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12:54 AM   April 19, 2014
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Book Selling for Dummies

Selling books, no matter the subject mater, is no easy task in the face of major discount store domination of the industry. However, with a working knowledge of what makes up a good specialty book outlet, it is possible to carve out a fare share of profits with your gift and pet topic selections.

The American Booksellers Association releases much of the highly regarded advice on how to sell books in a complicated retail market. Many of their guidelines apply directly to selling in a niche/boutique environment and provide a firm basis for success in the category. Discover whether your store lives up to the ABA’s definition of what makes an “ideal bookstore.”

Ø Successful independent booksellers have a presence in the community. They regularly host events with organizations related to their specialty book offerings. These partnered events increase foot traffic, while spreading expert information to public, in a way that increases local visibility of your store. Events create the perception that your store is the No.-1 place for information on your subject.

Ø A good independent bookseller maintains high visibility and availability to the largest number of consumers possible. In the absence of a high-traffic location and flexible hours of operation, a bookseller should offer micro mini stores. The mini stores publicize your business in another location in your city with a display of your books and location information. A display case at your local community center is a good example.

Ø Staff should connect with the customers in a way they can’t with employees at large chain stores. Whenever possible, encourage staff to hand-sell your books,  directly praising the virtues of the individual subjects they cover. Creating a “Staff Picks” section in the store further connects the clientele to staff in a much more personal way.

Ø A book category manager needs to know the community better than any other product category manager. Knowing who lives in the community and what they care about helps managers make more informed decisions when making ordering choices. They are able to wade through the thousands of choices to find those hidden gems that sell best in the local community. A good book manager knows the business of the book industry.  <HOME>

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