5 Creative Ways to Celebrate National Novel Writing Month In Your Bookstore

For major book retailers and small newsagents alike, November is the time to commemorate our favorite literary works and motivate young writers with inspiring exhibits of works from decades past.  From new coming of age works to classic tales, scribes and bookworms are looking to their favorite vendors to put together an arrangement of stories that honor the art of writing. But, with a catalog that runs the length of the Mississippi, it can often feel daunting to figure out what you want to present as a retailer and more importantly how to make those selections truly capture the attention of your consumer. There are a lot of ways to lure in your audience, it must be done creatively, sometimes using off-the-cuff display pieces, like space-saving tablet holders and often using a display piece with exact intent such as tabletop lecterns or podiums . Nonetheless, the books selected for display should be used to motivate consumers, because they are likely looking for inspiration as they work on their own works of art. According to Medium.com, “To complete a 50,000-word work-in-progress within 30 days, you should plan to write an average of 1,667 words per day.” That’s a lot of typing! It’s also been said that to write well, you need to read well, making aspiring authors browse book aisles with absolute vocation. As a retailer, your mission – and business is to help them find what they are looking for – even if they’re browsing and don’t have a definitive find in mind – by using some of these indispensable display pieces to truly guide them to what they need to succeed!


Woman sitting in a chair, reading a Bible from behind


Well Lit Display Cases for Inspirational Works


If you have a spacious storefront, consider investing in some standout display cases to prop up eye-catching books that may be relevant to your consumer this month. Many aspiring authors like to look for guidance from their personal heroes. Displaying books such as Stephen King’s, On Writing a Memoir of the Craft or Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury is a great idea. A clever way to call attention to these types of classic instructional technique books is to prop them up in a well-lit display case at the end of the aisles in your store. This floor plan will call attention to these pieces and help aspiring novelists easily navigate their way to knowledgeable guidance in their novel writing journey. A little impromptu inspiration also helps with impulse buying.


Acrylic J Stands for Classics


If you want to set up a more traditional display of influential literature in your shop, a great way to get books out of the swarm of bookshelves and stacks is to prop them up on a shelf or tabletop on a clear, glossy acrylic j stand. These particular types of stands are a great way to elevate a book in a vertical orientation and make them stand out amongst the rest. Perhaps lining them up in a row or staggering them throughout a table display will help call attention to the merchandise. A wonderful idea for a table display during National Novel Writing Month is featuring an array of bestsellers such as Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen or Wool, by Hugh Howey as well as highlighting the work of a first-time author to give a little shot of confidence. A dedicated display – wall or countertop stands of blank journals and complementary accessories add a supportive vibe and value-added sales.

Crate Displays by Author


If you are trying to entice consumers to look for “more by this author,” a great choice is designating certain standout works inside of a specific area. For instance if a consumer is looking to read The Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger and love his specific style they also may be interested in learning about more of his other books that aren’t as famously popular, using a crate display to hold some of these lesser known tales is a wonderful way to call attention to these works. Using proper signage above these crates and labeling it with the author’s name will help your consumer discover their inspiration a whole lot faster! Fun fact if you happen to be Salinger fan, did you know that upon first being published, The New Yorker declined to print an excerpt from The Catcher in the Rye?


Literature Holders for Magazines


Another great resource during National Novel Writing month is writing focused magazines and literary zines. These informational guides like The Writer Mag or Writer’s Digest, hold detailed articles, stories, and agent/editor relevant information that aspiring novelists seek out when trying to create their own masterpieces. A fantastic way to display these reading materials is by putting literature holders front and center in your shop. Having writer-centric magazines at the forefront of your check-out line will motivate consumers to make last minute purchases before leaving!

Baskets for Bargain Deals


A creative idea for books that are written by under-the-radar authors, poets, and journalists is to create a space near the big hitters that is labeled “Bargain Deals”. These inexpensive are best located in various kinds of basket displays, where consumers can be motivated to rummage around. Label each basket by the book’s genre, so your customers can get a sense of what’s inside. It’s a great space saver for your store plan and a wonderful way for your customers to explore and discover new work!


Here’s to good reading, writing, and celebrating literature this month!