Advertising doesn’t have to be expensive to be effective. A lot of in-store book sales come from walk in traffic. Even if you’re in a high traffic area getting people in the door isn’t always easy. Just because they’re there doesn’t mean they notice your store. To up the odds people do notice your store, or get them to travel the block over from the high traffic area to your quieter location, pull out the chalk. Really, it CAN be that simple. Draw them a little path to your door. Make sure when you’re standing at an arrow, you can see the next one. This probably isn’t something you want to do everyday since locals will quickly tune out your advertising if its ALWAYS there.
Advertising in the Used Book World Shane Gottwals Gottwals Books www.gottwalsbooks.com A recent article I wrote really got me to thinking about advertising and the small, independent bookstore. Is it just my experience, but do you never see bookstores advertise in any sort of medium that people actually see? I know that, obviously, direct sales for a used bookstore does not usually rank in the millions of dollars per year. Also, in general, bookstores seem to become known amongst groups of readers almost by osmosis. People talk, especially to their reading friends (with whom they swap books, sit in reading groups, etc.) whenever a bookstore comes to town. Now, if you are going into a town that already has used bookstores, word of mouth might
We all know that we need to advertise, and we all know that it’s very difficult to know how and where to advertise. It tends to be expensive, and so often it doesn’t work. We know that people aren’t going to come to our book store if they don’t know we are there. I’ve given this a lot of thought. In my previous piece – ‘The Second Renaissance’ – I wrote about the internet and how it is changing communication and attitudes. It would seem that the internet is a good place to advertise. Websites are neither difficult nor expensive to set up and maintain. The downside is that there are, literally, billions of websites so the book buyers aren’t likely to find your website
We have a magazine here in southern Ontario called ‘Daytripping’. I imagine there are similar publications elsewhere. It’s published every 2 months and can be picked up free at all its advertisers as well as tourist booths and so on. All the ads are for individual stores – no chains. It’s just about the only publication I know of which people get so that they can read the ads – and go ‘daytripping’. When I started advertising in it, a smaller than a business card ad was $80. I got about 2 or 3 new customers a month which made it mildly profitable. But if some of them came back or told others about the store, then there would be a cumulative effect and the