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Booksellers share best practices for selling ebooks

Booksellers share best practices for selling ebooks

via TeleRead: News and views on e-books, libraries, publishing and related topics by Paul Biba on 11/11/11


Here’s a part of an excellent, and long, article in American Bookselling Association’s Bookselleing this Week.:

The best approach to promoting e-books is multiple approaches — feature them in general and targeted electronic and print newsletters, advertise online and in-store, train staff, and “just be relentless”— is the collective opinion of booksellers who recently talked to Bookselling This Week about e-book marketing — Paul Hanson of Village Books, Christie Olson Day at Gallery Bookshop & Bookwinkle’s Children’s Books, and Pete Mulvihill of Green Apple Books.

One of the key elements of a multifaceted approach according to Paul Hanson, the community outreach director at Village Books in Bellingham, Washington, is educating booksellers. “Find the tech savvy people and have them jump on board, and give the frontline staff handouts to give to customers,” Hanson said. (A step-by-step guide to downloading Google eBooks™ can be found here.)

He also recommends having at least one dedicated e-book answer guru and distributing their e-mail contact information to customers.

As the designated answer guru at Village Books, Hanson will sit down with a customer, set up their device, and help them download their first e-book. “We have to set up an account with us, with Google, and with Adobe,” he explained. “Then we make the first purchase.”

The process takes about an hour and a half. “It’s definitely time well spent,” said Hanson. “They’re so happy to see the first book on their device. That’s what independent booksellers do best — one book at a time, one customer at a time. They end up being our most loyal customers.”

Village Books regularly schedules “E-Book Therapy” sessions during which customers are invited to discuss e-books and e-readers. Hanson and store co-owner Chuck Robinson will answer questions, and attendees can compare notes. “Everyone talks to each other, and we always learn something as well,” Hanson said.

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