Bookseller Article

New Ideas for Seasonal Displays and Store Events

Readers often like to have a reason to buy books and sometimes booksellers need inspiration for their next window display or monthly store event. If you are looking for ways to promote books or offer seasonal discounts to attract readers to your website or brick and mortar store, consider using little known holidays for inspiration.

Most stores feature Halloween, Easter, Valentine's Day, and Christmas, but did you know there is a Fortune Cookie Day? World Teacher's Day? National Puzzle Day? or a Mother Goose Day? And if you didn't know there are all kinds of novel days to celebrate, then you should. These include: Read A Book Day, Literacy Day, Dictionary Day, National Comic Book Day, National Novel Day, Booklover's Day, and of course National Bookstore Day. 

On Scrabble Day -- why not offer all dictionaries for 10% off -- and set up three or four card tables and get some scrabble games going in your store. Introduce the new fun game Bananagrams--and sell this as well as travel scrabble kits. You might have so much fun you will make it a monthly event.

On National "Pi" day -- you could have a pie tasting contest -- and get local families to bake and sell pies for a local charity you want to support. I have a collection of vintage aprons, I pull out for these kind of random bake sales.  Of course you will be able to sell all kinds of cook books on this day. Make index cards with some of the good recipes to give away with the book info -- so people will come back and buy the book later after trying the recipes themselves. 

In May you can celebrate Older American's Day by offering a discount to Senior Citizens, and organize an event that will appeal to Seniors possibly a jazz trio, or invite some kids to  come looking to make connections with an "adopted" grandparent, and have the seniors do a storytelling. Seniors love early meal discounts -- why not have an early book buying discount? 

Susan Smelser, owner of the Book Worm in Georgia uses these holidays to her advantage on her Facebook account. Everyday she posts an annual holiday and offers a discount on books related to that theme. It keeps people reading her Facebook page -- and draws people into the store on a regular basis. 

If you are not inspired by the holiday idea -- why not plan some events around the birthday of a favorite author. I subscribe to The Writer's Almanac. It is a daily email that offers a poem, and two or three dates of significance (usually featuring an author's birthdate). There is always something to be gleaned from this site. It is sponsored by National Public radio, Garrison Keillor and the Poetry Society of America.

- Kate Ryan, RT Book Reviews Bookstores That Cares Editor and Bookstore Liaison

OTHER RESOURCES: 

Get A Full Calendar of Annual Inspirations >>

The Book of Days by Guen Sublette (1996)

Websites With Good Links for Holiday Dates:
http://www.brownielocks.com
http://www.holidayinsights.com/moreholidays/january.htm

Websites With Authors' Birthdays:
http://writersalmanac.publicradio.org/archive.php
www.bellaonline.com/articles/art38813.asp
http://www.famouswhy.com/Born_Today/Category/authors.html