Great American Bargain Book Show Gets Raves From Attendees

Atlanta, GA (PressExposure) March 13, 2009 -- According to Spring Book Show 2009 organizer and Freight Management Systems CEO Larry May of Knoxville, Tenn., moving the Great American Bargain Book Show from downtown to a north Atlanta venue provided a number of advantages, Vendors and book buyers attending the show were almost universal in saying the upscale Cobb Galleria Centre resulted in an intimate sales atmosphere, more customer contact, higher traffic and increased sales.

“Unbelievable,” said Vann James of Book$mart, the Tuscumbia, Ala., remainders outlet for the Books-A-Million retail chain. “I never had so much business at any remainder show before this. It’s the first time I’ve been so busy writing orders that people were leaving me notes on what they wanted to buy rather than waiting in line to get to me.”

While most of the buyers and sellers came from the United States, a large contingent of vendors from Great Britain were present and doing a brisk business, partly due to the growing strength of the U.S. dollar against the British pound, which provides an advantage for U.S. buyers.

International buyers were present from Australia, Canada, the Philippines, the People’s Republic of China, India, Korea, France and Holland. But the heaviest contingent of buyers came from the U.S., especially the Southeast. Many of the buyers present were members of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance, which covers independent bookstores from Louisiana through the Virginia Islands and on up to Virginia and West Virginia. Among the SIBA buyers was Frank Reiss, owner of A Cappella of intown Atlanta, busy buying remainders from a British dealer and others. A Cappella buys and sells new, used, rare and out-of-print titles in Atlanta's Little Five Points bohemian neighborhood.

Larry Austin, owner and president of East Tennessee Trade Group of Madisonville, Tenn., was enthusiastic about his sales at the show. “Great show!” he summarized. “It was extremely profitable for us, and well attended. There were always people in our booth writing orders. It was a record Spring Book Show for us.”

One of the popular features of the show was the March 6 evening reception, with entertainment by Lakieta Bagwell, a former singer at the Dollywood amusement complex in Tennessee.

Said Wren Franklin of Thomas Nelson Bargain Books, the remainder arm of Christian publishing giant Thomas Nelson, “The Bible business with many of our retailers tripled at this Spring Book Show.”

One of the buyers present, Raza Wazir of the Hungry Bookworm, an online book retailer with a strong international presence, said he was on the lookout for a trailer load of books, including new and used mass market, trade paperbacks and children’s titles.

While the show’s main emphasis is on books, sales of CDs, DVDs, computer software and specialty merchandise also did well. “Our best show ever,” said John Gervasoni of Scorpio Music Distribution. “We did really great with the CDs. We sold twice as many this year as last because of a decrease in our asking price. The magic number seems to be 29 cents.”

Richard RePass of Fairmount Books of Buffalo, N.Y., one of the senior salespeople who has attended many bargain book shows, and who also represents four other vendors, said he was extremely busy with orders. “There was hardly time to pause for breath – even on Sunday, which is normally the slow day,” RePass said.

Sean Golle of Bradley’s Book Clearance of Pittsburgh said he had been apprehensive about the show because of the economy, but was pleasantly surprised. “I thought the show was great,” he said. “We were really busy on Friday and Saturday.” Sherri Goodknight, head of a new firm, Inspirational Closeout Solutions, specializing in inspirational product, said she had a great show. “We were very busy, very pleased,” she said. “We might have done a little better with more international customers, but we picked up a lot of new customers, which made up for that.”

Mark Chase of STL/Great Value Books, another inspirational vendor, summed up saying he did better than expected and that sales were very good.

Even the smaller vendors appeared to be happy. “I sold 2,300 coffee table books on Africa to a vendor from the UK,” said Noel Griese of Anvil Brokers of Atlanta. “I took other orders, but I think that one was the biggest sales I’ve had at a Spring Book Show.”

Larry May, perhaps in the best position for getting feedback from show attendees, summed the show up by saying, “We delivered almost exactly the number of attendees that we had told the vendors to expect.”

May said that as soon as he and his staff follow up on Spring Book Show details, the emphasis would shift to getting ready for the Great American Bargain Book Show scheduled for Aug. 21-22 at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. May said that more than two-thirds of the available exhibitor space for the GABBS show was sold to vendors attending the Spring Book Show.

About the Spring Book Show: The Spring Book Show is one of the three largest bargain book shows in the United States, and the largest in the Southeast. It is staged annually in March to provide retailers with merchandise for the summer beach read season. The show is organized by L.B. May & Associates of Knoxville, Tenn. Further information at Press Release Distribution By PressReleasePoint

Press Contact: Noel Griese Anvil Publishers, Inc Atlanta, GA 770-938-0289

About Anvil Publishers, Inc

The Spring Book Show is one of the three largest bargain book shows in the United States, and the largest in the Southeast.

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Press Release Submitted On: March 13, 2009 at 4:16 am
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