Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Books are a hit, but not hit books.

Every bookstore we visited recommended The Shack; which is on top of the trade paperback bestseller list as well. I ordered it for Pegasus Books, but have yet to see anyone pick it up.

At the same time, I've sold all my Jack Kerouac books again, most of my Chuck Palahniuk books, most of my Cormac McCarthy books.

Even the newest Stephanie Meyer's book, Breaking Dawn, hasn't sold that well for me, though I was admittedly late out of the gate with that one. But I could've sold the first book, Twilight, many times over the last couple of weeks if I could've gotten it in stock. That seems to be a pattern; early books by popular authors, especially if I carry a full run, there seems to be at least one in the oeuvre that even the biggest fan hasn't read yet.

I think books like The Shack, or Breaking Dawn, much like the Harry Potter books before them, are going to sell first in the big stores, and only by happenstance in my store. (For one thing, I don't discount, and most bestsellers are heavily discounted. Which is confounding -- here you have a book everyone wants, and you completely give up your profit margin to sell it.)

After the Crazy Days sale was over, I continued to put the table on the sidewalk and sold the .50 pbks, and the 1.00 hdcs.
Linda and I were concerned that it might eat into our used book sales, but it's done the opposite. People often come in and buy something else while they're at it. The weather will soon put an end that that practice, but I think it gave us a boost.

I continue to sell classics, and what I would call 'near' classics -- best selling literary fiction from the last few decades that don't make it to the used bookselves often enough.

What is really encouraging to me, is that I haven't yet really put in the effort on new books. That's not to say the books I've gotten in aren't good books -- they almost need to be to survive the process. But usually I do a great deal of analysis, and with new books -- so far -- I've mostly been responding to events. Haven't yet been all the proactive.

I'm holding off a bit before I really dive in. Our tax bill will be humongous, as I feared, and I also need to save up for other possibilities as well.

But, it certainly has been more successful a venture than I expected at my most optimistic.

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