At first I won't be able to do a lot of author events, like book signings and things like that, because my store won't be very known. So I plan to do the following things to get people in the door. After, of course, a media blitz.
1. Knitting Circles. My floorplan includes some furniture in a small sitting area. That's to save on inventory money and give people a reason to stop in on their lunch break. There aren't a lot of places to get a break from work so if there's sitting there's people. On Saturdays when it will probably be slow until people move down there I'll host knitting circles. That will give people a new place to hang out and check out the store. And if someone wants to learn, they can.
2. Lunchtime Book Clubs. As I mentioned in #1 people downtown need a place to go during lunch to just get out of their cubicles. At least the people I spoke to did. This way people can meet for a few times a week and talk about what's up in the book. And if the club buys the books with me they get a discount.
3. Beer and a Book. A book club that I would partner up with a bar or pub where we pick beers based on the book. What would the character drink? What drinks are featured in the book? Etc, Or I could do it after hours and it'll be a byob event. That's still to be figured out.
4. Non-partisan Open Discussion Nights. Since I want my store to be a place where people exchange ideas and learn about their community, I want to host small informal events where people can talk about what's happening and actually learning about them. I would work with community groups involved with topical issues and host it in many different places. I could work as a moderator so things don't get out of hand. This is a fledgling idea.
5. Kids Days/Camps. On Saturdays or during the breaks the store could do something like a book camp. There will be structured events based on books and whatnot and also free reading time.
6. Non-author Book Events. There's also creating events based on book releases that don't involve the author of the book. Tea parties for cookbooks, that kind of thing.
7. Open Mics. Poetry nights, acoustic nights, prose nights. Things that are related to writing. And that can include the obvious and not so obvious like play readings and stuff.
Any events you wish your bookstore did that you'd like them to do?