Booksellers Predict Hot Sales This Summer

By Ed Nawotka, with reporting by Claire Kirch, Dennis Abrams, Alex Green, and Jason Boog
Summer is a key time for booksellers around the country in regions that attract tourists during the season, and for those that see increased foot traffic from teachers and children. “Our Chamber of Commerce anticipates a 5% rise in visitors to Alaska this summer,” said Jenny Stroyeck at the Homer Bookstore in Homer, Alaska. “Our foot traffic does go up in the summer.” She noted that with the long driving distances between towns, parents like to buy their kids books to ensure peace and quiet on the road.

The Homer Bookstore has had a slight dip in sales so far this year—it is down 2% compared to the same period in 2017—but, like many stores around the country, anticipates a boost from some big seasonal events. The Kachemak Writers’ Conference, which will be held in Homer in June and will feature Anthony Doerr as the keynote speaker, should produce some strong numbers for the indie.

Among the titles Stroyeck is anticipating strong sales for this summer are The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah (St. Martin’s) and Island of the Blue Foxes by Stephen Brown (Da Capo). She will personally be championing Educated by Tara Westover (Random House) and Rocket Men by Robert Kurson (Random House).

“The majority of our business occurs in the summer,” said Sue Boucher, owner of the Cottage Bookshop in the tiny town of Glen Arbor, Mich., on Lake Michigan. “I would expect sales to go up this year; we have received another designation of best places to visit. The last time this happened we had large increases of visitors to the area.”
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