some free marketing advice for book sellers

Earlier this week I popped into a big chain book store to grab a best seller to gift to a dear friend. It was a quick affair – found what I wanted and made my way to the cash – no browsing for me, too busy!

When it was my turn to pay, the cashier asked me if I would like to donate a book. She pointed to a makeshift display of books behind her and when I saw Goodnight Moon, I said “sure”. Finnegan adores that book, it’s a staple read in our house.

But here’s the thing – I donated the book and then didn’t get a thing for it. No info on what charity I just supported, no card, no nothing. It’s such a wasted opportunity at this time of year and here’s why: I could have used my donation as a gift for someone else.

My son is in pre-school and I’d like to give his school a gift – it would have been perfect if I could have made the book donation in the name of my son’s school and then got a gift card for it. Another one off the list, phew.

If my book donation could have satisfied two needs – 1) giving a book to someone who needs it, and b) helping with my own gift list – I would go back to that book store right now and buy a half-dozen more.

It’s such a good idea, just not executed as well as it could’ve been. When times are tough, we need to be smarter.

Anyone know of any indie booksellers doing something similar but better?

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