Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Star treatment

You know how it is when you're a big-time writer. You get the star treatment, right?

Er, no. Not exactly.

Go see what Tess Gerritsen has to say about being on the road plugging her books. (Link courtesy of Mediabistro.) Now although I didn't much like one of Tess Gerritsen's novels when I reviewed it a while back, it is undeniable that she is a big commercial success. But you'd never know it if you talked to some bookshop managers. She tried, and found they'd never heard of her.

At Store #3, the manager doesn't want me to sign ANY copies. She wants to be able to "return them all" if necessary. Then she looks in the computer and stares. "Wow," she says. "We have a lot of your books in stock. I guess you must sell really well here." Only then does she allow me to sign three copies of VANISH. I ask her if she has many authors come through her store.

"You're the only one," she says. (Do other authors know something that I don't?)


Anonymous said...

Oh boy.
I think maybe it's partly due to the big bookstore chains. It used to be that bookstore clerks were very knowledgeable. It was fun talking to them and getting recommendations and all. Now it's different. The mentality is different. This actually comes as no surprise.

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Anonymous said...

She'd be better received in the average chain book store if she sold artichokes. The know nothing about them either.

W. S. Cross said...

That's very funny. The manager probably doesn't like her books. So much of this business seems to be powered by "I like it" or "I don't like it."

If I ran my business based on my personal tastes, I'd be in another business!

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