The official journal of the australian booksellers association
VOLUME 13 • ISSUE 2 • MAY 2013 ISSN 1445-0437
To Sell is Human Daniel Pink will be delivering a video presentation as part of this year’s Conference The following article is an edited extract of the introduction to Daniel’s latest book on selling, ‘To Sell is Human’ (Text Publishing). About a year ago, in a moment of procrastination masquerading as an act of reflection, I decided to examine how I spend my time. I opened my laptop, clicked on the carefully synched, color-coded calendar, and attempted to reconstruct what I’d actually done over the previous two weeks. I cataloged the
Inside this issue 02 CEO’s report 03 President’s report 03 A global perspective 06 Conference program 08 Marketing : Shop Local 10
How to beat showrooming
London Book Fair report
Australia Post and the ABA
meetings attended, trips made, meals Can I get strangers to read an article, an eaten, and conference calls endured. I old friend to help me solve a problem, or tried to list everything I’d read and my nine-year-old son to take a shower watched as well as all the face-to- face after baseball practice? conversations I’d had with family, friends, `You’re probably not much different. Dig and colleagues. Then I inspected two beneath the sprouts of your own weeks of digital entrails—772 sent calendar entries and examine their roots, e-mails, four blog posts, eighty-six and I suspect you’ll discover something tweets, about a dozen text messages. similar. Some of you, no doubt, are When I stepped back to assess this selling in the literal sense—convincing welter of information—a pointillist existing customers and fresh prospects portrait of what I do and therefore, in to buy casualty insurance or consulting some sense, who I am—the picture that services or homemade pies at a farmers’ stared back was a surprise: I am a market. But all of you are likely spending salesman. more time than you realise selling in a broader sense—pitching colleagues, I don’t sell minivans in a car dealership persuading funders, cajoling kids. Like it or bound from office to office pressing or not, we’re all in sales now. And most cholesterol drugs on physicians. But people, upon hearing this, don’t like it leave aside sleep, exercise, and hygiene, much at all. and it turns out that I spend a significant portion of my days trying to Sales? Blecch. To the smart set, sales is an coax others to part with resources. Sure, endeavor that requires little intellectual sometimes I’m trying to tempt people to throw weight—a task for slick gladpurchase books I’ve written. But most of handers who skate through life on a what I do doesn’t directly make a cash shoeshine and a smile. To others it’s the register ring. In that two-week period, I province of dodgy characters doing worked to convince a magazine editor to slippery things—a realm where trickery abandon a silly story idea, a prospective and deceit get the speaking parts while business partner to join forces, an honesty and fairness watch mutely from organisation where I volunteer to shift the rafters. Still others view it as the strategies, even an airline gate agent to white-collar equivalent of cleaning switch me from a window seat to an toilets—necessary perhaps, but aisle. Indeed, the vast majority of time unpleasant and even a bit unclean. I’m seeking resources other than money. continued on page 11 News on Bookselling May 2013
CEO’s report Welcome back to another issue of the News on Bookselling. This month I’d like to talk a bit about the never-ending story called the Federal election, and hope that doesn’t have too many of you turning the page. What can we be doing when we are doorstopped by our local members? And how can we assert ourselves to ensure that our voices are heard in discussing the key issues facing the book industry and the broader issues facing small to medium businesses? We need to talk, if necessary, ad nauseam about the GST. Some of you who were around in 1993 will recall that a number of seats may have been influenced by a concerted anti-GST campaign during the Hewson-Keating election. Obviously later events (thank you Meg Lees) have changed the focus of the discussion in 2013. There is a snowball’s chance that the GST will be removed from books. Our concern is that books coming from online purchases overseas (and for that matter, any online purchases of under $1000) do not get charged a GST, and the government and opposition are not doing anything to change that. As overseas online shopping grows, this is creating a growing and enormously significant shortfall in GST revenue (possibly as much as 3 billion dollars). When State and Federal governments are dealing with black holes and deficits budgets, our politicians need to address this issue. France has just introduced legislation that requires VAT to be charged at French rates when purchases are made from other countries. Amazon situated their European headquarters in Luxembourg in order to only have to charge 3%. They now have to pay French (country of purchaser) VAT. The Americans, taking the lead from the American Booksellers Association, are 02
in the process of enacting Tax Fairness Legislation. We have the simplest and fairest of solutions for the Australian market. Whenever any purchase – whether it is five dollars or 500 is made, it is invariably made using a credit card. We argue that as opposed to establishing Low Value Thresholds that Customs has to police at considerable cost, that an automatic 10% is added to any purchase made from an overseas online provider by the credit card company. Visa and Mastercard have been resistant. Too difficult it seems. Call me naive, but somehow I think that if hundreds of thousands of retailers can be tax collection revenue collectors for the government (GST!!!), then a couple of multi-billion dollar banking institutions ought to be able to manage it. It is as simple as programming it into their online computer program. The government and opposition are possibly afraid that this would be perceived as a ‘new tax’, and we all know how scary that is. Well, the ABA takes the view that as an unintended consequence of changes in consumer buying behaviour; people have been – by omission – avoiding paying tax that they would have paid if they had purchased the items locally. This is called closing a loophole. On the plus side, it either reduces deficit by several billion dollars a year, or allows for government expenditure on schools, hospitals and roads to continue to happen, and to service local needs. The ABA will be providing templates of letters supporting GST being charged on overseas online purchases to send to your elected representatives. We would encourage you – if you agree – to use these templates or to put it into your own words, and perhaps even make a phone call or set up a meeting with your local member of parliament.
