A Shout Out to Standaard Boekhandel in Westmalle, Belgium! My visit to a Belgian bookstore…

by | Aug 18, 2008 | Book Marketing Basics

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Greetings from Belgium everyone! It’s my yearly trek to see my family and travel through Europe and while I was here, I decided to investigate the a local bookstore. During my visit I met the friendliest bookstore manager you’d ever want to meet: Lisbeth… She was delighted to show me around the store and we discussed the differences between the US and European markets.

One of the biggest differences is that in American bookstores, all the shelf space and special displays are paid for (which is why it’s so tough for new and independently published authors to get into bookstores). Not so in Belgium, the bookstore manager decides what goes where based on her guests preferences (as it should be). The bookstores here also don’t carry gift items, games, or anything to distract you from their main purpose: books. There are also no Starbucks to be found anywhere (let’s not even get into my Starbucks withdrawls, we’ll leave that for another post. In any event, the tour was interested and guess what? The Secret has made its way to Europe too. Lisbeth said it was selling like crazy. So much so that they finally had to wrap it in plastic so visitors would stop reading it in the store and be forced to buy it to know the contents. Now that’s what you call keeping The Secret, a secret…..

Hope you enjoy the pictures!

Lisbeth and Penny

Standaard Boekhandel in Westmalle, Belgium

Inside the bookstore

The Bestseller Table



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