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Topic - Opening a bookshop - how to plan for success?

Only a hill - on 24 Mar 2014
Please bear with me here - at the moment this is just a pipe dream, something that occurred to me on the bus this morning. I haven't begun to seriously look into whether or not this is feasible, so I thought I could do worse than ask the forums as a first step ;-) UKC has been great at this kind of thing in the past.

So...

There's a lack of bookshops in the local area: absolutely nothing for five miles in any direction, and in the nearest major town all we've got is W.H. Smiths and The Works (plus charity shops). The village library is about to close down.

I know a bit about selling books, and I know a reasonable amount about the world of books in general.

I would love to have my own bookshop: small, comfortable, stocked with quirky and interesting titles rather than the same stuff you'll find in Smiths or Waterstones. There would also be an online side to the business, most likely dedicated to specialist antique climbing and mountaineering books (which will of course be of zero interest to the local public).

The problem, of course, is that the market is working against independent booksellers and they are closing down much faster than new ones are opening. Actually making a living in this business looks pretty difficult to me.

I guess my question is this: if you were going to establish a new independent bookshop today, how would you go about making it successful? What would your priorities be? How would you make the Web work for you instead of against you?

I'm interested in any and all input. As I said this is only the bud of an idea for now, but it's something I would love to do, given the chance.
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