Conference Speaking on behalf of the staff and Committee, we are chomping at the bit to see many of you at our Conference in June. It is really gratifying to see how many have booked early in what are not the easiest of times, and we hope to provide you good value (and good times), and look forward to sharing a glass of Adelaide Hills finest, or a Coopers, at our Conference in Adelaide.
A bit of brutal honesty Over the last twelve months, selling Australian fiction has been a struggle. In spite of some outstanding books being out there, the quality fiction that deserves to be read hasn’t achieved the sales it deserves. As we are in the middle of awards season, with the Stellas having been announced, the Miles Franklin on the way; the Prime Minister’s Prize still to be announced; the various State and Territory literary awards on the horizon, this is a great opportunity to give some really outstanding fiction a second (and maybe larger) bite of the sales pie. Elsewhere in this issue, Steve talks about some marketing material we have put together for the next few months, and Tamara will discuss ways that bookshops can maximise the benefits of their membership with the ABA. And finally the enthusiastic staff of Collins Booksellers in Edwardstown talk about the successful initiatives they have delivered at their Adelaide area shop. See... you at conference...
News on Bookselling May 2013
President’s report It is with mixed emotions that I write my final President’s report for the Australian Booksellers Association. After three years in the role I will be stepping down at the AGM in June. Being given the opportunity to represent booksellers during a time of huge change has been a challenge I have relished and a responsibility I have never taken lightly. It has also given me a greater understanding how the industry works, between other booksellers, between publishers and between authors. This at times has been constructive and other times incredibly frustrating. I am a passionate bookseller and am passionate about the future of bookshops, and to have the chance to defend, promote and argue the case for bookshops to government, media, publishers, authors and readers has never been a struggle. I have stepped on toes, upset some people but have never stopped championing the interests of bookshops and booksellers. But doing so at the same time as running a business and balancing time with my young family has been hard to say the least. Especially a business that is contracting thanks to the retail downturn. When I began my role three years ago RedGroup had just launched their partnership with Kobo. Dymocks had their affiliation with ebooks.com. Apple had just launched iBooks and Amazon and the Kindle were already synonymous with eBooks and eReaders. There didn’t seem to be a pathway for bookshops. There was a touted eBook solution from TitlePage, that is finally about to see the light of day, but other avenues were cost prohibitive. Then came Booki.sh and ReadCloud with Copia possibly around the corner. A Google option was explored but the best interests of booksellers was not being looked after and eventually
Google stepped away from retail partnerships. Sadly the same thing appears to have happened with Booki.sh after being gobbled up by OverDrive. I am a firm believer that the digital revolution taking place with books is not a threat to bookshops but a huge opportunity, an opportunity that bookshops need to grasp with both hands. But while there are a number of different options for bookshop to pursue if they want to sell eBooks none of them are ideal. Digital Rights Management (DRM) requirements from publishers mean either a huge investment or partnering with a third party vendor. Reduced prices and razor thin margins mean any investment isn’t likely to be returned quickly and the revenue split with a vendor means considerably less profit per book sale. And Amazon is leading the market, not just with predatory pricing strategies but also with an eReading device that has become the default terminology with eBooks. Despite all this my opinion that there is a place for bricks & mortar bookshops selling eBooks remains firm. The eBook is just another book format, a format that is expected to account for 25% of all book sales. If a bookshop wants to remain relevant to readers, remain the first destination their customers go to for a book, then a bookshop must offer print and digital books. Part of this offering must be a credible eReading device. When Pages & Pages first started selling eBooks our device didn’t have enough credibility and it soon lost all of it. We have a started to claw market back with the BeBook we are now selling but the Kindle and Kobo eReaders have a much deeper interface with their eBook store which consequently makes them far more user friendly. The iPad is great because it is open to a number of apps but there is less customer loyalty because it is
open to a number of apps. For bookshops to be successful selling eBooks they need a successful eReader. This also means booksellers can get on with the job of selling physical product instead of competing in the search engine arena. Stepping down as President doesn’t mean walking away from the ABA. I will still be part of the management committee as Immediate Past President and still be looking at digital issues affecting booksellers. There is also the Book Industry Collaborative Council which will hand down its report at the end of June. I would like to thank all the members for their support over the last three years. In particular I’d like to thank Fiona Stager who will step down from the ABA management committee after 12 years of dedicated service to the ABA. Fiona has been a huge inspiration and if I’ve done half as good a job as she has done I will be very happy. I’d also like to thank Patricia Genat, Duncan Johnson, Peter Strong, David Gaunt and Mark Rubbo for their personal support. I’d like to thank former ABA CEO Malcolm Neil for his, more often than not, sage advice. And I’d also like to acknowledge the hard work of current CEO Joel Becker. It has been a pleasure to work with Joel and we’re not done yet! Lastly I’d like to thank my parents Chris and Phil and the staff at Pages & Pages who have taken up the slack when I’ve been away or on calls or in meetings. I couldn’t have done the role without their help. And the biggest thank you goes to my very understanding wife.
News on Bookselling May 2013
A global perspective In January 2011, the American BA hosted the first English Language Booksellers conference in Washington as an adjunct to the Winter Institute. Last year, that meeting was held as part of the IBF during the Frankfurt Bookfair. This year the ABA is delighted to be hosting representatives from these key bookselling associations (Canada is unable to attend). After speaking at Conference, Oren, Lincoln and Tim will be involved in a day-long sharing of ideas and information, comparing challenges facing our industry, and successful strategies. In advance of their visit we asked these CEOs a little about their respective associations and local bookselling environment.
