Several retailers report robust sales for the Journey titles.
Tattered Cover in Denver hosted an event just after Force
Friday for Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know,
according to Heather Duncan, director of marketing. “We sell
Star Wars–related books, comics, toys and games, and gift
items, and they are selling well right now,” she says. “I anticipate increasing sales through the holidays and after the movie
comes out.” The bookseller has Star Wars displays in all three
of its larger stores and plans to keep them stocked through the
Mysterious Gallery in San Diego and Redondo Beach, Calif.,
which supplied books for the Star Wars Celebration fan
convention in Anaheim in April, also had a launch party for
Absolutely Everything, according to Maryelizabeth Yturralde,
event coordinator at the bookstore. “Star Wars is our most
consistent and enduring popular culture product,” she says.
“Part of it has to do with the way
they have connections in the com-
munity.” Mysterious Galaxy works
with the local affiliate of the 501st
Legion, a volunteer costuming
group that provides people dressed as
Storm Troopers for events.
Mysterious Galaxy has a permanent
back-to-back bookcase for pop culture
titles and is currently devoting one
entire side to Star Wars. “We’ve been
doing a little bit of an expanded mix,”
Yturralde says. “We haven’t brought in a lot more, because we
have a sense of what our audience wants. I personally love the
Lego Star Wars titles, but in our store there’s more interest in
Red Balloon Bookshop in St. Paul also enlisted its local 501st
Legion to promote Star Wars at the Twin Cities Book Festival
in October. “Those kinds of events, and the books, really are a
draw for kids,” says general manager Joan Trygg. She reports
that the Journey YA novels are doing well, as are ongoing series
such as Tom Angelberger’s Origami Yoda and Scholastic’s Jedi
Academy. “We’re starting to add in a lot of the new titles,
mainly tied to the movie,” she says.
Star Wars licensees are taking
advantage of the opportunity to
promote their recently published
non-movie tie-ins and deeper backlist titles.
“Everybody’s excited about Star
Wars all over again, so the backlist
is heating up,” says Steve Mockus,
senior editor at Chronicle Books in
San Francisco. He notes strong
interest for newer titles such as the
Darth Vader and Son boxed set, Star Wars Imperial Handbook, and
the reissue of Obsessed with Star Wars; Chronicle has also sold
more than 100,000 of its new Star Wars Epic Yarns board
books. As for deeper backlist titles, Barnes & Noble is
prompting Wookie Cookies for the first time in years, Mockus
Quirk Books in Philadelphia, which has published six
Shakespearean interpretations of
Star Wars since 2013, is partici-
pating in a number of retail promo-
tions this year, according to Brett
Cohen, the store’s president. “The
film certainly is giving the brand
renewed interest and even elevating
it, and we’ve been selling at a high
level anyway,” he says. “Will there be
Star Wars tables during the holidays?
Yes. Will there be more space for Star
Wars at retail? Yes. There will be in-
store co-op all over the place.”
The movie is helping expand distribution for some new and
backlist titles. Page Edmunds, associate publisher at Workman,
notes that wholesale club accounts featuring backlist titles in
their movie displays, include BJ’s, which is highlighting
Workman’s Star Wars Fandex, and Sam’s Club, with Star Wars
Scanimation. “They’ve carried them in the past, but the movie
is bringing them back into the forefront,” Edmunds says.
Similarly, Studio Fun is selling to GameStop for the first
time, Quirk is taking the unusual step of talking to mass
retailers, and Chronicle is seeing Bed Bath & Beyond promote
How to Speak Wookiee. “We’re seeing a surge of interest, espe-
cially from specialty retailers, due to the film,” Mockus says.
On the day the movie officially debuts, select tie-ins will
appear in stores, including titles such as DK’s Star Wars: The
Force Awakens Visual Dictionary and Incredible Cross Sections,
Abrams’s The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, a number of
titles from DPW, and new releases from other licensees.
The film is likely to continue driving sales of non-movie tie-
ins as well, with children’s titles as one of the key beneficiaries.
“The movie is introducing Star Wars to a whole new generation
of families,” says Cassie McCann, Studio Fun’s marketing man-
ager. “They may have the toys, but they haven’t seen the saga.
This really represents the first introduction.”
“We think little kids who won’t see the movie will latch on
to some of our backlist titles,” says Debra Dorfman, v-p and
publisher of nonfiction and licensing for Scholastic. “We’re
already seeing younger and younger kids come into Star Wars.”
Publishers and booksellers believe that, unlike with most movie
tie-in programs, the Star Wars franchise as a whole will continue
to expand after the film is released. Some publishers are even
increasing their marketing budget for Star Wars in the first three
months of 2016, which is not typical at that time of year.
“We think it will be one of those opportunities that grows