it would be perfect as bookstore and bed and breakfast.  So we start looking at it more seriously as not only our new home but my next career.," she said. Last month, on September 6th, they had their grand opening. 

Photo credit: Brett Casto

Photo credit: Brett Casto

Choosing how to best bring their ideas to life took much thought -- and artistic help from their son. They decided to name the rooms after the addresses or locations of the main characters of some of their favorite books. "Throughout the house there are quotes that my son, Brett, painted all from different books.  The front flower bed also has bricks painted to look like books.  The guest rooms are all themed after different books," explained Mindy.  221 B Baker St is themed after the Sherlock Holmes stores.  The Loop is themed after Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, and the West Egg is themed after The Great Gatsby

Photo credit: Brett Casto

Photo credit: Brett Casto

So, how did this three room B&B that's a 4-hour drive from Chicago get front-and-center in the news?  "My husband had made friends with the editor who is also the previous owner's husband," said Mindy.  She also said the local paper first wrote an article about a week prior and The Shoppers Review had a small ad in it too.

Photo credit: Brett Casto

Photo credit: Brett Casto

The B&B is set up with the bookstore up front. Inside customers are greeted by a cheery sunroom and wall after wall filled with books. The store buys, sells and trades used books. Guests are encouraged to choose a book to take wand read during their stay.