Can you tell us a bit about your organisation and membership? Oren Teicher (American Booksellers Association): The American Booksellers Association currently represents about 1625 member bookstore companies who do business in approximately 2200 locations. Our members are located throughout the United States. Those bookshops are all independent, or independently owned. Tim Godfray (Booksellers Association of UK and Ireland): Our membership includes outlets that sell new books (and often other products). Our members come from many different types of businesses, including specialist bookselling chains (e.g. W H Smith, Waterstones, Blackwells), both general and academic; independents; school & library suppliers; Internet booksellers (but not Amazon); wholesalers; specialist booksellers; and supermarkets (e.g. Tesco, Asda). Lincoln Gould (Booksellers NZ): There are just over 400 bookstores within the membership of Booksellers NZ (BSNZ) comprising 100
independents with the remainder across three chains.
What do you identify as the key challenge(s) facing bookshops in your part of the world, and your strategies in dealing with them? Oren Teicher: Indie bookstores in the US are enjoying a bit of a renaissance; we had a very good year in 2012 and ABA membership has shown modest growth for three years in a row. Our ABA focuses on delivering quality educational programs to our members while working with all our suppliers to redefine the way we do business together to fit the 21st century. Everything in the book business is changing; and, our challenge is to help our members keep current by providing the best tools we can so stores can adapt. We strongly support the burgeoning “localism” movement in America as it is dramatically affecting the ways consumers shop. And, at the same time, we do whatever we can to help stores employ technology – so they can reach their customers more effectively and efficiently. Having said that, we also work hard at helping stores remain the best place where consumers can find and discover books, as we remain unalterably convinced that bricks and mortar bookstores are not going away. Lincoln Gould: The continuing tough economic environment in New Zealand is combined with the considerable impact of online buying by New Zealanders from offshore retailers (Amazon, Book Depository etc) along with e-book sales represent major challenges for booksellers here with sales down 16% for the first two months. The 15% sales tax advantage that offshore retailers get at the moment is a big challenge for BSNZ and we feel we have got the Government now working on solving the problem. With a number
of these issues, there is a part that publishers could play in easing the conditions for booksellers. While there is some price elasticity being seen relative to the high New Zealand dollar, it is difficult to believe that publishers here are really listening. However we are developing plans to work harder on the publishers very much along the lines of how the American BA and UK BA have engaged with publishers; keeping of course within the bound of anti-competition laws in this country. A significant bright spot was the March Book Month promotion, which saw 253,000 $5 vouchers redeemed (6% of the four million issued) compared with 151,000 in 2012 (4%). Tim Godfray: We have had to respond to technologies that enable consumers to buy books in new ways: using bookshops as showrooms; ordering online; e-books cannibalising print book sales. We are devising marketing campaigns that stress the importance of booksellers to the community, including an ongoing Indiebound campaign and developing the ‘Books are My Bag’ campaign to promote the printed book and bookshops. We also assist members to develop business strategies which are difficult for internet booksellers to emulate. We also provide our member booksellers with more opportunities to source e-book readers and tablets. Our subsidiary company, National Book Tokens, has built an ebook platform enabling booksellers to sell ebooks easily from within their shop. The BA believes that publishing is using outdated financial models when dealing with individual booksellers, and are making representations to publishers individually urging that new financial models that have the potential to benefit both publisher and bookseller should be devised, tested, and – if successful – introduced to the marketplace.
News on Bookselling May 2013
JOINT ABA & LEB TRADE EXHIBITION WILL BE HELD ON SUNDAY 16TH JUNE
News on Bookselling November
Conference program SuNday, 16 June 8.30am – 9.45am
ReGISTRaTION & MORNING Tea
10.00am – 10.10am CeO’S aNNOuNCeMeNTS & PReSIdeNT’S welCOMe 10.10am – 11.10am
11.10am – 11.55am GlOBal SaleS TReNdS BROuGHT HOMe
• Joel Becker • Jon PaGe
ABA - CEO Pages & Pages Booksellers
• Jane caro Author, lecturer, social commentator, columnist, broadcaster and advertising writer.
• JonatHan noWell • SHaun SymonDS
Nielsen Book Global Nielsen Book
- a nielSen bookdata PreSentation
12.00Pm – 3.00Pm
TRade eXHIBITION & luNCH
3.00Pm – 3.45Pm
BOOkSellING - a global PerSPeCtive
3.45Pm – 4.45Pm INduSTRy FORuM
4.45Pm – 5.00Pm
aBa aNNual GeNeRal MeeTING
6.30Pm – 10.30Pm aBa Gala dINNeR - Celebrating bookSelling
NeTwORkING dRINkS & eNTRee
dINNeR aNd awaRdS
Booksellers Association CEO’s: • Joel Becker Australia • lincoln GoulD New Zealand • tim GoDFray UK & Ireland • oren teicHer United States
• Patricia Genat ALS Library Services • lou JoHnSon Simon & Schuster • louiSe aDler Melbourne University Publishing • Jon PaGe Pages & Pages Booksellers • matt ricHell Hachette • more SPeakerS to Be announceD Soon...
