Lets Use Modern Classics!

There are some books which are always on school book lists and most customers will have on ‘to-be-read’ lists.  Those books which, even the biggest reader, will sometimes get “You haven’t read “Insert Incredible Classic Here”!!?”  Now, with the onslaught of re-jacketed and (very) reasonably priced classics, what better way to beef up sales than to add some classics?  This is not a new idea, far from it, but we are having so much fun with classics at the moment, I can’t help but bring them up.

Random has an incredible range of ‘Vintage Classics,’ which have all been jacketed in modern paperbacks with great, eye-catching covers.  Even better, they retail at $12.95 (AU.)  Even better, Random House has been offering tote bags and promotional material to bookstores to help them sell.  With a range of titles from Fitzgerald to Vonnegut, it’s easy to find something for anyone.

Popular Penguins have been around for a few years now, but they are one of the easiest classics to market.  Our store has had huge success with these titles and relevant advertising material.

Classics are excellent gifts and, when combined with a gift-voucher, seem to be excellent sales points.  A ten dollar classic, nicely jacketed and an excellent read, a fifty dollar voucher and a tote-bag have been some of the biggest sales my store has been having over almost all holidays.

Austen, Bronte and the romantics are fantastic for mother’s day and valentines.  With a colour-coordinated display stand of relevant classics, as well as signage suggesting vouchers, tote bags, cards etc.  I have found that customers are very willing to purchase these titles as gifts (and sometimes even pick a few up for themselves.)

I know I am sounding like a broken-bookstore-record and preaching to the converted, but the place for modern classics as gifts and easy sales suggestions should not be overlooked.  The pressure to display new release fiction is definitely something I have always believed is very relevant to any store.  However, with so many great classics being made into movies and re-jacketed at very reasonable prices, it seems a waste to forget how well these titles sell when on display.

Perhaps because these books sell themselves so easily, and there isn’t going to be an author event from Tolstoy anytime soon, I should put them back on the shelves and focus on Safran-Foer, but it seems incredibly relevant at the moment to get some of these highly attractive titles some new sales credibility.

Anyway, enough from me…what do you guys think?  Anyone had some fantastic results from displaying and marketing classics?  Anyone want to stop harping about Fitzgerald and start looking at Franzen?

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