Bookstores Are Actually Doing Pretty Well

January 8, 2016 in Daily Bulletin

In the age of Amazon and e-commerce your next book is just a click away. But Michael S. Rosenwald wrote about the smaller guys that are thriving in this competitive market place:

  • As Baby Boomers are retiring and downsizing they’re looking to give away their books to people who they know will respect them.
  • Thus bookstores are able to acquire books for about 10% of the original cover price, and sell it for half the price of a new book. This works out to a 400% markup – substantially more profitable than the business of new books.
  • In fact, Amazon can be a help instead of a hindrance. Bookstores are able to list their books on Amazon’s third party marketplace and access a broader customer base.
  • The startup costs can be as high as $85,000.
  • But canny bookstore owners will turn their shops into cultural centers with meet the authors and other events.
  • They can also target customers who enjoy the thrill of the hunt, or who like to wrestle with the notes and comments that past readers leave in the margins of used books.
  • Some just enjoy the surprise of having a postcard or love letter fall out of a used book.

The full article talks about some strategies that bookstore owners use to sell books, and contains other details. You can read it here.

Source: The Washington Post