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Gifts for the Bookworm

Thursday, November 25, 2004 at 1:11 PM

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Web Exclusive - An interview with Stephanie Siegel, Marketing Manager, Joseph Beth Booksellers By Marie Andrusewicz.

What do you anticipate will be the big holiday seller this year?

Stephanie Siegel: Right now cookbooks are very big. Everybody has one - Emeril, Rachel Ray, Nigella Lawson - they’re everywhere. The South Beach Diet Cookbooks are also huge. In general home, beauty and health books seem to be really hot this season - more so than usual. The Perricone Promise is also really big right now.

I heard that business books are unusually popular in Cleveland. Is that the case at your store?

Stephanie Siegel: Stephen Covey’s new book The Eight Habit is one of our in-store best sellers. But in general, the business section isn’t our most popular.

What is?

Stephanie Siegel: Kids are our biggest demographic - not sure if it’s because of our location. There aren’t that many other stores at Legacy that sell children’s gifts, so possibly that’s why.

And what are the big children’s books this year?

Stephanie Siegel: Anything with a movie or TV tie-in is generally pretty popular at our store, so this year we’re selling a lot of copies of The Polar Express. We’re also highlighting the new Max and Annie book by Sandy Phillipson. They got a new puppy, so there’s a new book.

What are your top selling books by local authors?

Stephanie Siegel: Right now the Mark Winegardner book is doing really well (The Godfather Returns) obviously in part because of his Cleveland connection. At our store, his book is selling as well as Tom Wolf’s new book.

Do you do anything in particular to highlight Cleveland writers?

Stephanie Siegel: “Home for the Holidays” is a program we offer from Thanksgiving through Christmas. We feature local authors both in in-store signings and through in-store displays - we really want to give a lot of attention to our local authors, who otherwise might not get promoted. And certainly many of our local authors are putting out books that are as good as any out there.

What are the non-book items that your reader-shoppers go for?

Stephanie Siegel: There’s a big range - we have different sections and within each section we have items that we call “sidelines.” Vera Bradley purses are very big - they’re as popular on college campuses as they are with grandmothers. Of course book accessories are popular - journals, book marks, book thongs, book lights and so on.

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