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Bookstore Readings

posted June 15, 2010

Posted by Mariko Fujinaka in Bookselling book design books marketing trends

Amy Karol book reading

Do you attend bookstore readings? I am fortunate to live in Portland, Oregon, home to many bookstores, including the venerable Powell’s Books. I could probably go to a bookstore reading on a daily basis, and I often read through the listings in the local paper with great interest. The truth, though, is that I rarely go to bookstore readings. I never gave it much thought other than to attribute it to laziness, but then I saw this article, “The Dreaded Question: What is a ‘Reading’?” in the Huffington Post. The piece is by bookstore owner Alex Green, who talks about how the label “reading” is not quite accurate. He writes that “many of us are reluctant to attend a reading because we don’t know what one is, and we become afraid that something egregiously uncomfortable, or boring, is going to happen.” Green then goes on to explain that readings, at least at his bookstore, are engaging and lively discussions.

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Lending a Hand to the Little Guy

posted January 11, 2010

Posted by Mariko Fujinaka in Bookselling books independent


Let’s say you’re a small, independent bookseller that unfortunately happens to be down the street from some giant megastore chain that offers deep discounts on the same books you’re trying to sell at full retail price. You’re probably out of luck and better off opening a hot dog stand, right? Well, maybe not. I just read an article about such a case in England.

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Books = Gifts

posted December 18, 2009

Posted by Mariko Fujinaka in Bookselling marketing

books giftsThe holidays are a great time for giving books, but sometimes we need a little help coming up with book ideas. You might want to take a look at Books = Gifts for some book recommendations. The campaign is sponsored by Random House, but that doesn’t mean all the book suggestions are for Random House books. The website has book recommendations broken down by category and also provides links to other sites. If that’s not enough, Books = Gifts has a Facebook page, and you can also follow them on Twitter (use hashtag #booksgifts).

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Get the Latest in Literary Fiction at . . . Target?

posted August 10, 2009

Posted by Mariko Fujinaka in Bookselling books

Book Lurking at Target
Image by theunquietlibrarian via Flickr

I confess that I am quite fond of Target. I like the company’s commitment to innovative design, whether it’s in fashion or housewares or paper goods. As I make my rounds at Target, I occasionally stop at the book section, but only if I just finished a book and need an immediate replacement. I guess I should linger a bit longer in the books, though, because according to this article in the New York Times, Target is making rock stars out of some relatively unknown writers.

Though Target sells its share of best sellers and mainstream, mass-market choices, it also has its own book club, called Bookmarked Club, and features many new titles, or at least new to the majority of readers. And Target has succeeded in generating impressive sales for many of these books: Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay was released in hardback in 2007 and had sold only about 2,000 copies when Target decided to promote the paperback edition as its Bookmarked Club Pick. Target sold 145,000 copies. You can’t really argue with figures like that!

Some other interesting points in the article include the fact that Target’s book selection is really quite small, about 2,500 titles per store. In contrast, bookselling-behemoth Barnes & Noble has about 200,000 titles per store. Target also displays its book offerings in a manner meant to attract buyers: featured titles are set on displays at the ends of aisles, and most books are shelved with the covers facing out (yes, sometimes you can judge a book by its cover).

Go Green with Your Business Cards

posted May 27, 2009

Posted by Mariko Fujinaka in uncategorized

I love the idea of business cards with multiple purposes. Business cards are a necessity for many, but they’ve always seemed rather wasteful to me. Even cards with great designs don’t do much other than take up space in a drawer.


I was thrilled, then, to see this business card-bookmark hybrid printed by Pinball Publishing. It’s so clever and utilitarian! This particular business card is for a clothing store, but a bookmark business card would be appropriate for a bookstore or publishing house, wouldn’t it?



The sky is the limit when it comes to creative business cards. Maybe a balloon isn’t incredibly practical, but it’s fun and memorable. The rubber band business card, though? Definitely practical and fun! You can find both of these images, as well as a number of other nicely designed business cards, at this site.

I’m sure there are many more interesting ideas out there. How about business cards that double as coasters? Cards with valuable instructions on them? Any ideas out there? Do you have a multipurpose business card?

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