More than 100 bookstores across the country are planning to participate in the PW-sponsored event National Bookstore Day this Saturday, November 7. Event organizers are hoping promotions tied to the day will attract local and national media coverage—and, in turn, draw new customers into bookstores. “The number of stores already signed up meets our rosiest hopes for this first year. Many of the stores celebrating National Bookstore Day are recognized nationally as leaders, so we're gratified that this idea has been endorsed by these savvy booksellers,” said Ron Shank, PW group publisher. Among the offerings that bookstores are planning are author signings, children's activities, discounts, extended hours, free refreshments, marathon “read-aloud” events, raffles and writing contests.
Raffles are one of the most popular promotional tie-ins. Narnia Children's Books in Richmond, Va., is raffling off $300 worth of books, with the money going to a local elementary school. The store has been selling $1 raffle tickets for the past month. The Midtown Scholar Bookstore in Harrisburg, Pa., will hold a free raffle of a basket of books by local authors, donated by members of central Pennsylvania's Susquehanna Writers Group. There will also be raffles for free books or gift certificates at the Book Seller in Grass Valley, Calif.; Book Swap of Carrollwood in Tampa. Fla.; and Bound to Be Read Books in Atlanta.
Tome on the Range in Las Vegas has slated a different kind of raffle: the store is running a 25% off cookbook sale November 1—25, and one of the sales reps the store works with will present a sampling of foods made from recipes in cookbooks featured in the sale. It is cross-promoting the event with a local caterer and will raffle off a pumpkin cheesecake at the end of the day on Saturday.
Other stores, such as Skylight Books in Los Angeles, are picking up on the celebration of bookselling angle. Skylight will have owners, managers and buyers from a number of Southern California bookstores (including a few that are now closed, such as Dutton's Brentwood) on hand to talk to customers about their stores. They'll sign copies of Gibbs Smith's new Art of the Bookstore, which highlights more than 50 iconic bookstores around the country, many in Southern California. The Tattered Cover in Denver is also planning a bookstore appreciation event. The Why Do You Love Your Local Bookstore? contest asks customers to send the store a note explaining why they love bookstores in general—or the Tattered Cover in particular—which will enter them into a drawing for one of five $100 “book tokens.” The store will post entries on its site, blog and e-newsletter.
The Poisoned Pen in Scottsdale, Ariz., will hold a free program for book collectors, where collectors and experts from Arizona State University will talk about collecting books. The store will webcast the event at www.poisonedpenblog.com.
Author events should be a big draw, as well: Annie's Book Stop in Sharon, Mass.; Broadway Book Mall in Denver; Jackrabbit Hollow in Peabody, Kans.; Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Lyndhurst, Ohio; Kregel Parable Christian Stores in Grand Rapids, Mich.; The Briar Patch in Bangor, Maine; and Three Sisters Books & Gifts in Shelbyville, Ind., will all feature in-store author appearances.
PW has created a logo, usable for bookmarks, window signs and posters, that booksellers can download at www.publishersweekly.com/bookstoreday. And there is still time to sign up on the site to participate.