1. People are getting rid of bookshelves. Treat the money you budgeted for shelving as found money. Go to garage sales and cruise the curbs.
2. While you’re drafting that business plan, cut your projected profits in half. People are getting rid of bookshelves.
3. If someone comes in and asks where to find the historical fiction, they’re not looking for classics, they want the romance section.
4. If someone comes in and says they read a little of everything, they also want the romance section.
5. If someone comes in and asks for a recommendation and you ask for the name of a book that they liked and they can’t think of one, the person is not really a reader. Recommend Nicholas Sparks.
6. Kids will stop by your store on their way home from school if you have a free bucket of kids books. If you also give out free gum, they’ll come every day and start bringing their friends.
7. If you put free books outside, cookbooks will be gone in the first hour and other non-fiction books will sit there for weeks. Except in warm weather when people are having garage sales. Then someone will back their car up and take everything, including your baskets.
8. If you put free books outside, someone will walk in every week and ask if they’re really free, no matter how many signs you put out . Someone else will walk in and ask if everything in the store is free.
9. No one buys self help books in a store where there’s a high likelihood of personal interaction when paying. Don’t waste the shelf space, put them in the free baskets.
10. This is also true of sex manuals. The only ones who show an interest in these in a small store are the gum chewing kids, who will find them no matter how well you hide them.
11. Under no circumstances should you put the sex manuals in the free baskets. Parents will show up.
12. People buying books don’t write bad checks. No need for ID’s. They do regularly show up having raided the change jar.
13. If you have a bookstore that shares a parking lot with a beauty shop that caters to an older clientele, the cars parked in your lot will always be pulled in at an angle even though it’s not angle parking.
14. More people want to sell books than buy them, which means your initial concerns were wrong. You will have no trouble getting books, the problem is selling them. Plus a shortage of storage space