Well actually, it’s already here. And what a perfect opportunity this is to promote your bookstore with a special summer-reading package – namely, a group of titles relevant to the sunny-season, packaged and presented as a special offer. It’s needless to say that customers flock to bargains, eye-catching set-ups, and to variety, so be creative with the choices you’re going to plonk into your package – and your presentation – and be willing, of course, to offer a particular discount with a good, rounded bargain figure.
What titles then, should one consider placing in a package as such? And come to think of it, what is this package supposed to look like…? Consider a canvas tote bag. Not only are these sturdy and can carry a whole heap of books, but with your logo printed on the sides, you’ve got yourself a walking piece of promotion – I’m sure your customers are more than likely to want to re-use the bag over and over, promoting the name of your bookstore wherever they go.
Inside the tote bag you might like to include eight to ten items, varying from fiction, self help, poetry, general interest titles, a journal, and maybe a magazine or two – and don’t forget to include a slow-moving title that you might be having a hard time trying to sell (there will always be some of those, and this is a great opportunity to get rid of them). Maybe even some postcards or calendars, a pen or bookmark. Quality is important – and so is quantity in this case.
So what are some good choices… and bad choices for that matter? If you’re looking into some fiction (say, four or five titles), choose several novels – including a short- story collection – that are light, interesting reads. It’s summer after all! Throw in something related to summer health, a puzzle-book, and a general-interest bestseller. Your choices should avoid the dense, heavy texts – stay away from politics, economics, and business titles – and always be sure to vary your genres.
You also might like to have two or three different packages, containing different reads for your different customers – parents might be interested in a package that includes children’s books; teenagers in sci-fi and fantasy, others in self-help, literature, knitting, or even cooking! The options are endless.
During the short summer months, the summer-reading packages should be placed at the front of your bookstore on a large table, where whoever walks in finds it right away. Make sure you also have a colorful promotional poster above your table, a pyramid sign or two on the table and at the counter, and of course, outside your bookstore – the bigger the better. You should look into having that same poster design reduced into A5 and A3 sized flyers, and distributed in local cafés, pharmacies, supermarkets, schools, collages, and nearby cork-boards. The wider you spread the word, the more curious customers you’ll get, and inevitably, the more sales you’ll have.