Tuesday, October 30, 2007

If you don't ask.....


It's time to think about ordering the stock for the shop. I wonder if there's an easy way of doing this. I hope not, 'cos this is where the fun really starts for me. One of the big things about a successful independent Bookshop is getting the stock right. I say 'one of the things', because if stock were the only issue then personality, inspiration, drive, customer service, organisation and individuality (we're talking cowboy hats here) would be a waste of time and we might as well give up now. But it is massively important.
The stock we need for the shop in Wood Green is very different from, say Isla in the Barnes Bookshop or Nic Bottomley's Mr B's Emporium of Reading Delights in Bath. It's the differences that are going to make the, er, difference.....however....

All you lovely readers out there, I could do with a little help. It's clear that there should be a core stock in each section in the shop (theis is the last time i'm ever going to use the phrase 'core Stock'). That's to say, we would be embarrassed if we didn't stock 1984, or Nigel Slater, and not having the Worst Witch would be unforgivable. Our knowledge of books is pretty good, after all I started bookselling in 1984 and Tim wasn't far behind that. But we're fallible. So, if you happen to work in a bookshop and have the facility to run bestseller reports, or if you work for a publisher, and have a good list of key backlist titles i'd love to hear from you.

To all you booksellers out there
Could you send us a bestseller over the last year/18 months for the following subjects. In no particular order...
paperback fiction *
childrens 5-8 *
childrens 9-12 *
teenage fiction *
sub sections of Kids *
black interest *
science fiction *
food and drink
popular psychology
general business
travel writing
graphic novels

* these are the subjects that are big for us, so if you can only send these, then great!!

To all you publishers out there.
If you feel you have a strong backlist of any of the above sections and would like to send lists/catalogues/free books then we are possibly very bribeable (who knows).

Please don't worry about us 'outing' you, as all lists will be received in total anonymity (unless you want the advertising).

Here's the address to send 'em to

Simon Key
Bookshop Bestsellers
59a, Salisbury Road
Wood Green
N22 6NU

These will be great for making sure we don't have too many glaring omissions, so thanks in advance.

I have bars of Cadbury's Dairy Milk Double Choc to send to any of you who send a list, so make sure I know where to send them to!

Yes, this is very very cheeky!


Richie said...

I only have lists in my head!

DOn't forget MBS guys, this was a top section in WGR when Linda and I were there, not sure how it did over the last year or 2, but worth keeping an eye on.

Glad you guys are finally getting somewhere, good luck with getting it all sorted.


adam said...

What a chancer. I like you're style. I think your odds have suddenly shortened.

However, I'm afraid the only way to learn is to get out there with a notebook surreptitiously copying down isbn's from the back of books in your nearest Borders.

Is this the equivalent of Bookseller 'fagging'? If we had to put up with it then there's no way you're getting away with it.

Sorry chum. But good luck anyway.

adam said...

I like you are style? D'oh.

Tim West and Simon Key said...

'Chancers', that would be a great name for the shop. If only you'd entered the competition...

I knew it was a long shot, but there's no harm in asking. The lure of Dairy Milk Double Choc might be too much for someone out there.


Anonymous said...

Indeed, there is no harm in asking. I posted some lists today. And I love chocolate, but I'll settle for advice from experienced booksellers when I move on to my new job at an independent bookshop next month.
I call it 'the sharing of knowledge between booksellers'.

Lesley said...

So pleased to hear that you've got yourselves a fab, shiny new name. Shall be putting something in the post today re. our backlist, hope some get on your shelves soon!