Sunday, October 01, 2006
Guilty as Charged
I suspect a picture of me is taped up in the employee lounges of my local bookstores. With warnings to watch me for nefarious and suspicious activity.
And it’s true. All of it.
I am guilty of skulking through the aisles to the Young Adult section, studying the shelves, scanning the area for employees and people-without-lives, and waiting until the time cost is clear. And then--
Whamo! My hand strikes like a coiled snake at its prey. I grab a stack of faced-out books, slide them forward ‘til only their spines show. Then I stop. I glance around. I take a few side-steps ‘til I’m in front of a friend’s books. I scoot other books down to make an empty space.
Then I strike again. Moving my friend’s books to the preferred face-out position so that her cover can be seen and enjoyed by all.
(And okay, I admit it: what a rush!)
Big Name authors, my apologies. Yours are the books I turn in. Because you’ve already got a strong reader base, and your readers are going to find your books whether they jump out at them or not.
What I’m hoping for is the impulse buy, that the reader who came in for a Big Name leaves with a New Name, too. (Preferably a book written by a Buzz Girl, my critique partner, or another of my friends.) That the shopper learns what so many of us already know, that there’s a wealth of new talent out there, waiting to be discovered.
So far, the Book Store Police have not detained me. I continue to strike in the name of new authors (who double as friends). I’ll let you know if this ever changes. In the meantime, starting next February, if you happen to see my book on a shelf appearing only by its spine? Well...I’m not going to ask you to break any laws, of course. But you know what to do.
Are any of you equally guilty?