Independent Bookstore Day Announces Plans for 2016

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The second annual Independent Bookstore Day will be held on Saturday, April 30, 2016, the event’s organizers announced on Friday.

Samantha Schoech, program director for this year’s Independent Bookstore Day, and the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association will once again produce the event.

This week at BookExpo America, Schoech and NCIBA Executive Director Hut Landon met with publishers to begin talking about IBD 2016.

“BEA was an unmitigated success for us,” said Schoech. “Without exception, we were met with warmth and enthusiasm by the publishers and booksellers we talked to. Everyone really gets it now that we’ve done it on a national level and our discussions about next year’s exclusive items were productive and fun. This is just going to keep getting better.”

Plans are in the works to improve on the selection of new exclusive merchandise that will be created for the 2016 event, as well as to provide more display collateral and develop ways to emphasize merchandise.

“We are most likely going to have closer to 10 items in 2016 and stick closer to our original guiding principle that they need to be worth lining up for. We’re looking for real door busters in limited quantities. Scarcity and exclusivity are big driving forces,” said Schoech.

Publishers were also presented with new sponsorship opportunities during the BEA meetings, including the option to purchase one side of the IBD bookmarks to promote an upcoming title.

“We’ve produced bookmarks for our California stores for the last two years and they’ve really been a great promotional tool for stores. We want to be able to do that for our stores nationwide and this is how we can simultaneously fund that and give publishers a chance to use the momentum of IBD to promote the next great indie title,” said Schoech. “We already have at least one commitment from a major publisher.”

Publishers must submit their proposals for exclusive IBD books and items by September 1. Booksellers should plan to place their orders for IBD merchandise between January 15 and February 1, 2016; a minimum purchase of 15 items is required. To participate in Independent Bookstore Day, a bookstore must be a current dues-paying member of their regional independent bookseller association.

Independent Bookstore Day reported strong sales at responding stores following the first annual Independent Bookstore Day, held on May 2, 2015. Eighty percent of bookstores noted a sales increase over the first Saturday of 2014, and stores were up an average of 70 percent. Overall, 98 percent of stores indicated plans to participate again in 2016.