Facebook and Customer Communication

This week Circle City Books and Music became the unexpected recipient of more Facebook attention than Tom Cruise’s date registry. Does that sound like an exaggeration? I suppose. But when, on Wednesday, the turnstiles started clicking faster than I could keep up, that’s how it seemed. We created our Facebook page August 1 and after five weeks, thanks to a large and indulgent family and several friends,  31 people had “Liked” us; fewer than one per day. Then Wednesday hit and in the space of about six hours 27 new people, mostly strangers, were added to our “Like” roster.

There is a lot about Facebook that I don’t understand. How is it that for weeks virtually no one had visited the Circle City page, then, all of a sudden, cascades of new people appear on the site? I know 27 people won’t exactly crash anyone’s server, but for us it was a 2700 percent increase in daily traffic. If your 401K had that kind of one day increase, you’d notice it. But does it mean anything? Are these future customers or are they the inhabitants of the online world and, as such, Amazon shoppers? And where do they get off calling this thing a ‘book’? A book is a tangible object with a finite and measurable mass; Facebook is the opposite of that.

In any case, after the initial shock wore off, I tried to take advantage of this apparent interest in our store before these disembodied souls had time to dissolve into cyberspace never to be heard from again. I posted a community survey, asking the community to tell me what they like to read. What genres, what books, what authors. This is something that couldn’t have been done 30 years ago when I was last in the bookselling business. But if 30 people tell me now, as one respondent already has, that they want “science fiction, fantasy, urban fantasy and horror,” that will certainly change my approach to book buying.

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3 Keys to Opening a Successful Bookshop

Being a newcomer to the the life of a bookshop owner, this blog has and continues to offer me so much in ideas and advice. It is most appreciated, indeed. As a way of saying, “Thanks.”, and possibly offering ideas and advice to other newbies, here are my thoughts on a few items of importance: … Read more

Bookstores: Some ideas to get customers in and keep them coming back

Every now and then, businesses fall asleep – especially the book- business, where store-frequentation just spontaneously lessens. Sometimes, there’s never really a reason. Other times, frequency is altered by the changing seasons, the various social events or lack thereof. During those times though, there’s always that extra edge you can have by pushing those slow-moving titles along, … Read more

A Novel Book is now Online, marketing tips appreciated!

A Novel Book online bookstore

Well, finally after many stops & starts, A Novel Book is back up and running. I am much happier this time around – and the site is so much more user friendly than the last so hats off to the designers.

Now, what to do next?

I have started listing the books.

I have written my listings up. I have added synopsis. I have even added information about the authors I have a few books of. I’ve written up my Meta descriptions / keywords. Then I rewrote them. Then I did some more research, and rewrote them again.

Then I spent a bit of time googling some of my listings. A few came up on the first page or 2 which surprised me. The rest didn’t, which didn’t surprise me. I must’ve just fluked the few that come up high in the searches.

So I went back and tried to find out what I did differently to those listings.

NOTHING. They have ALL been entered the same way. Gee, this is harder than I thought. So I’ve left that alone for now. I have bigger issues.


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A Journey to Opening a Bookstore

After years of dreaming and almost two years of planning, Jessica Stockton Bagnulo and Rebecca Fitting finally opened Greenlight Bookstore in the Fort Greene neighborhood of Brooklyn. I’m well aware of Greenlight Bookstore’s opening even though I live 3,000 miles away and have never been to Brooklyn. How did they do that?

Using Facebook as a Cutting Edge Marketing Tool (not)

Usually the videos we share with you and insightful and intelligent. This one is neither. We have been using Facebook quite a bit as a Marketing Tool as discussed here. The downside is the stupefying amount of wastefulness that occurs. As our Friend list grows so does the list of useless invitations. Luckily I’ve come … Read more