Thursday, March 21, 2013
Have You Visited Book Beasts?
Perhaps the best way for bookstores to survive is to have them offer certain amenities that bring the community together. They already offer café service, author presentations, and special events. Haw about making accommodations for dog owners to gather?
I thought the other day it would be nice to have a pet-friendly store. It could be called Book Beasts or Books Unleashed or Book Barks. Book Bitch? Book Waggers? Well, name aside, the store would allow dog owners to bring their pooches to the store. It would not be a one-day gimmick or even a weekly event. It would just be the norm to have dogs come to the bookstore.
Of course there are so many practical challenges that seemingly render it implausible:
· * Will government regulations or licenses be a factor/
· *How do you control dog noise?
· *What if a dog bites another dog or a patron?
· *What if people are fearful of or allergic to dogs?
· *Can you serve food, legally or practically, with paws around?
· *Will you have water bowls and treats on hand?
· *Who will clean up dog slobber - or poop?
· *What if the dogs track dirt in – or chew merchandise or nibble on a kid’s toy or a woman’s purse?
Suddenly the threat of lawsuits, higher maintenance costs or the threat of a customer backlash holds the idea hostage. Is that what happens when we seek to be innovative and different – we get crushed by the fears, regulations, and expenses?
Then again, if one is convinced the positive outweighs the potential negative, a way is found to make it work. Maybe a part of the store is sectioned off for dogs. People sign waivers. Maybe that part of the store doesn’t have a carpet or books stacked on the bottom shelf and are out of harm’s way. It would be so nice to bring your pet with you, rather than having to leave it in the car or home alone. Dog lovers would find it a wonderful social thing and they’d reward the store for it.
But there are many reasons bookstores don’t have dogs in them and adult reality trumps my imagination and desire. Then again, who knows, maybe somewhere out there is a gutsy, hardworking, experimental store owner who will implement such an idea. Maybe a few have.
The world’s going to the dogs, and that could be a good thing!
Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at email@example.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This blog is copyrighted material by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2013