Retail Bookstore: Where to Begin?

I’m exploring the possibility of opening an independent retail book store. Does anyone have suggestions on where I can begin my research on this industry in particular? (Had no luck in IMHO Forum)

No specific information, but all my favorite independent bookstores are either dead or dying since the advent of the Big Box stores like Border’s, et al. So my first piece of advice would be to open it on another planet, or to open it a long time ago.

Or, open a used book store near a big university.

Well, it’s really, really hard. I’d at least consider doing a mix of new and used. Or starting off selling stuff via Amazon (or something similar) before opening a physical location.

Start here for some general stuff for startups:

In articles about starting your own business, a small bookstore is the classic example of what doesn’t work. You have to really find an unexploited niche in an area large enough to have customers for such a niche.

When bookstores do noticably worse than restaurants, that’s bad.

To answer your question, I am going to assume that making money, at least right now, is not your priority. So, find similar shops to your ideal vision in towns and cities near you and speak with the owner. Take the person to dinner or lunch a few times. You will get an earful and maybe someone will offer to sell you part or all of the business.

Secondly, I believe there is an American Booksellers Association that caters to the trade. Use Google.

A classic book on small retail is “Small Time Operator.” Read that, the information applies to all retail and service businesses. Good luck.

Posting the same question in two forums is called cross-posting and is not allowed here. Please don’t do it again. This is really an IMHO-type question, so I’ll close this one and leave the other one open.

moderator GQ