Bookshops are the best places to be: we know this, you know this - make sure your customers do, too! Here are just a few starter ideas (and titles) to get you thinking about how to make the best NZ Bookshop Day yet. 

Give your publishers a call and see what they can do for you in terms of giveaways and so on, and send us your event details by 12 noon, on Friday 22 September to get included in the first media release. 

Celebrate your community


Find something that is of interest to your community: ideas could include a local hero (author or sportsperson, or ?), diversity of views (could be an excuse to promote some of the many great feminist titles), history of the town including the traditional industry

Possible book tie-ins: 



Check with the local sports club or community groups and newspapers for any new and exciting news in your area. Heroes could come from schools, or could be famous nationwide; perhaps there is a strong refugee community in the area you could involve; industry leaders can provide support within their company staff and sometimes even donate money for refreshments etc.


Display Ideas

Invite them to the store for a ‘meet and greet’ with other locals and share their story. Display any books that may encourage similar themes.



Talk to your publishers. You know what is out there – if you know the publisher, just ask for copies to give away. Keep your giveaways relevant to the theme.



Sample local baking


Cookbooks and Kitchen
Host a cake, cupcake or icing decorating competition leading up to Bookshop Day. You could possibly even try and run a sugar-free section, tying in with that trend. Judging, tasting and winner announced on the day.

Possible book tie-ins: 



Partner with local cafés or healthy juice bars. Coffee, juice, cakes and books make a good combination.

It’s all about local produce and healthy eating: invite local lifestyle or backyard gardening enthusiasts to share successes.

Approach the local Girl Guides, Rotary, Lions, local school or community groups to fundraise outside store (they get to keep their proceeds and you sell the books)


Display Idea       

Cook Books and baking goods

Cupcakes on display




Giveaway cookbooks from publishers

Vouchers to a local restaurant or café or bakery

An experience cooking or baking with prominent local baker or chef.



Children, our young leaders


Children’s Inspirations

Take a theme from a book you have on order (perhaps combine this and the one above and go with Donna Hay’s new book about cooking with kids, or Kuwi's Kitchen)

Possible Book tie-ins: 



Great local storytellers  in the community, local authors

If you do a wildlife theme, involve the local farm park and bring some animals in-store. Gets great media! 

Kindergarten, early childhood centres or Primary schools to do a writing competition to the Bookshop about their favourite author or book and why?


Display Ideas

Have story teller in store reading at different times during the day

Take a number when you come into the store to win a children’s book for each reading session.


Giveaway books from publishers, experiences at the local sanctuary or farm park



Strong women (or along a similar idea, translations)


Rebel Girls book, other feminist titles that are hot right now. Run dress-ups for kids, and an event featuring female leaders & writers from your area.

Books to tie in:


Female leaders and writers from the region. Perhaps the editor of the local newspaper, managers of local stores, your favourite female author…

The 200 Women book is published by Upstart Press, and includes New Zealanders Louise Nicholas, Marilyn Waring, Damaris Coulter, Kimbra Johnson, Lydia Ko, Marama Fox, Eva McGauley and Karen Walker.


Display Ideas

If you involve managers of local stores, you might get some kickback in terms of displays. Get all of your books into the front window.



Publishers publishers publishers! Also approach, eg. the local toy store for costume giveaways, and use whatever you have from past promos as goody-bag fillers for kids that come instore. For adults, perhaps touch base with some relevant adult education providers - this will give them a chance to promote themselves as well as giving the winners the chance to go along. 


Relax with a book
Create a space for reading and relaxing in the bookshop

Some couches or beans bags and comfy rugs to sit where children and parents can read, meet other authors or booklovers.  Promote ‘Ready Set…Read.’  

Build a coin trail in store
Invite the playgroups, kindergarten, primary school kids and parents to building a coin trail in marked areas in store and the proceeds to go to a local charity. Kids love this and the nominated charity could put their banners outside the store. 

Treasure Hunt for books
Time-honoured. Place hidden notes around the store for kids or adults to find and win a free book. Time Out Bookstore did this successfully. This could involve independent shops from all over the town, with a stamp each, to drive people into their shops. This would lead to kick-backs for your display.

Old Time Nostalgia
Old classic books up to new releases

Old typewriters, pen and ink displayed in shop to type or write messages – kids may find this fascinating and adults nostalgic

Window display crayons, pens, old classic books to new (cover displays)

Surprise goody bags
You could display some of your ‘Ready Set…Read’ bags for special prizes which contain a book or some goodies donated from local supermarket or local shops – a note with a clue for what’s in the surprise bag. This could be a fundraiser for a local charity, if you run a raffle.

Create a ‘Your Pick” Table
The customer selects their best books in store with a note about why they recommend it and you display the book

An alternative to set up a book cloud (whiteboard, pin board, chalkboard or screen) during the week to go into a prize on Saturday – winner must be in store

Other customers purchase due to local recommendation

The most purchased book by lunchtime 29 October wins and the person who selected the book wins a book to a certain value. 

Have them help you out in the shop on the day!


Authors in-store

Invite authors to read and chat to customers

Ask a cookbook author to demonstrate a quick recipe and talk about their experience writing and photographing for their book – people are generally interested in hearing about the ‘behind the scenes’ experiences

Get a children’s author – story time or how to create a children’s book.



Themed dress up day- from a chosen book or the event of the day

Have staff place notes inside books with messages about their favourite page

Sign up to local bookstore “membership, etc. and receive a prize?


In-store or shop entrance music – get a local band, or school jazz band or Kapa Haka group.  Whatever suits your community and matches with your books.  

Getting local celebrities or prominent leaders in the community to support your plans and why celebrate NZ Bookshop Day


Send this message to your local council, schools, authors or communities:


“Get in behind” NZ Bookshop Day – Your Place, Your Bookshop

Welcome aboard! This campaign is to celebrate the great local bookstores in New Zealand. Reflect the vibrant and wonderful bookshops and their place in the community throughout the country - and their equally wonderful customers. If you are enthusiastic about all things books, writing, reading, buying and selling then please join in with the 175 bookshops who are celebrating throughout  NZ on 28 October 2018.


What can you do to help?

Contact us or your local bookshop and offer to take part in an event, book signing, reading or just helping out in the store!

Be willing to be in photographed supporting the campaign

Visiting store on day and wearing a “Ready Set Read” tote Bag.

Please send at least one quote, a picture and/or a story for use in print and digital media.

What do you like about bookshops?

Best advice or recommendation from a bookseller.

Why you like books and reading?

How you share books with your friends and family?

Tales and anecdotes of your favourite bookshops or books.

What do you enjoy when writing books?

Also like us on Facebook, check out the website and follow us on twitter.


Twitter Hashtags:  #nzbookshopday,

Website: All campaign/competition details