This is a new section of my blog. In fact I have two blogs. Maybe I should change one of them … but how will I decide which one gets the best stuff? Should I have a separate Page, Category, Post Section, Feature, Widget Section…what?
I would like to open a branch of my electronic book store…Padre Books…and can’t decide if it should have a new name…Padrebooks is the name of my business, which lists my book inventory on several book selling venues, such as Amazon, Biblio, Alibris, E-Bay, Barnes & Noble, Volare. I have an inventory service, The Art of Books, which does a fantastically great job of maintaining my inventory, pricing, listings, removal of sales, and other stats.
Maybe something of a misnomer there, “electronic book store.” It is not a place where I sell electronic books, E-Books. I have none of those in my inventory. It is more of an “on-line presence” where browsers looking for a book can find my supply of used books available for sale through the above-mentioned book sales venues. As of right now I have nearly three thousand books which are actually listed for sale. Most of my sales are of specialized, out-of-print or “scarce” books. That means that my inventory entries pop up when someone searches for a specific title, then orders the book from me through one of the venues. This makes it relatively unlikely that anyone will discover my book through browsing casually or otherwise.
So…using this post so far as a brain-storming technique, it dawns me that the cause of my poor sales numbers is due to my poor work-skills. If I treated my business AS a business, with my inventory on display where more people see it, rather than just someone who really wants a specific title.
General merchandising, and better exposure. Better “shelf placement,” I might say. When I had my brick-n-mortar shops with real books on real shelves, arranged alphabetically within subject, my sales were better. Browsing a section on History dealing with World War II, in alphabetical order within the section, will turn up a selection of titles that may interest the searcher, and result in more sales.
So successful on-line placement of the merchandise is key to selling. Understatement, I know… I always think better through my fingers on a keyboard, and my thought-processes connect better when writing than when I am speaking. I tend to get tongue-tied and forget what I’m talking about 🙂 There is no editing the spoken word….and no dictionary-breaks to check vocabulary or factual information.
Maybe a new name? I like Padrebooks, but maybe none but the most astute academic peruser of my virtual “stacks” really cares about the name of the shops regardless of how mundane or unimaginative. Would a cute name like “Patsy’s Books” help me to sell my books?
I’m really open to suggestions.