A number of months ago a few of us local booksellers were discussing the joys and benefits of our annual bookfair. We all agreed that as wonderful as this one weekend of the year is, there are 51 other weekends in the year that in regards to $$$, range from miserable to reasonable. Unfortunately for most of us, the miserable weekends can outnumber the reasonable. (Last Saturday, my total shop takings were $7. It is Winter and the weather has been fairly miserable.)
For the past few years, I have been proposing a book sale weekend other than Back to Booktown, which is a concept that had gotten nowhere due to a lack of interest. The idea was that we invite only Clunes booksellers, including on line sellers, to band together and have a sale. I was selling on line at the time and since then there have been a lot of changes, probably the biggest now being my direct involvement in a shop and there is now new management in a few of the other shops. Anyway, I once again mooted the idea and this time, the book sellers of Clunes have gone for it.
The concept of the sale is to have a large number of books at incredibly cheap prices ($1 to $5)… and only advertise locally. We have all noticed that a large proportion of our small clientele during the year, are local or nearly local, so we figured we should aim for this market. We have done some advertising as far a field as Ballarat and Daylesford (both ½ an hour drive from here) and hopefully people will get the message. We devised an advertising budget which between the 6 booksellers means that it is dirt cheap for each bookseller to be involved ($18 each). All the shops will be selling from their own premises which means that people coming to town for bargains will learn where the shops are and will possibly be encouraged to purchase something other than a $5 book. If they don’t, it doesn’t matter. At least we got them here and now they know we are here. If they knew that already, then this sale should remind them that we are here and hopefully encourage further visits. If they don’t come but see the advertisements then hopefully they’ll be reminded that we exist not only at Back to Booktown but all year round… and will visit soon… hopefully.
This Sunday the 12th of August is the sale, which we have given the title of “Booksellers of Clunes 1st Annual Book Sale”. There are a few other things happening in town involved with the Words in Winter festival and hopefully this will encourage people to visit us and them. I’m a bit nervous about the whole thing, what if people don’t show? I’m not expecting thousands of people, but a few hundred would be nice. Although if no one shows up, I can at least say, we gave it a go. It’s better than waiting around in the cold for a possible $7.
Anyway, you’re all welcome to come along even if you aren’t local…
I’ll do a post next week with a full report.