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How to Sell a Book Shop

If the time has come to sell your book shop, read this!

There is a concern about the future of book shops in Canada as online sales increasingly dominate the sector. The outlook is better than you might think, however, as long as you are willing to think outside of the box. 

There are many readers who are passionate about the community that exists around their local book shop. Creating a community around your store is a great way to keep your sales up and keep people coming to your store.

This, plus other tips are sure to boost your sales in the years approaching the sale of your business. Read on to discover how it is that you can get the best value for your book shop.


Make your business a hub

You should start preparing for the sale of your business as early as possible. The more time that you give yourself to prepare for the sale the more you can increase its value. There are a few ways that you can do this.

Making your bookshop a hub for your customers is a great way to ensure that they keep coming back rather than buying online. Try hosting events in your shop. This could be around the release of new books or you could partner with other local businesses. 

Consider poetry readings or open mic nights and get your community involved. You could also host guest speakers from time to time or play host to writing workshops.

These events should create greater foot traffic and, hopefully, sales. Most importantly, though, potential buyers will be able to see the vast potential that exists in your business.



There are a lot of bookshops that have coffeeshop spaces adjoined or part of their business. This will give you another source of income and will give customers another reason to come to your shop and, once there, more reason to stay.

You can also stock other things in your shop like journals, cards, stationery and even e-readers. Indigo bookstore has shown great success with their diversification of products. You can take a page out of this big Canadian retailer’s book and find products that will help to boost your revenue.

Selling more than just books will, hopefully, increase your sales. It will, certainly, give buyers a view of the potential that your shop will have for a diversified revenue stream and, therefore, add value to it.


Get preparedSell Your Business

You will also need to get your paperwork and your inventory up to date and in perfect order. Make sure that you are on top of your taxes, staff contracts and any other paperwork that a potential buyer will want to have a look at. 

Having the paperwork in order and up to date will allow you to be able to hand it over when asked. This will speed up the selling process and give a good impression to the buyer. They will also want financial records from a few years so the sooner you get that organised the better.   

Your business should also be able to function well without you. If you have staff, you will need to train them in the systems that keep your bookshop running. Alternatively, you can codify your systems in an easy to understand document. 

The important fact is that any new owner will be able to step into a well-oiled machine and not experience too many hiccups in the running of the business when they take it over. The more prepared you are the better!

Marketing your business

All the preparation that has gone into getting your business ready to sell will be for nothing if you don’t market it and find the right buyer! You can advertise it online in order to reach the widest audience and, therefore, hopefully, find the best buyer.

If your business has become a hub for your community, you should advertise locally as there is likely to be someone who is familiar with your business that will want to take it over.

Finally, if you are going to use a broker, find someone that you trust who has experience with businesses such as yours. Your bookshop is something that you’ve put a lot of your life into, find someone who has the experience and connections to find a buyer that will appreciate this!

Anthea Taylor

About the author

Anthea Taylor is Content Producer at Dynamis and writes for all titles in the Dynamis stable including, and as well as other industry publications.

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