Wednesday, May 13, 2009

My grand scheming...

Hello world! I've been scheming behind the scenes for the latest development in the Literary Den. I've sent four emails to four seperate parties independant of the Den, and received only one reply so far, which led to a phone call. However, it's the first and most vital step and I'm glad to report that it was a resounding success, even if no one knows about it.

The emails all concern the Den and it's members, although I won't specify which ones. That would be giving away the secret, and I'd prefer to torture the various members that keep an eye on me so that when the news gets out they'll be happy I didn't spoil the surprise. If the three remaining recipients of my emails all reply positively, then I'm one more phone call away from getting another thing organised. I won't say who I have to call until it all begins. It's big though, trust me on that one.

In the time I've been gone from this blog, I've been overly active on Twitter. Follow me, you know you want to.

I've also stumbled across a number of very interesting details, all of which affect the Den's campaign. Now, forgive the copy and paste job here, but this is what I've said on the forum:

The Espresso Book Machine

Hey Gang!

There's been a revolution in book printing I wanted to share with you. Thanks to a certain Mr Niall Kelly at work, I found out about a machine that can print and bind books in five minutes. It's amazing!

Now, I don't know what titles are available, as I've been too busy to check... but the Guardian and a blog (I think it is) each had something to report on this fabulous creation. I suggest reading them!

Loyalty Schemes


Hughes & Hughes, my humble place of work have launched two loyalty schemes since around April 24th. One is a Kids' Club. Every five euro spent on kids books gets one sticker. Six stickers gets five euro off the next transaction of kids books. Easy as pie.

The adult one is very similar. Launched last weekend, either the 9th or the 10th. Every ten euro, you get a stamp. A card of eight stamps gets the purchaser ten euro off anything, including book tokens. Easy peezy, lemon squeezy!

Both of these loyalty schemes (although I just mean systems, not implying there's anything sinister about them) give readers more incentive to buy more. They encourage book sales to go up, and, as such, encourage more people to read. This is good news for us! It basically gives us one place to send people who think books are too expensive, although it's unfortunately limited to Ireland at the moment.

Classic Reprints and the associated offer

Right, so Oxford have taken advantage of the fact that booksellers are looking to sell lots of books, and they've only gone and reprinted everything! All the world classics are now in new bound forms, some with the old text (James Joyce's Ulysses in the 1922 text!) but most with the new.

It's a great refreshment on the old books, and they're cheaper than before too. Then there's an added bonus. For a limited time, Hughes & Hughes (sorry, I can't report for other shops, as I don't work in them and therefore don't see them every week) are offering a 3 for 2 deal on the Classics, with mix and match on everything else too to make sure it's not just the Classics. Great stuff for us if we decide to suggest a load of Classic titles. The reprint and sales offers are also more encouraging to readers.

Irish Book Awards and Others

Every year, the Irish Book Awards are held to celebrate bookselling and other such things. The short listed titles were put on the 3 for 2 offer in (yes, you guessed it, if you've been following my other threads) Hughes and Hughes. They're still there, although the awards have been announced.

The Irish Book Awards are really prestigious. Win one and your set for sales. The winning titles are favourites, and even though it's a public vote, the winning books always sell more after they've won!

Back when Sebastian Barry won the Costa Book Award for The Secret Scripture, everyone was buying it! It's a surprise we still had copies left for the customers we'd never seen before! It was the same when Anne Enright won the Irish Book Award for The Gathering. Her sales went mad!

As a group promoting reading, we need to focus in on these awards, and the others like them. I'll see if I can get more info on the really big ones, and I suggest you do the same in the UK. Pinpointing the titles and encouraging people to take advantage of the offers on them is a great way to get more people actually reading them.

(the winners of the Irish Book Awards can be found here)

"Important News From The Bookseller @ April 17th 2009

Okay, I've had this info for too long without sharing. Some headlines I thought were interesting to us:

Sainsbury's steps up space for books.

Big changes here! I'll bullet-point them for convenience.
  • A top 15 chart in children's books in 214 branches.
  • 2 books for £5 in 183 stores (paperback books)
  • Books sold in 408 of their stores, with an increase of staff on the book team from 2 to 8I was impressed!
Sales of hardbacks down 14.3% in the first quarter of 2009

Printers considering more Print on Demand to remove the Warehouse costs

Anderson Press releasing e-books

The publisher are introducing 23 young adult titles in e-book format. 8 books are already on the list of e-books as of this month.The article also mentions how the main publishers all have around 100 e-books available, with Puffin leading with 150 titles. In 2009, Puffin will release 10-20 e-books a month.

Waterstones offers 10,000 e-books through it's website. It's also helpful to note, though The Bookseller doesn't say this, that Hughes & Hughes are now attempting to match this with the introduction of the Sony Reader to stores, offering 100 free classic titles to begin with, and when the website is done, a free e-book from the wide selection they hope to offer. From my knowledge of the situation, Eason are the only ones not doing this now... (correct me if I'm wrong, but remember that I can't get out much due to exams)

Amnesty Anthology released

The Amnesty Anthology has been released. It focuses on stories of freedom from well known authors. Likely to cause a stir if it's promoted properly. This could mean more people will be reading, specifically if the money goes to charity.

JK Rowling Book Day Books released again

In July, Quidditch Through the Ages and Fantastic Beasts and Wear to Find Them are being released for £5 each, a mark up of 100% on their initial releases for Comic Relief. Not sure where the money goes this time."

With all that to digest, I bid you farewell, until next time! Thanks for reading

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