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Deck the halls with books

Chapter 2018 ends with a bang

Our seasonal customers are what keep some booksellers going. So identify the sure wins beforehand and hone your sales efforts pre-emptively so as to maximise the holiday rewards.  Arguably the entire year leads to this moment. Let’s examine some of the highlights that may affect Santa’s supply.

What packs our shelves

Various occasions throughout the year mould the contours of bookshelves. Trends are as unpredictable as they are fluctuating meaning it’s tricky to align your vision with the customer’s needs, wants and expectations; survey the landscape, starting with the calendar in retrospect.

Cape Town’s Open Book 2018 that was held in September was a literary celebration. Highpoints include #cocreatePoetica and of course the illustration masterclass while RAP, poetry and the spoken word are still platforms for young people to voice concerns and solutions to mutual challenges epitomising the younger generation’s desire for accessible, meaningful creative outlets. Writer, illustrator and instapoet Rupi Kaur has made waves with her debut poetry collection milk and honey and continues to mend broken hearts with the sun and her flowers: sales are up, but then again local is lekkerder!

The very location of the book fair and beyond, from the water situation to the broader South African environmental, political and social climate, are all consequential. Examine what we’re using to pacify anxieties or celebrate individuality because it is all somehow related to the books we buy.

On a broader scale you’ll notice that booklists and country goings-on are in cahoots; simply peruse the given period’s book highlights and just like that you’re up to date on current affairs. The recent months have seen pillage on consumers’ wallets, plant-based diets dictating grocery lists, and gender-based violence demanding more awareness, which authors and writers are documenting and discussing.

Take a glance at the most anticipated movies of the year, and those which were books before their words transformed into pictures. Author Meg Wolitzer’s The Wife has generated an Oscar buzz, Crazy Rich Asians is a Gatsby-esque masterpiece based on the books by Kevin Kwan and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – an Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer historical novel set during World War II – is a strong contender among current films. So stock up!   

Beyond the book

Definitions are becoming blurry. What is a book today? The book is transcending. It is more than a codex – on the contrary! Don’t think too narrowly. For instance digital publishing is changing readers’ experience and the processes for publishers, distributors and booksellers alike.  It is enhancing accessibility and opening a library of opportunity.

Do you pay enough attention to book-related products? Consumers seek out innovation so the related products bridge the gap between readers and non-readers. Besides, this season boasts some exceptionally impressive prospective inventory which make for ideal gifts

We recently launched our newest Callfinder® ready publication. Nature Unpacked by Megan Emmett is the ultimate travelling companion for those embarking on a journey into the southern African bush. It is way more than a field guide to the region’s wildlife; the book expands on reptiles, birds, trees and insects that feature accessible descriptions and close-up representative images.  It is colourful, comprehensive and Callfinder® ready.  A what finder? You might ask.  Please allow us to elaborate for you, but hold onto your safari hats.

The Callfinder® pen is an optional addition that is intended to add a dimension to the reading experience. The Callfinder® is arguably part of what gives this publication its undeniable edge. The device is a wand-like pen which, when held to the corresponding image in the book, scans some invisible code and emits a sound that is appropriate to the visual representation.

At the moment, we have four Callfinder® ready publications that all require the same device for readers to enjoy the sounds. Just buy the book and the associated sound file and you are able to engage with the information within the book on a whole new level.

If you are interested in stocking these products, send an email to  And if not, then why on earth not…?

Start decking the halls.

Sources consulted


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