• Jon PaGe
Pages & Pages Booksellers
• SPecial GueStS to Be announceD
News on Bookselling May 2013
MONday, 17 June 9.30am – 10.15am
TO Sell IS HuMaN
10.15am – 11.00am
TITlePaGe+ - the ComPlete SUPPly Chain SolUtion for Print and ebook
11.00am – 11.30am
11.30am – 12.00Pm
• Daniel H. Pink Pre recorded video
• Gary PenGelly
• Patricia Genat • Joel Becker • tamara SelDon truSS • Steve JoneS • roByn HuPPert
ALS Library Services ABA - CEO ABA - Member Services ABA - Marketing ABA - Communications
12.00Pm – 1.00Pm
aBa MeMBeR SeRvICeS & FORuM
1.00Pm – 1.45Pm
1.45Pm – 2.30Pm
CHIldReN’S BOOkS - Sell more of What SellS
2.30Pm – 3.15Pm
CaTeRING FOR yOuR COMMuNITy - marketing to yoUr CommUnity - rebranding and neW SaleS angle - identifying and Selling to yoUr market
3.15Pm – 3.30Pm
3.30Pm – 4.20Pm
Take-away - Sharing beSt ideaS and PraCtiCeS
4.20Pm – 4.30Pm
ClOSING PReSeNTaTION & PRIze dRaw
• leeSa lamBert Little Bookroom • amelia luSH Better Read Than Dead • DeB Force The Sun Bookshop • nataSHa BoyD Book Bonding • anD a PreSentation By Walker BookS...
• Jane Seaton • Peter knock • cHriS reDFern
Beaufort Street Books The Co-Op Avenue Bookstore
• leeSa lamBert • matt HarriS • manDy macky • Fiona StaGer • Jon PaGe
Little Bookroom Telegram Paper Goods Dymocks Adelaide Avid Reader Pages & Pages
• Joel Becker ABA - CEO • tHe incominG aBa PreSiDent
News on Bookselling May 2013
Marketing IndieBound now a Member Service We are excited to announce that IndieBound is now one of your ABA Member Services! This will mean all ABA members will be able to download and use the existing and the exciting new posters, bookmarks and other point of sale material especially designed for Indiebound campaigns. IndieBound is an international movement bringing together booksellers, readers, indie retailers, local business alliances, and anyone else with a passionate belief that healthy local economies help communities thrive. Supporting local, independent businesses means that dollars, jobs, diversity and choices stay local, creating strong, unique communities.
Monthly marketing calendar The ABA is rebranding IndieBound to be an easier and clearer message for your customers. All posters and promotional material will now feature the new ‘Shop Local’ logo. To support this new look and to help you with your instore marketing, we
THE GREAT AMERICAN NOVEL
have created a monthly marketing calendar with a theme for each month. Artwork for posters and other point of sale items has been specially designed for each of these promotions and will be available for download from the ABA website.
This promotional material has been created to help you market your bookshop in your local community. Not all these promotions may be suitable for your individual shops but, over time there will be a catalogue of old and new material that can be used.
This point of sale is not tied to any publisher material so you may choose any titles and or activities you like to match the theme. There will also be marketing tips and ideas for each promotion. These are only suggestions and you may choose to use these themes and marketing ideas at any time of the year that best suits your bookshop. You may have already started to use some of these concepts with the Shop Local Mother’s Day or The Great American Novel campaigns.
We have also started a new customer facing Facebook page called ‘Bookshops Australia’. In the future your events and activities can be posted through this page – gaining more exposure for your business. The ABA will still be running the ABA Facebook page and it will continue to post stories about the industry for booksellers.
The Great American Novel
Survive the Zombie Invasion
Read Local, Shop Local
This FaTher’s Day, make your DaD look smarT.
‘buy books, noT socks & jocks’ campaign 2013
SHOP LOCAL 08
If you would like to have your event or activity promoted through Facebook please send all the details through to email@example.com – please include an image or link to the event om either your bookshop website or Facebook page.
DON’T PANIC !
SHOP LOCAL News on Bookselling May 2013
Free Marketing and Publicity For Your Bookshop Have you updated your Google Business directory, and previewed your Yelp listing? Even if you don’t have a website you should make sure your bookshop is listed with Google. This is a free feature and will help direct customers to your business. Think of it as the online Yellow Pages. Simple sign in, or create a Google account. Then go to the maps section. Look on the bottom left hand side – there should be an edit business link. Then follow the instructions. www.google.com.au Yelp is an online tool where customers can review your business. Have you checked out your own listing? You can see what people are saying about you
either in a negative or positive way. For example there maybe a review that says
Finally, if you receive some negative or positive feedback through social media answer it immediately. In your response, make sure you are genuinely helping the customer and not preaching to them. If you deal with it poorly, and publicly, the complaint may go viral and could hurt your business for some time.
“ I usually love this shop but last time I went in it was really dirty - do they have a cleaner?” “This is my favourite bookshop in the whole world - they even have a huge children’s book section which I love.” How can you use this information to make your business better?
ABA Marketing Officer
You might want to also check your listings on foursquare.com, tripadvisor. com or even search blogs for mentions of your business. It is a great way of learning what your customers want and potentially stopping any harmful publicity.
SAVE THE DATE AUGUST 2013
News on Bookselling May 2013
Digital report How to beat showrooming
Who hasn’t been irritated by a shopper furtively checking prices on her smartphone as she browses the store? Mobile technology has shifted showrooming – the practice of using your local bricks and mortar retailer as a showroom for cheaper online suppliers – to a new level. Pricing is now transparent and there’s almost no way to keep wired, bargain-hunting shoppers in the dark about their options. Most attempts by retailers to deal with showrooming fall into two camps: embrace it, or fight it. For retailers in the fighting camp, their showroom-friendly colleagues can look positively suicidal. UK bookseller Waterstones’ move to embrace Amazon and its Kindle struck most of the industry that way. On the other hand, retailers who are inclined to live with the problem look askance at stores that take a hostile, unwelcoming approach to their customers, no matter how irritating their behaviour is. HarperCollins global chief Victoria Barnsley got a hostile reaction herself, when she suggested earlier this year that booksellers should consider charging for browsing. It wasn’t lost on booksellers that Barnsley and her colleagues could largely solve the problem by giving Amazon’s generous discount to booksellers. To their credit, some publishers are experimenting with giving extra value to customers who buy through their local stores. Most efforts to date, such as bonus chapters in new Alexander McCall Smith and Joanne Harris titles, have been centred on deals with chains, which still leaves indies out in the cold. And it’s still unclear that these “bonuses” are good enough for customers to turn down an online bargain.
