6 Ways Independent Bookstores Can Blog About Books to Increase Sales
Don’t worry, the Kindle hasn’t yet killed all brick and mortar bookstores or set Fire to the business. Independent bookstores still have their own Nook in the world of retail.
Despite the significant changes in book selling over the last few decades, technological changes have only fueled the development of these stores. The Internet has expanded the ways through which independent booksellers market themselves, and blogging about books has become one of the most important methods of doing so.
The following are a few examples of bookstores blogging in unique ways about books in order to promote their independent businesses.
1. Politics & Prose Bookstore & Coffee Shop has a blog for every occasion
It’s a little surprising that most bookstores don’t even have a single blog, but Politics & Prose is the over-achiever in this category. The Scoop from Brad & Lissa fills everyone in about goings-on at the store, while you can find book reviews in Barbara’s Byline. They even have a Graphic Novel Blog. This bookstore could inspire you all on it’s own with a hundred ideas for your own blog, so I definitely recommend checking it out.
2. Bookstore Yet-To-Be-Determined might blog outside the box
Taking into account that the printed book industry is slowing down, you might think of taking into account the many other ways to promote what you’re selling. For example, there are lots of creative ideas that Etsy artists are coming up with using books.
If you don’t feel like it’s too sacrilegious, you might want to try out blogging about how people can use your books in other…fashionable ways too, perhaps if you have a dollar bin of books that haven’t sold for years and possibly never will.
- Heck, you might even find a new niche on Etsy selling “vintage instant libraries“.
3. Vroman’s Bookstore is turning their readers into listeners with podcasts
In every way, Vroman’s Bookstore of Pasadena, CA has created a blog that is thriving on the web. For the newbie blog creator, Vroman’s blog should be a well-referenced example on how to create a successful book blogging site.
But what really makes this blog unique is the use of online podcasts. Vroman’s audio files include interviews with popular authors and other important people in the book industry.
Not enough blogsites are taking advantage of this cool online medium. Just as readers enjoy the occasional audiobook of their favorite classic, using podcasts retains the interests of established readers, they also invite new blog-goers and listeners too.
4. Also, Vroman’s creates topic-specific book lists
In addition to podcasts, Vroman’s comes up with blog posts based on groups of books surrounding a topic. For example, in a post called For the Love of Cuteness, one of their employees writes a post about all of her favorite cute books and toys (most items sold in the store).
5. Lemuria Books brings on the guest posts
The blog for Lemuria Books is like the attending a digital social gathering. They have guest posts contributed by everyone from authors to booksellers to their third-floor neighbors. Does it get any friendlier than that? Even better, the diversity of posts and bloggers makes for a very unique, thoughtful and exciting blog.
6. WORD Brooklyn chose the right blog platform for their bookstore
WORD Brooklyn has expanded their horizons about where they host their postings on the written word.
Their original webpage is still accessible through WordPress, but their last post on the blog directs readers to a Tumblr blog (it’s that hybrid Facebook-Twitter blogging site you’ve probably heard about from your hipster cousin).
Lots of businesses use blogging platforms like Blogger, WordPress, or even Livejournal to document happenings, and there are many other viable alternatives out there for hosting your bookstore blog.
Too many options? Think about your objective. What do you want your web platform choice to say about your blog and your business? Tumblr is attractive to some for its up-and-coming vibe and its user friendly feel, but others find it too casual or image-based for their means.
A Tumblr blog is great for quickly featuring things like books and authors, but might be too compact for lengthy book reviews.
Changes in technology shouldn’t scare away independent bookstores. In fact, the only way to better your business and further its reach is to embrace the changing times and use as many new digital resources to your advantage.
Each of the above businesses have utilized their blogs in interesting ways and that raise good points for others looking to follow in their footsteps. Take some time and consider some of these examples. Which is right for you blog? Try it out and watch the “likes” pile up like a stack of worn paperbacks at the bedside.