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Homer Kitabevi, Turkey

Ayşen Boylu, owner and manager of Homer Kitabevi bookshops talks about business as an English-language bookseller in Turkey.

Where is Homer Kitabevi? We have 11 branches. The main branch is at the cultural centre of Istanbul (Beyoglu); eight branches are Campus Bookstores, one is in Ankara (the capital city of Turkey) and the last one is a Museum Shop.

How large is the shop and how many books do you have on display at any one time? The main branch is 70 square metres, the Ankara branch is 200 square metres and all the others are changing. We have around 25,000 titles at our main branch and 30,000 at Ankara. They are all in English. We do not have so much space at the main branch, but in Ankara we have more space to display them.

How many people work in your shops? In total fifty: at the main branch there are four, at Ankara four and the others are at the other shops and in the office.

What kinds of books do you sell? We are selling only books in English and our collection is mostly academic titles on humanities. We specialise in archaeology, history, philosophy, photography, literary fiction, children’s books, travel and books on Turkey.

How long have you had the business? Seventeen years.

Where do your customers come from? 30% are expats, 30% are academics, 10% are tourist and rest are locals.

How would you describe the current state of the book trade in Turkey? The book trade will change into other types and I think in Turkey we still need five or more years for this change. Big cities will be affected quickly but we have a huge population. So I am in between, not feeling optimistic but not pessimist either.

What do you most enjoy about being a bookseller? When people find a book on your shelves that they are looking for and you see the smile on their face. Or a young reader finding her/himself in a wonderful world again at our shelves and travelling with that book to a magical book world.

Is there anything that you don’t like about the job? There are lots of professional works I could not read. And also I would be so pleased if people could buy more books so that I could afford to buy easily more for our collection.

How do you choose which books to stock? In the first years my professional background helped me, and now experience…

Do you organise events in your shop, such as book signings? Yes we do.

Which books are selling well at the moment? Philosophy, children’s books, photography and books on Turkey.

Do you sell books online? Yes we do at www.homerbooks.com

How do you get your books from the UK? We use World Wide Book Services (WBS).

What are you reading at the moment? Flight Behaviour (proof copy) and Turkey by Norman Stone.

Batch and Your Business


How long have you been using Batch?
I do not remember– maybe four years?

How does Batch help your business? It is so easy to see all the invoices, and pay at once without any problem, so for the small amounts it is also very easy to transfer to publisher. Also Claims are working so well. And when there is any problem Linda [Bowles] solves everything on time with the publisher and all of us are happy at the end.

Is there anything we could do to improve our service to you? More publishers! Thank you.

Homer Kitabevi
Yeni Carsi Cad No 12 A Galatasaray 34433
Beyoglu – Istanbul
Turkey
Tel. +90 212 2495902
Fax. +90 212 2513962
Contact: homer@homerbooks.com / aysen@homerbooks.com
www.homerbooks.com
Facebook: HomerKitabevi
Twitter: Homerbooks