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Sunday, July 7, 2019
Authors Play A Role In Indie Bookstore Growth
the health of the book industry begins with growth in the number of indie
booksellers, the book world should delight in the recent announcement by the
American Booksellers Association that 99 new indie bookstores opened for
business in 2018 – a 32% increase from the growth in 2017.
number of indie bookstores that comprise ABA is now up to 2,524 locations. Sales in 2018 for ABA member stores increased
nearly 5% over the prior year. However,
overall bookstore sales, as compiled by the U.S. census Bureau, were down 8.4%
for the first quarter of 2019.
decade ago the indie bookstores were in a slump, closing up shop due to the
strength of the book chains and Amazon – and the surge in e-book sales. Things look a lot better today.
bookstores can tie a community together, localizing its offerings, providing
great customer service, and presenting a store that seems personable, friendly,
and event-oriented. Some old bookstores look
charming and have a real down-home feel to them. It’s as if time stopped and one was lost in
another era as they walk through the doors of an independent proprietor’s comfy
can play a bigger part in partnering with indies to ensure growth for both the
stores and the writers.
might be marketing with Amazon, B&N, and social media in mind, but they
should make sure they are reaching out to local independent stores to arrange
for book signings. They should go in and
autograph copies and ask the stores to highlight their local connection. Authors should guide people who love books
from their website to order from or visit their local indies.
bookstores need to work hard and be savvy in what they sell, both in books and
the non-book items. They have limited
shelf and floor space and have to wisely meet the needs of the community while
guessing new offerings that might have a sales breakthrough.
stores mix in used and rare with new.
Others play on a theme or genre, such as children’s books or mystery
novels. Many stores supplement income by
selling toys, mugs, and items that complement books. Some stores lean heavily on selling
best-sellers while others like to showcase what’s new, local, or critically
formula or approach, indie bookstores take, they know they are one bad season
away from being in trouble. It’s hard to
make big profits in this industry, but it’s easy to suffer quick losses. But most indie bookstores are not in it for the
money. It’s a passion and a purpose to own a bookstore. But it can’t hurt to be profitable and so
far, the industry looks to be favorable.
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