It's been a good week, and we're beginning to reap the benefit of some of our advertising and marketing. It's very reassuring to be greeted with customers who are so happy that there's a bookshop in Wood Green again. One of the biggest things going for us is the ability to get books within 24 hours. Now we're set up with Bertrams and Gardners (the two biggest wholesalers in the country), our access to titles quickly amazes and delights our customers. It's always confused me that Waterstones and no doubt the other chains discourage the shops from using the wholesalers, who offer next day delivery, in favour of going direct to the publishers, where the shops couldn't guarantee a book being delivered in less than a week. Obviously going direct to the publishers gives the bookshop a bigger profit margin (2-5% usually), but in a hugely competitive world, where the internet is a massive rescource, speed of delivery is so important to the customer. In my expereince 95% of customers who are quoted '10 days to 2 weeks' for a book to arrive would say no way. I reckon that we get at least a 50% hit rate when we can offer 2 days at the most.
Anyway Waterstone's, at least, will have their own warehouse soon, so in effect they'll be their own distributors. I wonder if they'll be able to offer the same speed of service as Bertrams and Gardners. And if so, I wonder if we can open an account with them??
Big Green Wednesday is coming along nicely, and we've managed to get some great authors to agree to be part of it. We're also trying to organise a 'Crime Week' in Wood Green. Yes, yes, 'every week's crime week in Wood Green' very funny. What I mean is having a festival of events and authors in sometime in June all related to crime fiction. So far things look great, and we have half a dozen well known uthors who've said they'd like to take part. Also i'm especially looking forward to the murder mystery evening we're going to have in the shop.
The reading group is proving very popular, and after a couple of requests we're going to start a kids reading group as well. It's aimed at kids between 9 and 13 who love books and love talking about books, and I reckon it'll be good fun. We're going to do it on Sunday morning at 11am (before the shop opens), but we won't be serving wine.
I still haven't bought new batteries for my camera, so no new photos yet, but if I can persuade my facebook friend Martin to explain basic computer skills to me (once again), there may be a treat in store for those of you who are interested in those special 17 days between us getting the keys to the shop and actually opening. Oh, it'll be worth it...