Tales of the Cocktail's Impact: Octavia Books

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The very first year of Tales of the Cocktail there was a 2-hour event hosted by Borders highlighting cocktail books they already had in their store. Today, the “Bookstore & Bitters Market” is put on by Octavia Books and runs throughout the entire 5-day festival and its books, bitters, and event participants fill a large room at the Hotel Monteleone. The Market features books from around the world on cocktails and the hospitality industry, book signings with 50+ authors, and a selection of many hundreds of bitters from 31 different suppliers.

  • 5 Days
  • 50+ Authors
  • 31 Bitters Suppliers
  • 750% Increase in Sales


Octavia Books views their engagement as an opportunity to:

  • Increase sales
  • Gain exposure
  • Build a community


Increased Sales:

  • Octavia Books experiences a 750% sales increase on typical summer sales during the week of Tales of the Cocktail.

Reputation That Lasts:

  • Octavia Book’s role as Tales of the Cocktail’s in-house bookseller has established its credibility in the local market as the primary source for books about cocktails, drinking, and New Orleans. This reputation continues to drive sales throughout the rest of the year. When bartenders are wondering where to buy books like “Tequila Mockingbird” and “Hickory Daiquiri Dock,” they immediately think of Octavia Books and know that they will have it.

Increased Dxposure:

  • As a result of their involvement with Tales of the Cocktail and hosting of the Book and Bitters Market, Octavia Books has been mentioned in publications and gained increased local and regional exposure.

Relationship Building:

  • Not only has Octavia built relationships with authors by introducing them to the festival, but they also have met authors during the festival that then return to Octavia Books at other times throughout the year to do book signings or other promotional events.


“For us, Tales of the Cocktail is like Christmas in July. I don’t think we could physically be any busier, with someone constantly at the register for five straight days. It is a real boost for the store, to move that much volume during July.”

“We find that the more unusual and rare things that we are able to get our hands on, the better it sells. People may be able to get the same book back home, but they would never be able to get it signed by the author. To have that kind of exposure is really what makes the event so special.”

“Tales of the Cocktail is one of the most unique events in the city – and the bookstore is an integral part of the event. As far as the bookstore goes, we look to constantly improve. Every year it gets better.”

-James Wilson, Bookseller at Octavia Books