The Winter Institute for Book Sellers will be held on January 15, 2020, at the Baltimore Inner Harbor Hilton. The theme of the conference will be on maximising SEO strategies for the independent book retailer. It’s estimated that the number of independent book stores in the United States has fallen by nearly a third in the past ten years, mostly from the switch to reading devices like Kindle. In its heyday, back in the 1950s and 1960s, independent book stores account for nearly 90 percent of all sales of both hardback and paperback books. Today that figure has dwindled down to just 15 percent.
Another culprit in the decline of the independent bookstore, of course, is the rise of such book retailers as Barnes & Noble, who continue to aggressively expand their brick and mortar stores across the country, incorporating a Starbucks franchise as well.
The upcoming Winter Institute will focus on how independent book retailers can use SEO to boost online orders, which is how the majority of them manage to stay in business already. Customer walk-ins account for less than ten percent of their earnings, in most cases. Coalition Technologies COO Jordan Brandon will lead the main workshop on how consumers come to trust keyword searches for books online.