Both of these items appeared in yesterday's Publishers Weekly (PW), but got bumped from my blog in favor of Frank Woolworth's birthday.
First, the report on bookstore sales. PW reported that bookstore sales dropped 1.7% in February to $1.05 billion according to the Census Bureau's preliminary data. This drop in sales followed on the heels of January, when sales rose 4.4%. The entire retail segment's sales were up 7.4% in February at the same time the bookstore sales dropped.
The second item reported by PW yesterday was a marketing ploy by Dorchester. The mass market fiction house is partnering with Cupid.com, an online dating service. Beginning in May, the partners will host "speed dating" events in five cities. The cities are: Atlanta; Chicago; New York; San Francisco and Washington, D.C.
Dorchester was very frank about wanting to reach the 20 to 30-year-old reading market. Dorchester VP and Editorial Director Alicia Condon was blunt: "Our purpose in forming this partnership with Cupid.com is three-fold...First and foremost, it's a wonderful opportunity for us to participate in helping people make real-life connections. Second, we hope to re-educate readers about the romance genre...and last...it's a chance for us to foster reading among those in an age-bracket that publishers have long had trouble reaching."
Each attendee at the speed dating events will receive two books; Dorchester estimates they will give away up to 150 books at each event. Attendees will also get dating tips from Dorchester's authors.
It will be interesting to see if the initiative is continued beyond the first five events.
Have a fun weekend!!