As part of the Bookseller-to-Bookseller Discussion Groups at the sixth annual ABC Children’s Institute in New Orleans, booksellers shared tips for how to best use the ABC Best Books for Young Readers catalog, as well as actionable takeaways from the NPD Featured Talk on Bookselling Trends, in which NPD client development specialist Allison Risbridger presented an overview of the most recent children’s book market data.
As part of the 45-minute session on Wednesday, June 20, six groups of booksellers gathered to share their insights, as designated booksellers took down the ideas generated by each. Members of the ABA Board, Booksellers Advisory Council, and ABC Children’s Group Advisory Council led the discussions.
Here, ABC Children’s Group Manager Gen de Botton has compiled some of the key points and actionable items from the partcicipating booksellers:
Ideas for Better Using ABC Best Books for Young Readers Catalog
- Increase customer reach by imprinting the ABC Best Books for Young Readers catalog with a store logo and distributing it in a local paper via media mail.
- Send it to teachers so that they can make their classroom wish lists and then host a teacher’s night.
- Use for birthday and baby registries.
- Use it at book fairs.
- Deliver it to local businesses partners in advance of Small Business Saturday and Find Waldo Local.
- Drop it off at local pediatricians’ offices.
- Make sure your staff is familiar with the catalog.
Ways to Capitalize on Trends Noted in NPD Featured Talk
- Booksellers are seeing an increased demand for children’s wellness and mindfulness titles.
- There is an increased demand for high-low content (higher reading level, but with content more suitable for younger readers) for kids who can read YA but aren’t quite ready for YA content. Publishers’ targeted YA age group is 12-14, however kids as young as 10 are reading YA.
- Diverse titles need to be visible in all areas of the children’s department.
- There is an increased demand for books for young male readers that tackle difficult issues.
- There is an increased demand for classics and titles that evoke nostalgia. It’s a perfect opportunity to pair classics with new releases to increase sale opportunities of backlist.
- On big release days, a store might consider having talking points that every bookseller can use with customers.
Subscription boxes are taking off.
- Bookstores might consider creating boxes specifically geared towards teachers
- Bookstores could also create themed boxes. For example, a STEM/STEAM Box for young readers.
- Offer a free trial to best/loyal customers to get them excited about the new subscription box.
Libro.fm is a valuable resource for audio books.
- Create talking points for the staff that stresses the convenience of the service.
- Libro.fm can turn a store’s event audio recordings into podcasts.