Monday, June 28, 2010

Books That Sell Themselves

Daniel Goldin of Milwaukee's Boswell Book Company has some thoughts about books that literally sell themselves. People find many of these books just naturally attractive. Sometimes, they don't know why; othertimes, they know exactly the reason.

"Put a pile of Murder on the Eiffel Tower," he said, "on your paperback table and it will sell. It worked for us in hardcover at Schwartz and in paperback at Boswell.

"We've sold 71 in the last year (for folks in the know, that makes us #1 on Above the Treeline, almost double what the #2 bookstore sold) despite the fact that if they ask, [we] will tell inquirers that the murder does not take place on the Eiffel Tower. The book did win a prestigious French mystery prize (the Michel Lebrun prize) and the hero is a bookseller, which is reason enough to make sure we have enough stock."

Boswell also got the notion to try placing The Power of Kindness from Garrison Keillor's Common Good Books on their front table, and it recently passed the hundred-copy sales mark, which is good by any bookstore's standards. The reason?

"Great title, great package, and the book delivers--what more do you want?" Goldin said. "A concerted effort could get this book on national bestseller lists. Tarcher, the ball is in your court."

Yet another book Goldin thinks is a big-sales sleeper is Chicks Dig Time Lords: A Celebration of Dr. Who by the Women Who Love It.

"Our purchase started with a special order from our pal Kathy, who suggested an event. Our local contact...rounded up three editors and contributors from metro Chicago, and another from the Twin Cities area. Our event was way bigger than we expected, and we ordered in more stock to cover the bookplates we gave out when we ran out of books."

What's the common denominator? What sets these books apart from lesser selling tomes at first glance? No one knows for sure. But they all have damned interesting titles. Don't they?


Copyright 2010 AmSAW

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