Is having a strong children's section a secret to success for indie bookstores?(Read article summary)
An informal survey recently carried out by Publishers Weekly found that most stores where children's books had a strong presence are doing well financially.
How big a role does having a childrenâs section play in the success of an indie bookstore?
Publishers Weekly recently did an informal survey of various independent bookstores to investigate how sales had gone over the summer and found that âmost independent bookstores with strong childrenâs sections are doing fineâ financially, according to PW writer Judith Rosen, with a majority matching their sales from this time last year if not experiencing increases in sales numbers.Â
âI donât know what we would do without childrenâs book sales,â Mary Emrick, co-owner of Turning Pages Books & More in Natchez, Miss., told Publishers Weekly. âThe section is our best.â
âChildren brings parents in, who buy adult books along with kidsâ books,â she said. âIt gives the store a lot of life.â Parnassus is experiencing a 27 percent increase in sales for the year so far, while Indiana-based 4 Kids Books & Toys told PW theyâre having their best year yet.
âAn adult will showroom you,â he said. âBut they will not do that if their child has a lovely picture book in their hand.â
Novels by John Green, who is behind titles such as âThe Fault in Our Starsâ and âLooking for Alaska,â are especially big, according to John Cavalier, co-owner of Cavalier House Books in Denham Springs, La.
âI canât tell you how many weâve sold,â he said of âFault.â âWeâre still ordering them 40 at a time.â DeLaney agreed, saying Greenâs books were some of his top sellers.
Childrenâs events also helped bring visitors to the stores, with Cavalier saying a story time program made Cavalier House Books more visible in the community.
âIt did really well for us and got us a lot of attention,â he said.
4 Kids Books & Toys owner Cynthia Compton said kids' events were big successes for them as well, with a summer reading program being a particular hit. Because of these initiatives, âdaily traffic was up, and there were more purchases,â she said.
In addition, Compton said she sees adults as well as children in the YA booksâ section, perhaps also driving children's sales.Â
âAny reluctance of adults to purchase YA has disappeared,â she said. âIf there was a stigma, itâs been removed.â