Fight fire with fire
So if technology is driving showrooming 010
to new levels, can retailers enlist technology to beat the practice? Here are four ways that some retailers are trying.
1. Take the fight online
Belatedly, many retailers are seeing their own websites to fight back. Some of the ways they’re doing is by upgrading their online presence, adding more products, and offering lower online pricing and freight-free in-store pickup.
2. Mobile point of sale
Information at your fingertips is power, so some retailers are equipping their sales staff with smartphones and tablets, letting them roam the showroom with full access to the internet, their inventory and ordering systems, and even the ability to complete the purchase on the spot. Great customer service, or a slightly creepy hard sell? But the move to mobile POS can have other advantages. US fashion chain Urban Outfitters has calculated it will be able to buy five iPads and iPod Touches for the cost of a single cash register, and do a lot more with them. Most off-the-shelf POS systems don’t yet offer full mobile support, but app stores already contain dozens of mostly-standalone mobile POS apps.
3. Special offers tied to social media ‘check-ins’ Another tactic is to use social media ‘check-ins’ to incentivise visits to the store with offers such as special discount coupons.
Users of apps like Foursquare and Facebook Places ‘check in’ to tell their friends where they are, or to take advantage of discount offers presented to them. Given the likelihood that people checking in won’t be shy to check Amazon while they’re in your store, this type of incentive is probably well-targeted. However, successes are patchy and these networks are still in their infancy. Neither is widely available to retailers here yet, and Facebook’s commitment to Places is doubtful. Another option, which is available if you have a Facebook business page for your
store, is Facebook Offers. This lets you post a discount coupon to fans online which you can set to be only redeemable in-store via a scannable barcode sent to the user’s smartphone. Like check-in offers, it can help to get the online-savvy customers into your store, and restrict special offers to them.
4. Geo-fencing and radius targeting
This is similar to check-ins in that it targets smartphone-equipped shoppers with offers once they’re near your store. But it works by targeting advertising at shoppers – often through alerts or text messages – once they get within the designated radius of the store. A simpler variation is provided by Google which offers ‘radius targeting’ of its AdWords online ads. When a shopper uses his smartphone within a designated radius of your store – or a competitor’s – your ads will appear on Google and other sites. Out of the frying pan, into the fire? As you can see, there’s no silver bullet yet. Most of these technologies are in their infancy and yet to prove their effectiveness. And arguably, they might make matters worse by attracting the very shoppers who are likely to showroom. If you’re worried about this, you can take heart from a study of U.S. shoppers conducted during Christmas 2012. Pew Research found that 27% of shoppers used their phones to look up pricing while in-store. But when Pew quizzed these “mobile price matchers” further, they found that just 12% went on to purchase online, while 46% of them ultimately purchased the product in that store. So annoying as they might be, it seems the cost of keeping showroomers away could be higher than the loss of business from inviting them in.
blog: activitypress.com/ereport twitter: @nztaylor News on Bookselling May 2013
To Sell is Human Continued from page 1 I’m convinced we’ve gotten it wrong. Selling in all its dimensions—whether pushing Buicks on a car lot or pitching ideas in a meeting—has changed more in the last ten years than it did over the previous hundred. Most of what we think we understand about selling is constructed atop a foundation of assumptions that has crumpled. The obituaries declaring the death of the salesman in today’s digital world are woefully mistaken. In Australia, some 1 in 10 workers still earns a living trying to get others to make a purchase. They may have traded sample cases for smart phones and are offering experiences instead of encyclopedias, but they still work in traditional sales.
More startling, though, is what’s happened to the other 9 in 10. They’re in sales, too. They’re not stalking customers in a furniture showroom, but they—make that we—are engaged in what I call “non-sales selling.” We’re persuading, convincing, and influencing others to give up something they’ve got in exchange for what we’ve got. In fact, we’re devoting upward of 40 percent of our time on the job to moving others. And we consider it critical to our professional success.
The keys to understanding this workplace transformation are Entrepreneurship, Elasticity, and Ed-Med. First, Entrepeunership. The very technologies that were supposed to obliterate salespeople have lowered the barriers to entry for small entrepreneurs and turned more of us into sellers. Second, Elasticity. Whether we work for ourselves or a large organisation, instead of doing only one thing, most of us are finding that our skills on the job must now stretch
across boundaries. And as they stretch they most always encompass some traditional sales and a lot of non-sales selling. Finally, Ed-Med. The fastestgrowing industries around the world are educational services and health care—a sector I call “Ed-Med.” Jobs in these areas are all about moving people. Traditionally, selling hasn’t exactly had a stellar reputation. The notion of sales was that it largely relied on deception and hoodwinkery. However, in this changed world, the balance of power has shifted. We’ve moved from a world of buyer beware to one of seller beware—where honesty, fairness, and transparency are often the only viable path. While the old adage of the sales trade was ABC—“Always Be Closing”, there are now three qualities that are most valuable in moving others, the new ABCs—Attunement, Buoyancy, and Clarity. Attunement is about bringing oneself into harmony with individuals, groups, and contexts. Among of other things, this explains why extraverts rarely make the best salespeople. Buoyancy is a quality that combines grittiness of spirit and sunniness of outlook, a skill that helps the salesperson deal with rejection. It also highlights how actually believing in what you’re selling has become essential on sales’ new terrain. And clarity is the capacity to make sense of murky situations. It’s long been held that top salespeople— whether in traditional sales or non-sales selling—are deft at problem solving but what matters more today is problem finding. One of the most effective ways of moving others is to uncover challenges they may not have known they have. This can be achieved through being shrewd in they way you frame your curatorial choices.
