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How Much Is Too Much?

How Much Is Too Much?

I wasn’t sure what to expect for my opening weekend in The Book Room, and so I had a rather pleasant surprise. Sales were amazing, but as I wrote in my previous post it was the enthusiasm of visitors to the shop that really blew me away.

I have recorded interviews with each of the writers who have put together a curation, and I will be releasing them in this newsletter over the next few weeks, but when stock has sold out before I’ve even published the persuasive arguments from the writers themselves, clearly I need to replenish.

So, I decided Monday will be my stock-take/reordering (washing/ironing/hoovering/walking-the-dog/child) day. What an original idea, I thought, no-one else will have thought of that! Until I spoke to the publishing sales rep who told me that indeed, yes, bookshops tend to reorder on Mondays and they are manic taking their orders.

Of course they do!

So, at least I’d got that bit right, but my question is now how often do I replenish stock of the books that have sold out? And how often do I put a new collection on the shelves?

The premise of the shop is very much my Writer Recommend curations, and I want to keep them rotating so that there are always new things to look at and new collections to browse.

But then Stanley Tucci’s Taste, sold out at the weekend, for example, so it would be ridiculous not to stock more of him, right? Moro Easy flew off the shelves and so there are more of those on the way (not least because I’m desperate to buy a copy myself!).

I’ve also got three new curations by different writers arriving in the shop in the next week, so should I take another curation off the shelves to make way for them? It doesn’t make sense when they are selling so well, right?

But now that I am up and trading, these are the questions I find myself asking. After the weekend I inherited some more space for children’s books, and so now I find myself staring at empty shelves, taking a deep dive into children’s fiction and non-fiction and desperately emailing publishers to fulfil orders. Speaking of which, each of the six publishers that I am ordering from have different delivery terms and dates, some are brilliant and my orders are arriving in three days, some I can’t even get to confirm if they’ve processed my order and so do I order from the wholesaler so I don’t end up with empty shelves come the weekend?

Gah! The dilemmas of a new bookstore owner! But, hey, isn’t it nice to even be able to write that…

More soon…

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