I’m very fortunate to have a fabulous bookshop near me, which not only stocks good books, but offers great reading advice too. They have been super supportive of my first children’s book, Smooch & Rose, and of my second, Spud & Charli due out in September this year. I often pop in for a chat, and make sure I support them too, as good bookstores are getting harder and harder to find.
I asked them 10 questions about book selling, and this is what they had to say …
How many books do you sell in an average week? Between 500 and 600. (Wow that’s a lot: more than I thought to be honest).
Which would be your most popular genre of book? Crime Fiction and Kids books. (Mmmm, I thought it would be cook books. Weren’t they all the rage?)
What age group are the most prolific book buyers? Adults (Figures).
How many new childrens’ books enter the market a week? There is a lot going on a month in regards with kids books. We only see a small percentage that come through to the Australian market, but to give you an idea in the UK and US there are thousands of new publications every month. Bookshops in Australia don’t reflect the full range that is published monthly.
How long do you keep a children’s book for before you send it back unsold? Approx 3 months.
What sells a kids book? Is it the cover, the way it’s positioned on a shelf, or do the children/adults come in asking for it? A bit of everything: cover, price, well respected author and a good display is always a winner.
Do adults come in and choose books for children aged 8-12, or do children come in and choose their own books at that age? A bit of both, word of mouth between the kids at school help them to know what is good and what is popular.
How many people ask for your recommendation and go on that alone? About 6 out of 10 (Wow, that’s a lot! So it’s good to get to know your booksellers and keep up a good relationship with them.)
Is price a problem for many of your customers. Eg: do they think they want a book, but then put it back because of price? (in your opinion?) Yes, price is a major factor in the buying process.
And has there been one which has surprised you? The Wonkey Donkey was a big surprise for us: it sold heaps.
So there you have it folks. Just in case you were wondering … that’s how it works on the cold face.