Selling, I’ve grown to understand, is more urgent, more important, and, in its own sweet way, more beautiful than we realise. The ability to move others to exchange what they have for what we have is crucial to our survival and our happiness. It has helped our species evolve, lifted our living standards, and enhanced our daily lives. The capacity to sell isn’t some unnatural adaptation to the merciless world of commerce. It is part of who we are. Selling is fundamentally human. Daniel H. Pink is the author of four
provocative books about the changing world of work— including the long-running New York Times best sellers A Whole New Mind and Drive. His books have been translated into 32 languages. In 2011, Harvard Business Review named him one of the top 50 business thinkers in the world. A graduate of Northwestern University and Yale Law School, Pink lives in Washington DC with his wife and their three children.
News on Bookselling May 2013
London Book Fair One of the best things about London in April are the swathes of daffodils blanketing the many green spaces around the city. The other good thing for those in the book industry is the annual London Book Fair. London is a unique fair, it’s held in Spring so anyone in the northern hemisphere is feeling warmer and friskier. It’s held in the middle of the city, recently at Earls Court, and it has a wellplanned and free system of seminars and short speaker sessions to ensure that anyone with something interesting to say can have an audience. Over the last three years the Digital Zone has doubled in size and now provides a great section of the fair, was it my imagination that the coffee is better, the aisles wider and the sales people friendlier in the Digital Zone? And then there’s the free recharge stations for every possible phone or tablet, good wifi spots (still not quite as good as they could be but getting better) and the ability to play with all the latest gadgets – the best of which was the new Kobo Aura.
Jennifer 8.Lee a digital blogger, was the best speaker. •
The Digital Zone held hourly sessions with authors, vendors and digital experts – some were excellent, some were just a sales spiels, but every session was packed. The Great Debate – Amazon: Friend or Foe. The great debate was a little lame this year to be honest. Interesting to hear the range of views, but hardly controversial.
Supply Chain Seminar (this one cost AUD$120). Excellent half day of presentations and questions.
º Andrew Breedt – Nielsen BookScan, provided good data about the shifts and trends in book sales, both print and digital
Seminar: Great Expectations of eBooks – various speakers discussing the accessibility issues of eBooks for those with print or physical disabilities. The variations are endless, the technology fascinating and the access gets better every year. Dinner with booksellers from the around the globe as part of the IBF. Thanks for their hospitality and unedited views and arguments about every bookish trend.
The Children’s Combined Book Presentations – wonderful books are coming. You can find all the presentations here - http://www. publishers.org.uk/index. php?option=com_ content&view=article&id=2472:lbfchildrens-bookspresentations&catid=80:generalnews&Itemid=1617
º Michael Healy – current CEO of the Copyright Centre, spoke well about the change in publishing rights and responsibilities for data management
Some highlights from my three days: •
Seminar: Marketing to the Ageing Consumer – the audience was bludgeoned by statistics and useful information about why we should all be selling madly to this once in a lifetime opportunity of cashed up over 55’s. Check out www. the50plusmarket.com for author Dick Stroud’s sample chapter.
º Howard Willows – also Nielsen, provided a project update about THEMA, a new global classification system to replace the BIC/BISAC duo - THEMA is a flexible standard that allows each market to retain its unique cultural voice while still presenting a unified hierachy that rationalises a book categorisation. The goal of THEMA is to reduce confusion about subject codes for both upstream and downstream trading partners, in order to facilitate the sale of more books. Expect a press release soon with implementation in 2014.
EU – starting January 2015, all EU online retailers will have to charge the tax appropriate to the buyers country of origin. This is a BIG DEAL and will involve lots of paper work and software changes. º Bill Rosenblatt – via Skype with a fascination insight into digital rights and copyright. And then there were the parties. Thank you to Lion Hudson (new Fiction range ), Ingram (always the best food), and Egmont for good wine and good conversation at the end of every busy day. Are you thinking of going next year? The dates are Tuesday 8th to Thursday 10th April. Some tips for new players: –Register & pay on line and Always Print Two Copies Of Your Badge – this saves lots of queues –If you’ve not been to London for a while – register for an Oyster Card and put GBP10 on it to start – this makes your first tube trips fast and easy and you can top it up easily. It takes about 3 weeks to register and receive this so plan early. –Register on and keep checking the official web site – it’s useful and easy to use. –The obvious – comfy shoes, layered clothing, heaps of business cards, an open and enquiring mind. Even the snootiest of publishers assistants will be pleased to answer a sensible question about their range or whom to speak with if you’re a genuine book person. Might see you there.
