Great American Bargain Book Show Gets Rave Reviews

Atlanta, GA (PressExposure) August 14, 2008 -- According to Spring Book Show 2008 organizer and Freight Management Systems CEO Larry May of Knoxville, Tenn., moving the Great American Bargain Book Show from the downtown Georgia World Congress Center to a north suburban venue provided a number of advantages,

Vendors and book buyers attending the show were almost universal in saying the Cobb Galleria Center venue in north Atlanta resulted in an intimate sales atmosphere, more customer contact, higher traffic and increased sales.

“I had a blast,” said Karin Wilson, owner of the Page & Palette book store in Fairhope, Ala., and the current president of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA). “I’m going to talk everyone in SIBA into doing this. Mixing remainders into regular stock is the thing of the future.”

As for the experience of sellers, Jason Zutaut, executive vice president of bargain book dealer Strictly By-The Book of Fall River, Mass., summed it up. “Overall, a great show. We were busy all day, and wrote a bunch of great orders. We sold over half a million books,” he said.

Among the shoppers at Zutaut’s display area was Todd Morris, proprietor of Pickle Patch Book Fairs of Austell, Ga., who was attending his third bargain book show. “This helped us get ready for the start of the school year. We bought thousands of books from seven different vendors,” he said.

Larry Austin, owner and president of East Tennessee Trade Group of Madisonville, Tenn., was equally enthusiastic. “This was a tremendous show for us,” he said. “We quadrupled our expectancy for the show. I think anyone that retails books is missing the boat if they don’t attend this show.”]

Debbie Smith of Bargain Books Wholesale of Grand Rapids, Mich., a wholesaler whose offerings are about one-third Christian and the rest secular, hadn’t expected much from the show, given the current state of the economy. “It surprisingly turned out to be a very good show,” she said. “Most of us came not expecting a lot. I could go home very happy right now, two hours before the show officially ends.”

Another happy buyer was Sander Sakhrani of Pages Mail Order of Forest Hills, N.Y., and Mumbai (Bombay), India. Pages buys primarily academic titles – particularly books that Indian students who hope to study in the United States buy to prepare themselves for exams that will get them passports and admissions. Near the end of the show, Pages had bought more than $22,000 in books, 90 percent of which will be exported to India.

Amy Simon of World Publications of East Bridgewater, Mass., was impressed by the steady stream of orders. “It’s been a good show for us,” she said. “Bookstore owners, mostly from independent stores, mixed with buyers from small and regional chains, kept us busy.”

Even Lakieta Bagwell, who works part time for show organizers Larry and Val May, was happy. A former singer at the Dollywood amusement complex in Tennessee, she was the featured vocalist at the Friday evening reception for show attendees. She obviously impressed her audience. One of the buyers bought 50 copies of her CDs for later retailing.

Many of the vendors came to the show with low expectations, remarked Richard RePass of Fairmount Books of Buffalo, N.Y., one of the senior salespeople who has attended many bargain book shows. A vendor himself with more than 4,000 titles, and who also represents four other vendors, RePass credited Larry May with making bargain book shows like GABBS a success. “He’s coalesced the remainders industry into a serious part of the book business,” RePass said.

Said Barry Baird of Thomas Nelson Bargain Books, the remainder arm of Christian publishing giant Thomas Nelson, “We were surprised and delighted that our sales were as strong as in previous years, given the state of the economy. There seems to be an unspoken consensus that the bargain book business is particularly appropriate in today’s economy. If retailers ever needed bargain product, it’s now.”

Larry May, perhaps in the best position for getting feedback from show attendees, summed the show up by saying, “We delivered exactly the number of attendees that we had told the vendors to expect. Almost every vendor said it was a good show, especially after the serious decreases in attendance and sales at this year’s Book Expo America in Los Angeles in May and the International Christian Retail Show at Orlando, Fla., in July.”

May said he and his staff would soon be following up with GABBS attendees to get their thoughts about next year’s show.

About GABBS: The Great American Bargain Book Show is one of the three largest bargain book shows in the United States, staged annually in time for retailers to buy inexpensive stock for marketing during the winter holiday season. The show is organized by L.B. May & Associates of Knoxville, Tenn. Further information at Press Release Distribution By PressReleasePoint

About Anvil Publishers, Inc.

May said he and his staff would soon be following up with GABBS attendees to get their thoughts about next year’s show.

Noel Griese
Anvil Publishers, Inc.

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Press Release Submitted On: August 04, 2008 at 1:39 am
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