Monday, July 30, 2007

Nocera on Harry Potter and bookstore profits

Joe Nocera wrote a column on Saturday about how most retailers won't make money off the new Harry Potter.* He's not the first to point this out, but I hadn't seen anyone else point out the following:
There is a final irony here. It turns out that there are retailers who will make money on “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.” They’re the independent booksellers, the same group that originally suffered the brunt of Leonard Riggio’s discounting. Since then, though, independents have learned not to compete on price, but to give customers great service and other benefits. So how much did they charge for the most heavily discounted book of all time? Try $34.99.

Meaning that tiny Books & Books in Coral Gables, Fla., which has sold fewer than 2,000 copies of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” will make more money on it than might Amazon.
Indeed. The independent Tattered Cover on Colfax here in Denver hosted a huge party offering face painting, wand making and other special services. Hundreds of customers, adults and children alike, showed up two hours before midnight with their $34 book vouchers. The whole store staff appeared to be on hand, and despite the incredibly long-looking lines, they distributed books to all who wanted one within about ten minutes. It was an impressive sight.

* The column is behind The Wall, but here it is if you have Select.


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