300 Seconds: Covers and Spines

300 Seconds: Covers and Spines

As booksellers, we’re aware of the research and effort that goes into developing the perfect cover design. And since covers are not always seen immediately in a bookstore, you can bet that the same amount of thought–if not more–goes into spine design.

Take 300 seconds today and look around your store. Do you see colorful covers and spines? Or do you see white pages? Rotate those stacks of books so the spine is visible to those approaching the display.

Do you have extra room on your shelves? Fill that space by turning a few books face-out.

These covers and spines are designed to sell. With proper display, we can help reach that end goal as well.

What would you miss most?

In Emily St. John Mandel’s novel, Station Eleven, characters missed a few things from their pre-apocalyptic world: the perfect cup of tea, diving into pools of chlorinated water lit green from below, eating ice cream at the park in the sunlight.

The folks at Knopf Doubleday asked a few of their friends, “If the world as we know it came to an end, what would you miss most?”

This video is the result of that “man on the street” interview. The producers also asked what wouldn’t be missed.

“What would you miss?” is a great question to ask on social media. You can share this video or even create your own. By asking your customers/friends/followers this question, you’re providing them with an opportunity to talk about themselves while giving you an opportunity to talk about a book.

Last Chance to Vote on Wi10 Design

Last Chance to Vote on Wi10 Design

Today is the last day to vote for the Winter Institute design contest.

You do not need to be attending Winter Institute to vote, but you do need to be a member of ABA. The winner will be announced this Thursday in Bookselling This Week.

To vote, booksellers should go here.

300 Seconds: Fill Up Your Social Calendar

Since it’s Monday, use your tools to schedule some social media posts for the rest of the week to free up some of your time.

Facebook has the built-in scheduler, and applications like Hootsuite and Buffer offer scheduling options for Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. (I use Buffer and a WordPress plug-in called Co-Schedule.)

To schedule the posts, just follow a few steps:

  1. Look at your calendar and determine if you have any events, bookclubs, etc, you’d like to highlight.
  2. Search author/publisher sites for shareable content. (Remember to tag!)
  3. Look at your analytics to see when most people view your posts.
  4. Schedule the posts for those times.

Aim to schedule at least one post a day, so you can remain top of mind to your followers. By having these posts scheduled, you can rest a little easier if the week starts to get away from you. And you can alway supplement these scheduled posts with appropriate and time-sensitive content during the week.


Quick & Dirty Results: Employee Discounts

I recently asked in a Quick & Dirty Survey: Do you offer employee discounts and other perks?

This one was difficult to tabulate because there are many mitigating factors. Here are the main results for the employee discount questions, mitigating factors are listed parenthetically, and additional perks are bulleted below.

10% of respondents offer books to employees at cost.

13% of respondents offer a 40% discount to employees (a few bookstores exclude magazines from this discount, offering them at a 15% – 20% discount instead.)

21% of respondents offer a 35% discount (one bookstore knocks that down to 30% if purchased with a credit card instead of check/cash.)

36% of respondents offer a 30% discount to employees.

2% of respondents offer a 25% discount.

18% of respondents offer a 20% discount (one bookstore offers employees a cost+10% purchase once a quarter in addition to the 20% discount.)

Additional perks include:

  • If something is being sent back, option to purchase at my cost. EXTREMELY flexible scheduling to compensate for low pay, :( .
  • We also give them small amount gift cards to local coffee shop when they get any kind of blurb used by a publisher.
  • All the ARCs they can carry.
  • Comp tickets.
  • Free coffee and espresso drinks when they’re working. (This was mentioned more than once.)
  • The opportunity to order at cost from gift companies.
  • Random gift cards.
  • Coffee and pastries. And wine.
  • 50% off used books. (This was mentioned more than once.)
  • The opportunity to work for excellent bosses.
  • Free syrup.