Handselling

Hicklebee’s Book of the Year

As the year end draws near, many stores like to post ‘Best Books of the Year’ lists. Most of the time I see a number of lists submitted by individual booksellers. While I like this approach and how it spotlights the reading sensibilities of each bookseller, I also like the way Hicklebee’s in San Jose, CA, takes a slightly different approach.

a_hat_for_mrs_goldman_9780553497106_8defeEach spring and fall, the entire staff selects the one title they most want to hand-sell.The books range from picture books to novels, both fiction and non. And the title they end up with stands out as the one they can’t stop talking about.

This year they selected A Hat for Mrs. Goldman: A Story About Knitting and Love by Michelle Edwards, illustrated by G. Brian Karas. They announced the selection through a store eBlast with a ‘find out why’ teaser attached. Those who follow the link end up on a landing page on the store website with a ‘buy’ button as well as a list of previous winners since the spring of 2000.

One of the reasons I like Hicklebee’s approach is that it’s not only a reminder of bookseller expertise, but it also places a spotlight on one book that all of the store ‘experts’ agree on.

Friday: A Fine Day to Rustle Up Some Sales

Want to kick-up some sales today? You can do so with just a few clicks and pastes.

Just go to your POS database and run a report for folks who purchased Amor Towles’s Rules of Civility. If anybody on that list has yet to purchase A Gentleman in Moscow, send them a quick note:

“Hey Beth. I just heard Lynn Neary interview Amor Towles on NPR and I thought you might enjoy it. Have a listen and let me know if you want me to hold a copy for you. (It’s so good.)”

And then either include the link or the embed code:

<iframe src=”https://www.npr.org/player/embed/492434255/492775695″ width=”100%” height=”290″ frameborder=”0″ scrolling=”no” title=”NPR embedded audio player”></iframe>

Or maybe you’d rather send a note to Ian McEwan customers with this review by Siddhartha Mukherjee in today’s New York Times.

Or perhaps Ari Shapiro’s interview with Jonathan Safran Foer about Here I Am will prompt a sale.

<iframe src=”https://www.npr.org/player/embed/492848868/492857990″ width=”100%” height=”290″ frameborder=”0″ scrolling=”no” title=”NPR embedded audio player”></iframe>

These are just a few examples of the many pieces of ‘content’ available that your customers will find interesting. Especially if they’re established fans of these authors. And while all three would be completely shareable on social media, to take a few extra minutes to email customers directly offers a personal touch that bookstore patrons crave. It shows that you’re not handselling one book to everybody that walks through the door, no matter their reading tastes. Instead it reinforces the idea that books are personal, and there’s a reason they shop with you to begin with.

IndieNext Deadline & Shelf Talkers

Screenshot 2015-09-28 12.26.24The October 2015 IndieNext List flyer and shelf talkers are ready for download from the ABA site. In addition to printing out the shelf talkers for use in your store, you can take a screen shot of your favorite title to share the image on social media.

It’s also time to start thinking about which books you’d like to recommend for the December 2015 list. To nominate a title, either complete this form online or send an email to indienextlist@bookweb.org. The next deadline is this Friday, October 2, 2015.

And it’s time to nominate titles for the Winter 2015/2016 Kids List. The deadline is next Friday, October 9, 2015, and nominated titles should be published between November 1 and January 31.

Video: “Intro to an Alien Invasion”

Authors Owen King and Mark Jude Poirier and illustrator Nancy Ahn discuss their graphic novel, Intro to Alien Invasion about an alien invasion on a college campus. The authors are each on Twitter: Owen KingMark Jude Poirier and Nancy Ahn.

Trailer: “Tile Makes the Room”

We do not often get to see book trailers for decor books. This one is exceptionally snappy.

Tile Makes the Room: Good Design from Heath Ceramics by Robin Petravic and Catherine Bailey will be released on September 29, 2015.