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Awards Work When You Work Them

Posted By Wanda Jewell, Thursday, July 16, 2015

Today’s column will deal with book awards.  SIBA maintains a Pinterest Board Simple Ideas for Small Budgets, that can assist with merchandising and displaying book award winners. You can send cool solutions you use that can be added to the board and share them with other stores, if you’d like.  Send them to There are so many book awards.  How does a book store capitalize on these awards and move some books? 

Here is how we work book awards: 

·         Do a display of winners across the awards.  Checking this list of major awards would result in a display of The Melancholy of Resistance, The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend, The Crossover, Redeployment, Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China, Faithful and Virtuous Night, Brown Girl Dreaming, Dora Bruder / The Search Warrant, Atticus Lish Preparation for the Next Life, The Pope and Mussolini: The Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe, All the Light We Cannot See, Between Riverside and Crazy, The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, Encounters at the Heart of the World: A History of the Mandan People, Digest, Lila, The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation, Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh, Citizen: An American Lyric, The Essential Ellen Willis.  Now that’s a diverse display!

·         Participate in awards in which you are invited.  For example, The SIBA Book Awards are nominated by southern member bookstores, their staff, and customers.  Follow the award process, promoting the long list, the finalists, and the winners.  Involve your customers in the process.  Hold in-store events to predict the winners,

·         Create a store book award – enjoin customers, book clubs, local celebrities, to create the criteria and the categories and use the process both to engage your customers and to sell books. Use #Team(BookTitleHere) for Twitter voting.

·         Feature a Book Prize and a link to the winners on your website and in your newsletters. 

·         Start a Grandparents Award Editions club.  Display all of the Caldecott & Newbery books both in-store and online.  Send a Caldecott each month to young grandchildren, and then graduate them to Newbery. 

·         Consider engaging a local librarian or former English teacher to manage your Awards outreach effort in exchange for advance copies or a store discount.

A lot of energy, enthusiasm, and effort going in to a plethora of book awards across many genres, and industries.  All of this indicates a market for the winners.  Capitalize on this and sell these books.  

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