Harry Potter & selling other books at Waterstones

Eoin Purcell

The art of selling
Selling Harry Potter takes no work for a bookseller. Yeah they can open at 12-midnight and have a show with owls, yes they can sell it for the incredible price of €8.99 but at the end of the day most people who buy Harry Potter were going to buy it anyway, they just took a greater or lesser share of that Harry market. [Due Disclosure: I bought my Harry for Euro 10.70 in Tesco with no feelings of guilt or badness).

So I was not terribly impressed with the Harry show. But something did strike me as very effective in Waterstones store in Jervis St Centre Dublin. On the first floor entrance there is a three bay bank of staff reviewed books of nearly every possible genre. Some nice shots below:

These are old tricks for Waterstones and good ones too. They are enjpyable to read and very much make me likely to buy. in fact had I not already had my bag filled with six books I was escorting back to Cork I would have bought this book:
Close up

It’s a simple tool but the bulk of these books are old or backlist, the hype long since past. There were of course piles of Harry Potter nearby but although there were posters and the rest there was little need to highight it, it sold itself. These books needed effort and as you can see they got it. That’s bookselling and I have to say I admire it.

Wishing I had had a bigger bag,

3 thoughts on “Harry Potter & selling other books at Waterstones

  1. It’s nice to see that you felt the need to pre-emptively defend buying your book in Tesco. Shows the conditioning is taking hold.

  2. Never mind apologising for buying it in Tesco. Many people did, and in my humble opinion it’s better than going to Tesco and buying only the dvd version. There’s a kind of snobbery in ‘Bookseller’ circles to tesco selling books, as if we’re a step above them or something. ( Which obviously , we are…!, although i’d never say it.)
    Although , I ‘d advise you to go in next week and ask them for something a bit less obvious… like , oh Franz Kafka, say. That’ll stump em’. ‘( No sir, we have no giant insects in the shop….have you tried the branch at the shopping centre?….)

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