The average price of a hard-cover book at Connecticut library book sales is $2.
The average price of a mass market paperback is 50 cents.
Those were just two conclusions from a survey that the Friends of Connecticut Libraries took this year of Friends groups. A total of 65 groups responded, said Carl Nawrocki, of the FOCL board, who presented results at the Fall Conference in November at Central Connecticut State University.
The average price of DVDs is going up from $1 to $2.
The average price of CDs — $ 1or $2.
The average number of books at sales is 5,000 to 10,000.
The prices charged for children’s books is pretty much the same as for adult books, although some libraries charge just 25 cents for paperback fiction.
Some groups separate books into categories, such as mysteries, fiction, romance, business, cookbooks, politics, history, etc. The number of categories averages 20 to 30.
For children’s books: young adult, preschoolers, board books, science, reference, animals, humor, etc.
“We separated children’s books into categories and tripled sales,” said a Friend from Russell Library, Middletown.
Others said sorting through a mass of books is part of the fun for buyers.
Most libraries don’t charge for early admission to a sale, which Nawrocki said he couldn’t understand, adding it was an easy way to make money. Those who do charge often ask $5.
A Farmington Friend said dealers told them they were happy to pay $10 to get in before the sale opened to the public because there were fewer people. The Friends group was glad to do it because dealers tended to buy more.
Cheshire calls their early opening a “members-only preview;” that prompts many dealers to join the Friends, they said.
Enfield Friends allow handicapped people to come in the afternoon before the crowds, saying it brought “really, really, really good press.”
Two thirds of the groups hold bag sales the last day, with the average price of $5. However, South Windsor charges $8 a bag, said a member of their Friends.
Granby doesn’t hold a bag sale on the last day because a lot of senior citizens can only afford a couple of books, said a member of their Friends. Instead they ask for donations per book.
Profits from book sales range from under $2,000 to $50,000 a year, according to the survey. And most groups hold one or two sales each year, for an average of three days at a time.
Other than book sales, 18% of Friends said they operate a book store year round. And 80% said they have some space set aside, such as a bookcase, to sell books where they sell books all the time.