Sunday, August 14, 2011

You know your customers are missing some great authors...

I wrote last week about using remainders/bargain books/overstocks (see my glossary page here) to differentiate you from your competition.

Somehow part of that and in its own place at the same time is the idea of using bargain books to create more interest in authors you think should sell better everywhere. I think it was T.C Boyle who said many years ago (or was it William Boyd?) that remainders made new readers for his new books.

A trade paperback novel at $3.95 - $5.95 is much more attractive to a customer wondering if an author is worth a try than is a full price book, even at a slight discount,  or an e-book. They become impulse buys at these prices. I think the same thing can happen with buyers such as you or your employees. You get hooked after a few good deals and start experimenting with authors you did not have a market for, bringing in more sales, customers, and profits along the way.

Some of my customers, including the largest, mix bargain, new, and used all on the same shelf space. Customers are driven to try authors this way. Seeing the new book next to the older title encourages bigger rings at the register. These are some of the most successful booksellers in the world, so they might have a thing or two right.

Backlist trade paper is a great source for me, as they get returned in big numbers after every fall and winter college semester begins. You can encourage your customers to discover or rediscover great classics they might not know they missed.

Think about this next time you post to your blog or create your next newsletter. Try a bargain page where you list your best bargain buys of the week or month, again trying to move your customers to authors you think should have better sales everywhere.

I think I'll work on that four word glossary now.

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