Art and Architecture books are something that it is always difficult to maintain a good stock of in a secondhand bookshop, one way or another I manage to better than most in the southeast.
Once again it is a matter of supplementing the secondhand stock that comes my way with reps samples, review copies and stock from bankruptcies.
One of the difficulties is the price differential between new and secondhand, new art books are often very expensive indeed with an average price being somewhere between £15 and about £80 whereas peoples expectations second hand are between about £3 and about £15. Very competitive pricing being set by the internet and my aim is to try and be cheaper than the internet, postage charges help with this and I generally manage to pull it off.
By far and away the best selling art books are the “how to paint and draw” books and the books on individual artists, with these nine times out of ten the customer is looking for a book on a specific artist.
The vast majority of sales in this section relate to paint on canvas art, books where the subject matter is unmade beds, piles of tins of beans, lines of bricks etc. don’t for the most part sell.