Monday, May 6, 2013

Clunes Booktown 2013: The aftermath


Probably the biggest surprise for me at this years Clunes Booktown (Bookfair), was the increase in my sales figures.  Without exaggeration, I had prepared myself and even hoped for similar takings to last year… or even a fraction less was half expected.  What I’m trying to say is that this bookseller would have been pleased to have maintained some sort of equilibrium in the current book buying climate.  The final figures ended up way exceeding my expectations even though it appeared that there were fewer people compared to last year, visiting our store.  But I should say that this was an observation made from behind a tiny desk tucked away in a corner of a shop with me busy scribbling down titles and collecting payments.  Despite my observation, there were enough sales to bring a smile to my face at the end of Sunday night (… or was it the too many glasses of red wine).  I’m very pleased.

I did manage to sell my first edition of One Hundred Years of Solitude to a fellow bookseller who was appreciative of the scarcity and quality of the book.  Besides making some money on the sale of Marquez’s masterpiece, I was pleased that someone who truly appreciated the book had bought it.  I have to say that most people over the weekend were in a great mood for book buying and talking about books and book buying.  This makes my job just that little bit easier.  There is a down side to all of this, in case anyone is reading this and thinking that the booksellers of Clunes must be raking in the cash.  The truth is that this one weekend makes up for all those $20 days when I (we) have sat in the shop (shops) in the middle of winter dreaming of the foot traffic of the Booktown weekend.  There is a hard truth that most of the bookshops here are not doing as well as they could be, even in this an International Booktown.  I still have confidence that the shop will perform better during the coming year, but in the meantime, on line sales will remain my bread and butter.

1 comment:

  1. Paul Perry AllSorts Books Northcote VicMay 7, 2013 at 4:11 AM

    Glad to hear you had a good BookTown Festival! It was pretty quiet here in my bookshop in Melbourne at the time.. I guess the serious buyers had gone bush.
    One of my customers who went to Clunes on Saturday said how stunned he felt to realise he was walking among thousands of people all of whom read books, normally he feels very much an oursider. He only bought one book, but he was happy, I guess it was a good one!

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