This analysis by Scott Thorne of the research by Ryan L. Raffaelli, assistant professor in the Organizational Behavior Unit at Harvard Business School, was fascinating.
The take-away, that local indie bookstores can succeed by leveraging three advantages they have over online retailers:
His research found that resurgent booksellers engaged in three bottom up practices throughout the industry:The opportunity this presents for we authors and illustrators is clear: We should be tapping into the communities we are already part of, positioning our titles to local stores as part of their curation process, and thinking events.
1) Community. Emphasizing their position as a local member of the community, able to interact with other community members in a way that Amazon and other online retailers could not.
2) Curation. While online retailers focus on very wide inventory and discounted prices, the brick and mortar stores emphasized the selection they offered and the ability of their staff to guide customers to books and other items they would enjoy.
3) Convening. Bookstores leveraged their physical locations, scheduling even more events than they had in the past. Those were either free or paid, with some offering in excess of 500 per year, making them an important part of the local entertainment scene.
Illustrate and Write On,