Saturday 1 October 2011

Does Super Thursday Make You Buy Books?

Super Thursday (29th September) was the day when publishers released over 225 hardback books. The aim: to get high sales in the run-up to Christmas, so a number of 'celebrity' books are guaranteed to feature just as they have in earlier years with varying degrees of success.

I know publishers need to make money from these high profile books, but imagine how much help a similar publicity campaign would be for the ordinary writers out there...

In the days surrounding Super Thursday there have been mentions on the television news channels, in newspapers and online making buyers aware of some of the books coming out.

But will it work this year?

Book sales have recorded month-on-month falls of a few percent and it's not unreasonable to expect it to continue.
Money is tight for a lot of people in 2011 and I wouldn't  be surprised if a lot of promotional discounts are needed to boost sales nearer Christmas. In 2010 there were a number of celeb bios that had been expected to do well, but didn't. I'm sure there were more than a few advances not recouped in sales.

Every year more people leave their Christmas shopping as late as possible to pick up bargains when stores start getting worried that their stock isn't moving and they start making 20-30% reductions or specific weekends with similar reductions.

Plus the last few Christmas's have seen a surge in the purchase of Kindles and the resulting rise in e-book sales has followed. Hardbacks seem to have suffered the most with the e-book effect.

Of course fans of a particular author will probably buy the latest novel in hardback rather than waiting until it appears in paperback; and a buyer perhaps looking for a Christmas gift for a family member might purchase a celebrity biography because they know that person likes that celebrity (and if it is on offer then even better).

So will you be buying any of the Super Thursday books in your local bookshop, or will you go online for the best price? Perhaps you'll opt for the e-book version. Maybe you won't be buying any hardbacks...

I'd be interested to read your comments and you can post as an anonymous user if you prefer.


Rosemary Gemmell said...

I don't really buy hardbacks now, Carol, although I occasionally receive a gift of one. But I absolutely won't be reading any type of celebrity book in any form! I use the kindle a lot now, for speed and price, but still love paperbacks too.

Carolb said...

I'm not a buyer of celebrity books either, Rosemary.
I think the main problem with hardbacks is how much space they take up on your bookshelves, which isn't an issue with an e-reader...

Helen Baggott said...

Actually got my mits on an e-reader a couple of weeks ago. A client had bought one and was so enthused that she insisted on me seeing it.

I was surprised how light it was.

She reads a lot, but 90% of her books are freebies.

Patsy said...

I've just scanned my bookshelf and nearly all the hardbacks were given to me as presents rather than bought by me, so I suppose marketing hardbacks as gifts might work.

Carolb said...

Baggy, I do think more people go on to buy e-readers once they have tried someone else's.

Patsy, I do think a new angle for selling hardbacks has to be developed, otherwise I can see publishers going straight to paperback where they can be certain of sales.