Any problem areas in your bookshop?

Back on Board & Discussing Problem Areas

Well, yes, I’ve been very quiet of late, and I do apologise.  I haven’t even had time to look at The Bookshop Blog for the past month.  We’ve just passed through the busiest time of the year here in town, and now I’m all about replenishing titles at the moment, so it’s back to the hunt for me.  I had some good luck through January, with a couple of good lots come in through the shop, which kept the stock fresh and moving.  I seem to be staying on top of most areas on the whole – there was for a time over November and December I felt I was buying more books than I was selling – but there are sections I struggle to keep up with.

Do other booksellers have these persistent problem areas?

Science Fiction
How do you keep science fiction stocked?  I find that when my science fiction titles sell, they don’t sell one by one, butGun With Music practically by the metre!  And I find it very difficult to source ‘fresh’ sci-fi/fantasy titles.  Does anyone have a practical suggestion for an Australian bookseller?  I heard from another bookseller the other day that she had a competitor in her shop (and there is an unwritten bookseller’s ‘code’ that we sell books to one another at 10% off) trying to purchase her collection of Dr Who novels.  She actually refused the other bookseller, on the grounds that they are hard to find, hard to keep on the shelf, and to sell them for 10% off when she could easily sell them to the summer tourists would seem like a poor business decision!

Science fiction/fantasy readers seem to collect and continue collecting.  They don’t seem to trade their books in, or sell them.  I assume there are plenty of bookshops out there who simply don’t stock sci-fi/fantasy, but I feel that as this is often an adolescent market I’d like to keep the genre, in the hope that I’m encouraging younger folk in.

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