Monday, January 14, 2008

Irrational exuberance? Nope, just saying thanks

Bookninja links to a rarity.
An independent bookseller who seems bullish on their survival.

"When we moved our shop, the Seattle Mystery Bookshop, over the Memorial Day weekend in 2005, we sent out a press release saying how here was a story about a small, independent bookshop that was doing so well that it could move to a larger space after 15 years, and no one in the local press paid any attention. Two and a half years later, business is terrific; 2007 was our best year yet, a 6.5 percent increase in sales over 2006."

I'll be the first to admit that the glass is half empty more often than full, but there might be something to this optimism.
Indie bookstores continue to close, but they continue to open as well. (I still haven't seen some shops that I'd like to, but soon enough, perhaps.
This December was challenging all the way around, but most indies according the industry rag Quill and Quire discounted to compensate for the dollar and came out pretty well.
It's behind a subscription wall, but basically most had to discount and did so to stay still; minus a percentage point or two on either side of break even.
Our place discounted all U.S titles by fifteen per cent through November and we still had a strong December when prices returned to normal, so much props to K-W.
My sense is that the dollar dilemma was a platform for a few people to throw a dart at an easy bulls eye, but most readers had a basic understanding of economics.
So in that spirit, hears to a new leaf around here. No more posts about how precarious independent bookselling is for the rest of 2008.*
There's some favourites coming shortly, and despite the same number of mines in the harbour, it just might be a good year.

Posted by Dave

*There's no way I'm sticking to this, it's just something you say.


Anonymous said...

Some of us reader-types buy books for the reading, not because there's a sale on or because it's a good investment. Contrariwise, we don't stop buying books because there's a pricing disparity in the international book market, or because we want to make a statement about the unfairness of publishers' lead times on pricing.

You keep selling, I'll keep buying.

Chanda in The Disordered Cosmos said...

Something I've been thinking about here in Toronto, where I am a resident for a significant portion of the week: why isn't there a bookstore that is open for all of us graduate students who don't sleep during normal hours? I think such a place would do well in Toronto.

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