Publishing Trendsetter is a production of Market Partners International and Publishing Trends.

Special Merchandise: When is a Bookstore Not a Bookstore?

That’s the question that Dan Clowes very cheekily asks with the December 5, 2011 cover of The New Yorker. The tricks that booksellers have to use to stay open in this day and age are many: more events, more social media, and–the one this artwork hones in on–more special merchandise. In an article Publishing Trends published back in the fall in preparation for the regional booksellers fairs, we noted that the conferences were offering more workshops and training sessions of starting lines of special merchandise than ever before. But in a world where more and more customers think of books as a thing no one would ever need to buy in person (your Kindle uploads those things, silly!) What’s a bookseller to do? A question as yet unanswered.

THE NEW YORKER, Dec 5, 2011 - Daniel Clowes' "Bookstore"

But this might give you pause for thought as you choose where to buy your holiday gifts–and as you choose what those gifts will be. Mark Twain bobble-head, anyone?

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