Bookselling in the Digital Age 5 March 2013

Paul Macdonald, owner of The Children's Bookshop Beecroft, has created a specialist bookshop that is a favourite place for children's authors and illustrators and friends of CBCA and SCBWI to gather for events.


CBCA Northern Sydney Sub-branch were thrilled when Paul volunteered to host a meeting contributing champagne and supper for our Author Member Spotlight on Felicity Pulman who launched her new book, 'A Ring Through Time.'


With Paul's permission, here is a brief summary of his talk, 'Bookselling in the Digital Age.'


·      The number of bookshops and the amount of shelf space is going to shrink but wonderful stories and beautifully printed books are going to survive in wonderful, specialist book stores; the next 2 years are critical; those shops that survive will be like today’s ‘antique’ shops;

·      The physical book is changing e.g. ‘The Tree of Codes’, ‘Street of Crocodiles’, ‘Kapow’;

·      The genre for 2013 is ‘Horror’;

·      Young Authors are getting published and have huge followings;

·      In answer to the question ‘What Makes a Wonderful Bookstore’, Paul mentioned many things including the importance of:

-       the human element in a shop

-       making the shop a hub for the community

-       relevant events i.e. a venue for Book Clubs, book launches, story time, petting zoo, meetings, Guest Speakers, and

-       the use of social media to reach the client base;

·      The Children’s Bookshop Speakers Agency is very successful with speakers such as Deb Abela, Susanne Gervay, Serena Geddes, Sarah Davis, Jacqueline Harvey, John Larkin, Tristan Banks and Lisa Stewart.

·      Demand in Australia comes from the National Curriculum;

·      Picture Books are booming;

·      The Beecroft Bookshop has a ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’ section for those books and their imitations;

·      The Series is alive;

·      Less and less non-fiction is coming through.


This brief summary doesn't capture Paul's passion for books nor his humour nor his dynamic presentation skills and I urge you to visit Paul's bookshop and talk to him if you get the chance (do NOT say to him, 'I buy my books on line'). Address: 8 Hannah Steet, Beecroft.


Paul summarised his talk by saying that the future of bookshops is to make readers comfortable and that bookshops will become the boutique shops of the future.


For news from The Beecroft Bookshop and coming events, go to:

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