Literary Luminaries™ is the world's leading literary gift line. Your
literature-loving customers will appreciate the wide variety of
beautiful, high quality products, all of which pay tribute to the
world's greatest authors, poets and playwrights, with colorful
caricatures drawn by artist Mike Caplanis. Display of umbrellas, book
bags, mugs and other products in your store windows will draw many new
literate customers into your store to purchase Literary Luminaries™
products and many other products. A table top or end-aisle display in
your store will stimulate heavy levels of impulse gift purchases of
Literary Luminaries™ products, as well as other related products and
books by or about the authors.
Help your store's bottom line by carrying the full line of Literary
Luminaries™ products, from umbrellas, to bookmarks. All Literary
Luminaries™ products allow full margins or more, with exceptional
Making Money From Things That Aren't Books:
Booksellers use Literary Luminariesú gift sales to boost the bottom line
More and more booksellers are getting the message that they can make a
lot of money on gift sales, when the gifts are properly displayed.
There are a number of bookstores across the nation, big and small, that
are making 25 to 35 percent of their total sales from gifts, and an
even higher percentage of profits, due to higher margins on gift
products. We talked recently with buyers and owners who stock the
Literary Luminaries gift line, to get ideas on how bookstores benefit
from our products.
The first things many retailers mention are the Literary Luminaries
umbrellas - book-related gifts that make a vibrant display and are
drawing more gift buyers into bookstores for the convenience of
one-stop shopping. These tend to be literary minded people, with much
disposable income making higher dollar sales.
"Right now the umbrellas are working really well to get people in the door to buy other things,"
said Nancy Miller, co-owner of the 2,000-square-foot Sun Rose Bookstore
in Ocean City, New Jersey. "They have brought in that more
gift-oriented customer who, once they get in the store, they say 'Aha!'
when they see all we have to offer." The little store has sold a
whopping $1,250 dollars of umbrellas alone in just over three months.
"It was rainy in the spring and people bought them. Now it's a summer
tool for the sun. People use it as a parasol," Miller said.
Another selling point is that the umbrellas are double reinforced with
high quality materials and dyes. "They don't fade," Miller said. "I've
had to resort to selling them out of the window. We have extremely
bright sunlight for most of the day and we have big windows. They had
been in there for months. They have never faded and the quality is
Quality is important when your bottom line is at stake. Miller estimates that 33 percent of her revenue comes from gifts. "You've
got to increase your bottom line with sidelines, like the one's your
company sells," Miller said. "It's made us survive."
Literary Luminaries gifts are doing just as well in the larger stores.
Lisa Casper, gifts buyer for more than 70,000 square feet of selling
space in the three Tattered Cover bookstores in Denver, carries a full
line of Luminaries gifts - mugs, note cards, book marks, journals, tote
bags and, of course, umbrellas, which are displayed prominently by the
"They're getting noticed and they're a good price point," said Casper,
who will also be stocking the new authors now being introduced on these
popular products for the holiday season. "People seem drawn to these
caricatures," said Casper who, like Miller, has also had to sell demo
models to ardent customers. "This man, he said 'Give it to me now.' He
didn't want to wait for one to come from another store," she said. "I
guess when you want Shakespeare, you want Shakespeare."
Another reason for the Literary Luminaries appeal is their one-of-a kind quality. "They celebrate writers and there are few lines that do that,"
Leigh Batnick, of Washington D.C.'s Politics and Prose bookstore, said
in an ABA article about the success of the Literary Luminaries gifts.
"And they're original. We carry about 150 lines, and these have a new
look," she said.
"There's a Hallmark store down the street," said Sun Rose's Miller. "We go for the more unique lines. These are unique."
Customers seem to agree. "There's something about those pictures that's really captivating,"
said Susan Larsen, a Luminaries enthusiast who has made some five
different purchases in the last 90 days and now has cards, bookmarks,
mugs and a book bag, not to mention all the products she has given away
as gifts. Larsen, who lives on Martha's Vineyard, says she frequently
gets compliments and queries on her Shakespeare book bag when she goes
to the beach. In a recent conversation with Literary Luminaries, she
asked for business cards, so she could tell people where to buy these
I love the book bag because it's polyfiber. When I spill my coffee on
it I can just wipe it off - it doesn't stain. I don't carry a purse but
this is perfect for me, because I can carry my checkbook, my water
bottle, my books and it has a place for my cell phone. And it zips.
That keeps the sand out. It's perfect," Larsen said. When her new
office-library is finished, she said, "I am going to have the note
cards framed and put in there." She has bought cards for her children
to give as gifts to their teachers, "but I don't want to give them
away," she said. "I am kind of hoarding them to myself."
Another key for retailers is Literary Luminaries' willingness to
respond to their requests. For example, seeing their customers'
positive response to the Luminaries look, several retailers asked for
smaller items that can be used at or near the register, for the impulse
buys that increase sales amounts with no extra effort. Literary
Luminaries responded with playing cards and magnet sets.
"I'm really excited about the playing cards and the magnets," said
Casper of Denver's Tattered Cover. "The cards are easy because they are
small. We can just put them right at the counter·if there is something
to look at, usually they'll buy it," she said. Every retailer we talked
to credited gift sales with 25 to 35 percent of their total sales. "Gift
sales have really changed our bottom line. They are now 25 percent of
our sales. It creeps up higher in November and December," said
Gayle Shanks, co-owner of the 10,000-square-foot Changing Hands
Bookstore in Tempe, Arizona. Shanks, who has been teaching a
'Gift-selling 101' seminar at the ABA's BookExpo America for the past
10 years, said she is still surprised that she has to push booksellers
to understand how important gift sales are.
always open [the seminars] by telling them, 'You can be a bookstore,
but you can also sell things that are profitable.' When they hear that,
bookstore owners are appalled. The diehards say they will never sell
gifts that aren't book related. And I say, 'Well, in two years you
won't be attending this conference, because you won't be in business.'
They usually come around," she said. "I have gotten so many people into
Literary Luminaries celebrates the great authors and artists, and the
priceless works they created. In any bookstore these literary gifts
provide a focal point around which books and literary products can be
Luminary Graphics, Inc.
13060 Taylorstown Road
Lovettsville, VA 20180
Phone: 703-401-0871 Fax: 703-852-3956