There are probably a lot of those who answer the question “What do you like to do in your free time?”: “Read a book.” The online bookstore Readit, founded by Myrat Hayytbayev that considers reading books to be part of his life from childhood, delights Turkmen book lovers.
The staff of Business Turkmenistan became one of the first guests of the new Readit office. We talked with a young businessman in the book business Hayytbayev on several topics, ranging from the essence of the project to book stores. Hayytbayev, who reads 24 books a month, said that the main reason for their success is the right marketing strategy.
How did you get the idea of opening a Readit online bookstore?
I like to read books since childhood. During my studies at a university in Belarus, I made a list of books that I need to read. Upon arrival in Turkmenistan in the summer of 2015, I could not find some books from my list. In the same year, I launched a blog related to books on a social Internet platform and began writing about them.
What factors did you consider when choosing a name Readit?
When writing a blog, I read a lot of books related to business. It was necessary to choose a name so that when entering the world market, it was understandable to the international community, that's why I chose Readit. Starting next year, we plan to operate in the CIS countries. We also plan to launch an application for an online store for audio and electronic books.
What analyzes did you do before entering the book business?
We carried out two analysis since 2015. During this period, the number of people reading books has increased five times. Due to the fact that I was a student, I started with small expenses. The site was ready in March 2019. Every day we posted information on the site. Currently, we are selling an average of 7-10 books per day. Sometimes their number reaches 30.
What is the process of ordering books in Readit?
When the reader orders a book through our website, a notification comes to us, after 5-10 minutes we confirm the order through a call. We deliver the ordered book to the reader in about four days. We are currently receiving payment in cash. We are also working on creating online payment capabilities on the site. More than 40 thousand books are available for sale in our store. The reader can order a book, which is not available online, by personal appeal. If this book has been published, then it is stored on our database. In collaboration with print houses, we can provide readers with over two million books.
Under the influence of social networks, getting books from Readit has become a trend. How did you achieve this?
One of the interesting topics for me is conducting marketing activities on social networks. I read several books in this topic. Since 2015, I have tested many strategies that are conducted around the world in social networks in connection with marketing. But due to the fact that most of them do not correspond to our readers, I started working on a new plan. We started to contact with famous artists in 2017. They started posting their favorite books by partnering with us, so did we started reposting it in our page. By doing this, we met people who first buy books. Because their idols love certain books, they started buying it to read. We also donate one book every month to those who have more than 5-10 thousand followers in social networks. Thus, we conduct bilateral advertising.
We can say that becoming a trend is the result of your marketing activities in social networks!?
Yes. For example, now all the books are ready a month in advance, which we post on social networks.
Recently, you began to popularize the writers themselves on social networks. What is the reason for this?
Yes. Since this month we have changed the strategy. We previously published photographs and books that were sent to us by readers. And now we are trying to show the writer and the content of the story printed in the book.
Do the customers read purchase books?
We have not yet carried out a specific analysis. But I'm glad that they are being bought, because books are becoming a trend. It is doubly nice when a good thing is a trend.
Are you planning to open an “offline” bookstore?
Yes we are planning. Opening a bookstore that people can visit requires more investment. Compared to other types of business, the book business is developing more slowly, so we plan to open the book store next year. We wanted to open it this year, but we directed our funds to the office and other expenses. If the reader knows exactly what book he wants to read, he can order it online, and if he doesn’t decide, he visits bookstores. For this reason, we plan to open a bookstore.
What do you attribute the success of your activity to?
In the strategy of right marketing. If a book is a trend in social networks, the number of its buyers is increasing, which in turn has a positive effect on book sellers. We try to use marketing tools correctly.
How did the idea of opening a bookcrossing came about?
The main goal of the bookcrossing is to provide books to those who do not have the opportunity to buy them, to make the books accessible to all. Every week we post new books.
What is the reason for opening a bookcrossing in front of Rahat cafe?
Bookcrossings are usually placed in open spaces. But since this is the first crossing in Turkmenistan, we decided to place it in a visited place. Having agreed with the management of Rahat cafe, we put it in front of the cafe.
Where else do you plan to open such crossings?
Our goal is to open one crossing every month. In November, we plan to open two, one of which will be located next to the Dana educational center, the other in the Turkmenistan Shopping Center. After the appearance of the first bookcrossing, the number of applicants increased. The design of each bookshelf will vary according to the particular location.
Not a month has passed since the opening of the bookcrossing. What is book circulation?
Very good. Often read. I recently saw that someone had posted a book about Ted Talks. In five minutes while I ordered coffee and came back, the book was already taken for reading. The books are replaced every day.
Sharing books from your own library with others is no easy task. What is the approximate number of books that are placed at the point by readers?
We also post, so do the other readers. We keep track of books posted. We intend to offer our books for four months. After readers gets used to it, book circulation will continue on its own.
You said that from childhood you love to read books. How many books have you read so far?
I can say that in total I have read about 1000 books. Personal record - 24 books in one month. The last year and a half I give preference to self-improvement books, so the frequency of reading books has decreased. I consider that it is much more important to understand the books than the number of books read.