Quick & Dirty: Leap Year Activities

Last Friday, I brought back the Quick & Dirty Survey. The question was: Is your store doing anything to observe Leap Year?

I’ve tallied the responses; 86% said NO, and 14% replied YES.

The NO responses included some of these replies:

  • Leap Year? No, but I’ve been thinking of doing it, and I’d love to know what everybody else does.
  • No, but it gives me an idea for Sadie Hawkins Day….:-)
  • No, I’d never considered it. I’d love to see what clever things others are doing!
  • No! We are not observing Leap Year. But if I see any good ideas I’ll consider it. 🙂
  • Nope. We hold an open mic on the last Monday of each month, and this month it will be on the 29th, but that’s the only effect we’ll be feeling. Other than that, I’ll just be sitting around scratching my head and wondering what the hell that extra day is doing in February.
  • No – I hadn’t even thought of it, but it’s a good idea. I can’t wait to see what everyone else is doing.
  • Until your email I didn’t even realize that February has 29 days this month. That’s how enthused I am about Leap Year.

Some of the YES responses said:

  • We are going to have a one day sale on the 29th…Leap Day…with (hopefully) some catchy marketing. We will have it put together by the end of the weekend.
  • I may ask someone to marry me. I just have to decide who… And wouldn’t it be fun to have a “most amusing proposal refusal” contest? “I’m already married” doesn’t count.

If you want to consider a Leap Year promotion, it’s not too late. The Q&D method would be to email a coupon to your mailing list on Sunday evening for “a sale so special it happens only once every four years!” The coupon could be for one day only, and it could be used for 29% off of one book; or if you really want to clear some inventory, try offering customers 29% off of their entire book purchase.

Another option could be offering a lower-priced sideline or drink special for $2.29.

Or if you just want to focus on the fact that we have an extra day, you could throw down a reading challenge, or a hand-selling promotion of sorts, like “since we get an extra day to read this year, our staff highly recommends these options.”

Whatever you decide, just have fun with it. And if you don’t like the way your Leap Year promotion turns out, it’s helpful to know that you have another four years to tweak it.


And now, for this week’s Q & D question. To answer, simply hit reply, type in your response, and press send. Answer by 10:00 a.m. the following Thursday, and I’ll compile the results and report back to you on Friday… just in time for another question.  The Quick & Dirty Survey is our way of finding out what the rest of the bookselling world is doing, one (+/-) question at a time. (And if you’d like to submit a question for consideration, just click here.)

I’ve asked this question once before, but I’m coming back around to it to see if the numbers have changed. Plus, we’ve had more than 700 booksellers/publishers subscribe since then.

So today’s question is: Do the employees at your store wear nametags?

Beth Golay

Beth is a reader, writer, marketer and Books & Whatnot founder. Even though she knows better, she's a sucker for a good book cover and will positively swoon if a book is set in appropriate type. @BethGolay