Managing Director, ALS Library
º Ernst & Young sent two earnest accountants to explain the new lelegislated changes to the VAT in News on Bookselling May 2013
ILF report During the past three months we’ve journeyed out to remote communities and schools in NW NSW, Warburton in the desert region of WA and out to Fitzroy Crossing and Yakanarra introducing Tina Raye, our new program manager. Here is her account of the latest trip. It took a long flight to Broome, a four-hour drive to Fitzroy Crossing and then a short flight to get to Yakanarra, a remote Indigenous community with a population of about 150 people. Yakanarra Community School is a beautiful little school which is attended by about a third of the community. It has a dynamic Principal, Helen Unwin, and the most experienced and knowledgeable local teaching staff (three of whom are new). The school has been part of the Book Buzz program since 2011, and has provided children aged 5 years and under with packs of quality board books to take home.
Helen shared stories of how much the books have impacted on the community. She spoke of the level of engagement of parents reading with children, the enjoyment children have with reading, and the excitement children have when receiving their new books. The community has brought books into their traditional culture, not only accepting and reading books at home but also identifying the need to look after them.
One story Helen shared with us was about how much parents and children enjoy and appreciate their books. In these remote houses where there is minimal furniture and families felt like they were not equipped to keep books at home. The nearest furniture stores were several days’ drive away, so it was hard to get bookshelves - something we take for granted living in cities! A request came from the families for a small shelf that they could put the books in to keep them safe, so Helen, with a bit of creative thinking, sent flat-pack bookshelves out to the communities. Now about ten families have a bookshelf in their home to display and house their books. As we spent time at Yakanarra School we discovered that, like other remote Indigenous schools, the school has wonderfully knowledgeable and dedicated local teachers. Mary Vanbee and Jessie Moore are two elders who have been working at the Yakanarra School for so long that they couldn’t remember exactly when they started. Their time at the school has seen many changes; in programs, teachers, principals and students. They have seen their own children move through the education system and, now, their many grandchildren most of who make up the majority of the school enrolment. Mary and Jessie are two of the most well respected traditional owners of the region who can read and write in English and their local language, Walmajarri. We learned that these elders are not only are mothers, grandmothers and teachers, they are also authors. Over their time in their roles, Mary and Jessie used their love of telling stories to create a small library of local stories and songs written in both English and Walmajarri. They shared these stories with us and we had the opportunity to listen to Jessie sing some songs in language with her students. A project is now underway to preserve these irreplaceable stories for generations to come.
This was another successful amazing program visit, which allowed us to see how our Foundation is bringing literacy to remote and isolated communities across the country. In the next two weeks we’ll travel out to the Katherine Region to visit another Buzz location, Manyallaluk. Whilst in Darwin we plan to meet with libraries, department of education and many school teachers to talk about our fantastic book program. So far this year we have sent out nearly 6,000 books.
Thank you for your support. You make it all possible.
ILF Program Manger
News on Bookselling May 2013
ABA Member Services Australia Post, the ABA and you You will surely not have missed the publicity regarding recent changes within Australia Post. From rate increases to cubing to free tracking, here are a few FAQs to help minimise the impact of those changes and to help you to make the most of your Australia Post contract! What incentive is there for me to use the ABA/Australia Post contract now rates for Domestic Parcel Post have increased? There has been a great deal of concern about the increases in Australia Post pricing this year. The ABA has negotiated a contract which fixes rates for parcels over the next 12 months, and whilst these rates have gone up by approximately 10%, standard (non-contract) rates have increased significantly more than this. Rates for ABA members continue to reflect a discount, generally of 25 - 30%, off the standard Domestic Parcel Post rates, with the discount rarely being less than 20%.
Why am I now being charged for dimension and not weight? You may have noticed a change in how your parcels are charged. For all parcels, Australia Post charges according to a parcel’s actual weight or cubic weight equivalent, whichever one is more. This is now an industry standard and not exclusive to Australia Post. Cubing can push the price of postage up in some instances, although it should not pose too much of a problem when shipping books being that they are a dense product and generally the actual weight is higher or similar to the cubic weight. With careful packing in appropriate packaging you should not notice any difference in your postage charges for books. To calculate a parcel’s cubic weight simply measure the height x length x width in metres and multiply that total by the cubic weight conversion factor of 250.
Why are non-contract customers receiving a free tracking service while contract customers don’t? Australia Post is investing heavily in their parcel network to respond to changing customer needs and to ensure that their systems, processes and infrastructure can support the rapid growth in parcel volumes driven by the increasing popularity of online shopping. Changes to Australia Post’s domestic parcel product range include a free tracking service to all domestic parcels and are being rolled out in a two-stage process with the full-rate (non-contract) customers being the first to benefit.
If you send more than 500 parcels a year eParcel is a wonderful alternative to standard parcel post and is available to ABA members at discounted rates. eParcel is an online shipping tool that will offer you more visibility and control over your product distribution. It is easy to access online, and with Australia Post’s tracking tool you can easily keep watch of your consignments. Australia Post also offers a full suite of delivery choices so your customers can select the delivery option that best suits them. For more information about eParcel, or Receipted Delivery you can contact either Lara or Tamara here at the ABA.
How does the minimum pickup fee work? If your parcel postage comes to more than $41.00 per lodgement, Australia Post will pick up from your business free of charge if you are within their serviceable boundary. For all pickups under $41.00 Australia Post will charge you the difference between your parcel postage and the pickup fee. For example, if your postage comes to $31.00 you will be charged a $10.00 pickup fee.
Have International rates gone up? International rates remain fixed until the ABA/Australia Post International Parcel Post contract is renewed on the 1st June 2013. Copies of all ABA/Australia Post rates are available for download in the Members Only section of the ABA website www.aba.org.au.
