As an ebook enthusiast, I still do occasionally buy print. No comments from the peanut gallery. One of the main reasons why I love visiting Murder by the Book is because their most fabulous staff is always ready and willing to answer my questions and provide me with recommendations when needed. Especially when I’m just browsing and have no clue what I want to read.
That service isn’t duplicated if I were to go to a brick and mortar bookstore like B&N. It’s a chain where impersonal relationships with the customer is expected. Anyway, I wouldn’t expect that level of service as mentioned previously from a chain but really, since they have less foot traffic in their stores maybe they need to focus more on handselling books to their customers.
I asked two people about the idea of “handselling” books in chain bookstores and one of them wasn’t all that keen on the idea and didn’t want to be bothered while browsing in bookstores. Me on the other hand, I think I am more receptive to recommendations after I’ve been browsing for about 20 or 30 minutes.
It is that “handselling” that got me to read Nora Roberts J.D. Robb books. The bookseller just grabbed Naked In Death off the shelf (with the the original cover) and told me that she’d never enjoyed futuristics before and that “this book was really good.” I bought it and eventually became a fan of the series.
Am I the only one who is receptive to this kind of handselling? With bookstores profits down, why don’t they try a more traditional approach to selling books like, yes, handselling books to their customers!
I don’t know about you but sometimes when I’m in a bookstore, I have no idea of what I want and am receptive to trying new authors. Sure, we’re in a recession and people are not so quick to part with their discretionary funds but I don’t see where handselling opportunities can hurt.
Anyway, this is not a new idea re “handselling.” And again, I do realize that some people don’t want to be bothered by sales people or have them hovering around them while they are browsing. I do think chain bookstores can be a bit more personable and conscientious of their customers who are just browsing and looking for something good to read and can’t find it (and that would be me).
Photo Credit by Stephen Cummings