My successes. 
  • Being able to effectively manage our business - even though we aren't business people.
  • Moving to a location that better serves our customers.
What do you do? 

Elk River Books is an antiquarian and used bookstore in Livingston, Montana. We are proud members of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America, the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers, the Rocky Mountain Antiquarian Booksellers Associationand the Independent Online Booksellers Association.

We specialize in rare and collectible outdoor literature, including Native American and Western history, adventure and exploration, sporting books, natural history, works by the Montana Gang, poetry, and literary archives. We also carry a curated selection of works by regional authors, children’s books, fiction, and books on visual, culinary, and literary arts, science, philosophy, and more. Elk River Books is a center for Livingston's literary life, hosting readings, signings, lectures, music, and other performance arts. Past authors have included Peter Matthiessen, Terry Tempest Williams, Jim Harrison, Doug Peacock, Carl Hiaasen, Pam Houston, and Henry Real Bird, as well as numerous emerging writers

What inspired you to start your business? 

Elk River Books is a collaboration by poet Marc Beaudin and journalist Andrea Peacock, both members of the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America (ABAA). Our goal is to provide a community gathering place for writers and readers while offering superior quality merchandise, and maintaining the highest ethical standards of our profession.

What's special about your business? 

aaba LogoWe specialize in rare and collectible outdoor literature,
including Native American and Western history,
adventure and exploration, sporting books, natural history,
works by the Montana Gang, poetry, and literary archives.

What is your relationship with SCORE? 
SCORE client
What influenced you to seek help from SCORE? 

We sought help from SCORE a couple of different times. The first was in 2011, and we were a couple of months out from our Grand Opening in May. Neither of us had run a business before, and we were winging it, using advice off the Internet to write a business plan and making wildly unsubstantiated projections. An acquaintance of Andrea’s mentioned that SCORE mentors were available to help people in our situation.

The second time was in 2019. We’d outgrown our existing location, and needed to figure out what kind of move we were going to make, and how to pay for it.

How SCORE helped. 

Karen Vinton sat down with Andrea in 2011 and went through our business plan, pointed out places where we’d misunderstood how things worked and sent us a cash-flow template, some sample business plans, and a packet of business resources.

In 2019, Karen and Rick Sanders both took time over a period of a couple of months to talk with us. They helped us explore what our options were for staying put, renting, or buying, gave us useful homework (like exploring the market in our area), and ultimately, gave us the candid, blunt advice that we needed to hear. 

A year later, we’d shored up our finances and were able—with the help of an SBA loan—to purchase a condo retail unit in the historic downtown Livingston business district. We never would have gotten there without Rick and Karen’s help.

What advice would you give to someone thinking of starting a small business? 

Get help from SCORE!

What would you tell a fellow business owner about SCORE? 

Free expert advice? I don’t see how anyone could not take advantage of this program; whether you’re in the planning stage or have been in business for years. There are always challenges, and the SCORE mentors meet you where you are in terms of needs and experience.

Contact Us: Andrea Peacock and Marc Beaudin
Phone:        (406) 333-2330
Email:          info@elkriverbooks.com
Stop by:      122 S. 2nd St. (PO Box 2212) Livingston, MT 59047
                    Hours: Tues. – Sat., 11 – 5

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