The Independent Paperback Gift Shop

The Independent Paperback Gift Shop
The writer of this blog is currently on sabbatical

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Action Plan for the Gift Shop Part 1

Gissa job.
I've had the consultants in this morning and they've told me I need an Action Plan.

So here's the first part, coached and influenced by (currently unemployed) management extraordinaire, 'arry Redknapp.

1) One hundred paperback books on the shelves by September 1st. 

This will give browsers a reason to spend fifteen minutes or so browsing the shelves.

2) Fifty bookshelf photos by October 1st. 

Bookshelves are a common link between Gift Buyers, Readers and Writers.

Readers can post their bookshelves too.

3) Seventy five authors and their paperbacks by October 1st. These photographs humanise the whole process. Facebook is a fantastic medium for humanising the writer. Amazon's author page just doesn't cut it. A human, fun, smiley paperback photo could make the difference between a sale and a walk by.

4) I want to attract 1000 gift buyers by the end of October.

Buyers of your unique, innovative, one-of-a-kind, lovingly prepared, artistic books.


Challenging, but realistic.

I use the term Gift Buyer advisedly.

Writers forget this aspect of the shopping process. There are buyers of books who buy for aesthetic value alone.

I forgot this aspect. Had all my covers redone by Dark Dawn Creations because they were originally very plain. Bland and unappealing were just two of the nicer descriptions of my covers, so I listened to potential customers and invested.

I'll see the benefit of this at Christmas.
Gift Buyers buy books and on many occasions their receivers never read them. The aesthetic infrastructure of the book is enough of a gift. 

Joyce is a classic example.

There are beautiful editions of Finnegan's Wake that have never been touched. Tolstoy's War and Peace is an even better case. Unread classics which enhance every bookcase. Gravity's Rainbow. Anna Karenina.

While it is nice that readers want to read my stuff, I'm not offended if someone buys my books and never reads a word.

(Unread promo downloads are another matter - don't know how you guys put up with the Freebooters on that ship!)

Collectors too: My fourth book UV is a book about football hooliganism at a small British football club. A very niche audience indeed. I don't think I'll sell more than 1000 in a calendar year. Yet collectors of Green Wizard books will buy it and put it on the bookshelf they need to complete the series, not because they have any interesting in reading a subject which, frankly, many of them will find offensive. Because they are collectors and gift buyers, NOT readers in this case.

5) I'm still working out what the function of a Like is, so I'll quantify that when I'm up to speed. I'm being harassed by Likehunters at the moment and  while I always oblige, I'm not sure why I am doing it and what the reciprocal benefit is for the shop. If you can explain, let me know!!

More later.

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