Have you Ever Done This?

Recently I read a post about the easiest way that you can support one of your favorite authors, but I won’t link to it because the blogger didn’t reply to my comment. Seriously.

Anyway, her entire post was about going into your favorite bookstore, finding the book/author you’d like to help support, and turning their book to face the aisle with its cover out rather than just its spine. She made it sound like this was a huge deal and could help out authors in a significant way. But I disagree.

Let’s say you do this and someone comes along and buys the book. Let’s even assume that they enjoy the book. And then later buy more books by this particular author. We’ll say the author has five more books currently available. So this other person buys a grand total of six books by this author. Whoop. The author makes a grand total of…not much from the sales. You could really stretch this scenario to say that this new reader is going to climb to the top of a mountain and scream that everyone should read this author, or that they’ll tweet about it, or find a way to interview them on their blog. But let’s be real. A typical person in a bookstore simply does not have the ability to drive sales without a significant platform, which most people do not have.

Sure it’s nice of you to turn that book by your favorite author out toward the aisle, but the impact is likely no greater than if you’d have just tweeted that you liked it.

Have you ever gone into your bookstore specifically to do this? I haven’t, mostly because I don’t go into bookstores.

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35 thoughts on “Have you Ever Done This?

  1. I understand why book covers are turned towards the aisle, but you know what? That actually bothers me! Think of how many other books they could fit on the shelf without that one book taking up so much sideways space! Does that even make sense! Anyways, I rarely buy the books that face out, because they’re strategically placed for purchase. And I don’t like to read the most recommended books most of the time. They never live up to the expectations set by other readers and the stores, etc, so I just do my own thing.

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  2. I have done something similar bit I’m aware it does little for the author, it’s more about leaving a gift for the next reader who comes along and hope they see it as a personal recommendation!

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  3. I’ve been a merchandising manager for years. Turning the book out does make a difference for that book. Most people will avoid grabbing the “display” copy. I have never done this at a place I did not work.

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    • I don’t mean the retailer turning it out. Cause obviously there’s a reason certain books get nice end caps or prominent displays. I’m talking about a customer doing it to one, or maybe a handful of books. There’s no help to that book. Not really.

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  4. About the only time I have ever done something like this is at the library. Just so other patrons could see some of what is available. But that doesn’t really count, does it?

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    • Why not? You’re doing the same thing. Trying to get someone to read that book.

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      • Yes, exactly, but see a library works off of people checking out books, and most of the time they browse not knowing what they want. SO since it’s not technically a monetary gain, does it really matter? It’s called opening their eyes up to new possibilities that they might not know is there. I’m forever checking out books because the librarian has made them visible and obvious. I don’t see it as a bad thing.

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      • It matters just as much as it does in a bookstore. Hardly at all.

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  5. When I like a book a lot, I like to give it as a gift and then bug people until they finish reading it and tell me how they felt about it.

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