How to Start a Bookstore or Magazine Store Business

November 23, 2000 | By | Reply More

QUESTION ON Starting a Bookstore and Magazine Store

Do you have some guides on “How to Start a Book/magazine Store Business”? I am thinking of a business for my wife when she retires in two months. Any help/assistance on how to start a book store business will be greatly appreciated. Thanks again and more power!

– Ed, Philippines


Advice by Tammy Harrison

Dear Ed:

Research, research, research! Then after you are done researching, research a little bit more! You should first research the retail markets and what it takes to compete with the big boys. Then learn about customers and what it takes to make them happy with your product and service. After you’ve exhausted those resources, THEN look at the bookstore industry. If you live in a small area, you may have a great idea – especially if there isn’t any competition from the larger chain bookstores.

If you live in a metropolis, you will have some serious research to do to pin down a location that *fits* with your bookstore ideas as well as the demand of books in the neighborhood (i.e. if you live in a university town, you could set up shop near the college to catch the academic crowd). There may be other ideas besides a bookstore that you could look into. Maybe a kiosk on a street corner or in a mall? Maybe renting the corner of an existing business? Maybe set up a bookstore in a van and deliver to corporations or even to a retirement community?

bookstore owners

Most of my research starts online. I search out every possible industry information that I can find. If I need to read books, I go to the library first to see if the book is worth me spending my money on it. I also email quite a bit, to companies and individuals who may share some of their information and expertise with me. You definitely have your work cut out for you if you want your wife to start this in a couple of months!

With the advent of Internet and ecommerce stores like Amazon, as well as the growing popularity of ebooks, it is getting tougher to operate a bookstore business. Read the article How a Bookstore is Surviving Tough Times.

Best to you!

Tammy Harrison

Recommended Resources on How To Start a Book and Magazine Store

Article originally published in November 2000. Updated February 23, 2012

Tammy Harrison is a successful home-based working mom for over five years. She holds a degree from Mizzou in Consumer Economics. Her business focuses on Marketing and Creativity for Small Businesses as well as numerous other small businesses.

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