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I have a novelty item that would be a great seller in book stores. I see novelty items in book stores all the time. Can you give me any advice on how to approach bookstore owners with this type of product?

Q: I have a novelty item that would be a great seller in book stores – at the cash register or an end cap. I see novelty items in book stores all the time, i.e. calendars, bookmarks, cards, music, etc. Can you give me any advice on how to approach a book store owner or book chain to try my product – even on a consignment basis?

Kristen McLean, Executive Director of The Association of Booksellers for Children said, “This is a tough one because most bookstore buyers pick up their sidelines either through catalogs or at one of the gift shows. I would discourage trying for consignment, because most booksellers find consignment too much work. They could try a direct mail piece, but I think that’s not always effective.” Another option would be to try to get representation with a gift rep, but that would be most viable with a product that has a proven track record. 5:6/08