Sign Branding

bluewillowButItsBlueThe February 21 issue of Shelf Awareness featured a piece by Robert Gray titled “That Elusive ‘Red Cover’ Book, Revisited”. The article explored how booksellers serve as “customer request decoders” in the “Who knows?” game. It’s a great article, but I want to focus on one aspect in the piece: a great display photo from Valerie Koehler’s Blue Willow Bookshop in Houston, TX. It features table full of books with blue covers and a fantastic sign that reads, “I don’t remember the title, but it’s blue.”

The image of that display showed up on Reddit today, which means that we’ll start seeing it shared through social media for a while. But it’s only the image, with no attribution to Blue Willow Bookshop. Don’t get me wrong; to have a positive image that we’ve created go viral is good. But think of the hits Blue Willow would be receiving over the coming weeks if the store name was attached in some way.

One way to do this is to attach a watermark to the images you post. But an easier

Why You Should Have a Book Club Display

Sometimes display space can be at a premium, so dedicating square footage to showcase book club selections can be considered a luxury. But a book club display doesn’t have to take up a lot of room, and the resulting sales are worth the space.

I’m sure you’ve noticed in your stores that customers will buy a book club selection even if they have no intention of attending the book club discussion. One reason for this is that a bookstore can be a daunting place, and some customers do not feel comfortable engaging with booksellers. Choosing a book club selection

Spring Bud Branch

Since spring is around the corner, here’s an idea you can steal for a spring display.

Step 1. Trim a small branch from a tree.

Step 2. Pull a galley you’ve already read.

Step 3. Tear a page from the galley and tear it into a 3″ square. (Hand torn edges are best.)

January Display Contest Winner

The winner of the January Display Contest is Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, NC. The theme of their display was “SIBA Swamp” and Flyleaf featured the Southern Independent Booksellers Association (SIBA) award winners.

The February Display Contest is in full swing. To submit a photo of your display, reply to this email with an attachment, or snap a quick pic with your smart phone and text it to 316-208-3438 before March 1, 2014. Your store can submit as many displays for the contest as you’d like. The winner will receive a $100 Visa gift card.

Display Contest

I have a love for displays, and I know you have some great ones in your bookstores right now. Do you have one you’re particularly proud of? If you’re willing to send me a photo, I’ll include it in a display gallery on the Books & Whatnot website. And to (potentially) make it worth your time, let’s make this a contest.

Each month, one of the photos submitted during that month will be declared the best display, and the bookstore will receive a $100 Visa card. Submit as many entries as you’d like, but each display can only be submitted one time.

If you’re participating in a publisher sponsored display contest, you should probably wait until that contest has ended before you submit the entry here. The idea is to share and borrow ideas. And to make it easy.

To submit a display photo, just take a picture with your smart phone and text it to me. 316-208-3438. Be sure to include your name and the name/location of the bookstore. If you’d rather, attach the display photo to an email.