21 February 2009

Bookselling Notes from All Ov—well, from Around Here

Earlier in the month I mentioned Kids Heart Authors Day, and wondered if the publishing industry would put pay attention to the same event next year, when it would no longer be a novelty. Even better, would marketers put resources behind it, and help to set up more events with more authors and illustrators at more stores, rather than benefiting from hard-working volunteers?

Kids Heart Authors Day sure looks like it has potential, according to comments from some of the participating booksellers collected on the effort's website:

  • "Sales increases far exceeded marketing costs, and the million-dollar karma in mid-February was the BEST."--Carol Chittenden, Eight Cousins bookstore, Falmouth, MA
  • "It was by far the most successful children's event we've had!"--Donna Kirk, River Run Bookstore, Portsmouth, NH
  • "Sold lots of books and hope to repeat the event again in the future."--Skylight Books, Los Angeles, CA
In other bookselling news, the Harvard Book Store, which recently came under new ownership, is offering a "Green Delivery" service by pedal-powered van. My house is a bit outside the delivery zone, so I won't be able to report on how this works.

Even in bibliophilic, densely-populated Cambridge, book delivery seems like it will have as much value to the store as marketing as actual service. In other words, more people will hear about the delivery option and think it's special than will actually use it. But still, it's an interesting idea.

Meanwhile, the book industry is slowly moving toward delivering books by computer download, which will make this delivery service seem as quaint as the iceman.

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