Who do I contact if I have an issue with my Australia Post account? Most issues can be resolved over the counter at your Australia Post lodgement point at the time of lodging your mail. Always check that your receipt indicates that you have been charged at the contract rate and not the full rate before you leave your lodgement point as it is by far the quickest and easiest way to resolve any issue regarding an incorrect charge. If your issue cannot be resolved over the counter you can contact either Lara or Tamara here at the ABA and we will work with our account manager at Australia Post to get the issue resolved as quickly as possible for you. Lara - firstname.lastname@example.org Tamara - email@example.com
Tamara Seldon Truss Member Services
These changes will be available to contract customers within 12 months however in the meantime you are still able to track your parcels with the Receipted Delivery service for $1.60. 014
News on Bookselling May 2013
Nominatations are now open for the ABA 2013 Bookselling Awards
ABA Elizabeth Riley Fellowship for Children’s Bookselling This award honours a much loved bookseller, publisher and ABA staff member who passed away in 2011. It recognises Elizabeth’s great passion for children’s books, most notably the craft of engaging with and selling children’s books, and is a tangible way of remembering her.
ABA Text Publishing 2013 Bookseller of the Year The ABA Text Publishing Bookseller of the Year award recognises an individual bookseller for their outstanding achievement in the past twelve months. Nominees must have worked as a bookseller for at least five years. The award will recognise a bookseller not only for their exceptional performance within the bookshop that they work but also for their achievements within the book industry as well as the local and wider community.
New ABA Members We welcome the following new members Bookshop Members BooksnBits, Annangrove NSW Constant Reader, Crows Nest NSW Perimeter Books, Thornbury VIC Tangled Garden Bookshop, Echuca VIC Whileaway Bookshop, Port Douglas QLD
Associate Supplier Members Baker & Taylor International, Frenchs Forest NSW Black Inc, Collingwood VIC Woodslane Pty Ltd, Mona Vale NSW
ABA Random House 2013 Young Bookseller of the Year The ABA Random House Australia Young Bookseller of the Year award recognises and rewards the excellence of a bookseller 35 or under, and promotes bookselling as a career choice for young people. Nominees must have worked as booksellers for at least two years.
To nominate a bookseller (or yourself!) for any of these awards, please download a nomination form from - www.abaconference.org.au or contact Tamara on 03 9859 7322 0r firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Key dates for 2013 ABIAs: 24 May ABA Conference & Trade Exhibition: 16 - 17 June National Bookshop Day: 10 August Children’s Book Week: 17- 23 August Indigenous Literacy Day: 4 September
ABA Bags As a part of the rebranding of IndieBound and the new marketing iniatives from the ABA, we are pleased to announce the new look ABA Bags. All bags will now feature the the ‘Eat, Sleep, Read, Local’ slogan. And don’t forget, you can have your bookshop logo and details printed on the bags as well. The brown paper bags are available in a number of sizes both with and without carry handles. We also have a ‘non woven’ bag (think green supermarket bag) and a 100% ‘enviro’ calico bag. The order form can be downloaded from the ABA website http://www.aba.org.au/benefit-schemes For further information please email Tamara at email@example.com News on Bookselling May 2013
Bookshop profile Collins Booksellers, Edwardstown SA We feel like a phoenix rising from the ashes.
We endeavour to fill our store with not only new release titles and backlist but also stock our shelves with local self After the collapse of REDgroup and the published authors from the area. We closures of Angus & Roberston we picked believe that we have to support our local up the pieces and soldiered on. Three people who come into our store. Not years later we are now Collins only do we stock books, but we have a Booksellers Edwardstown. great range of other stock that further enhance our store such as bookmarks, We are situated in Castle Plaza Shopping travel diaries, magnets, childrenâ€™s activity Centre in the suburb of Edwardstown, kits and much more. Adelaide. We are a family owned business and have five staff members who are all avid book lovers. The owners Josephine and Sonia, are hardworking people who inspire their staff. Tarran is the social media butterfly who loves reading fantasy. Tamara is the go-to girl for paranormal and art. Sonia loves her rock biographies and crime novels. Eliza is into the classics and literature novels and Josephine loves the general fiction. We hold author events every month with Between us all we have most of the names such as Dr. Karl, Kate Forsyth, areas covered and we are one of those Claudia Gray, Duncan Lay, Fiona stores where staff actually read. McIntosh, Isobelle Carmody and many more. Having all these fantastic authors come in is such fun as our customers love having a chance to meet and greet their favourite authors. We have great success with our author events. Some are held at the store, others (depending on capacity) are held at the Marion Cultural Centre. These events are important to us as we know that we are bringing something to our customers that they love.
Australian Booksellers Association Incorporated in Victoria, ABN 56 365 379 358, Unit 9, 828 High Street Kew East Victoria 3102 Telephone 03 9859 7322 Email firstname.lastname@example.org www.aba.org.au
Recently we entered the Scholastic Possum Magic 30th Anniversary competition and won. We had Mem Fox come to the centre and we had a bush tea party with real life possums and kangaroos. Mem read from Possum Magic and Where is the Green Sheep then signed copies of her books for the kids. It was such a great day! Our store has just branched out recently and has started an online store (http:// collins-booksellers-edwardstown. myshopify.com/) to go with our popular blog, twitter and facebook accounts. Also, we have just started a program with some of our schools to involve the kids in reading. It is a very exciting time for us as we evolve into something better than before We love being booksellers as we get a chance to know our customers through their book choices and we have met some very interesting people. Not only do we get to read fantastic books all the time but we get to talk about them as well! We are bringing something new to the table with each book we read and that comes across to our customers. There is magic within books and if we can spread a little of that around then our job has been done correctly.
Josephine and Sonia
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