>I was at the bookstore this weekend, trying to imagine myself as a normal book buyer. (You know, the kind who just picks up books and buys them…and doesn’t think way too much about publishing, editing, writing, agents, the future of the publishing industry and a lot of other stuff while doing it).
There are certainly a lot of books in the romance section. A LOT of books. Still trying to be a “casual book buyer”, I ignored this and tried like hell to simply peruse them. A lot of books sit spine-out, and aren’t as visible. (Not to mention, I wish they’d put the author’s name in the same place on all of them…would sure make it easier to find any I was specifically looking for…but I digress.)
I saw some books that were the bigger size 6″x9″. They do stand out on the shelves, which is supposed to be a good thing. Can’t sell them if no one sees them, right? Unfortunately, looking at them as a casual observer might, a lot of them have some pretty racy covers—so do a lot of the regular sized paperbacks, in fact, but this particular bookstore had all their larger books in stacks facing out. Altogether like that and all facing me, it was kind of like I’d walked into a different kind of store…
I can’t imagine just anyone would pick one of those up and carry it to the checkout. Some people do care about that kind of thing, and imagining myself buying the raciest of the ones I saw was actually making me a little squeeky…this from the woman who WROTE the love scenes in Hawkes Abandon. Yeah. I am NOT judging–just an observation. Racy covers draw some readers and turn off others. What are you gonna do? Can’t please everyone…
The thing is: the cover is so important in drawing a reader’s eye (and pocketbook) to a book. If they don’t pick it up, they won’t read the blurb, and if they don’t read the blurb, they don’t read the first page…AND if they don’t like the first page… Well, it’s not easy getting people to spend money is all I can say. I’m the perfect example of that myself. I went there to buy a Susan Grant book (for research on the SciFi being done out there). I would still have purchased it no matter what the cover looked like—did, in fact, without reading the blurb or the first page, but that was a different scenario. Shannon told me I’d like it, so I bought it.
I read it in a day, which I never do—slow reader. It was good, too. Was interested to see how she used quite a few POV’s in the story. Susan Grant is no JR Ward, but I will say I liked it (and that I’m a rabid JR Ward fan—no one is JR Ward except maybe JR Ward). Susan’s book had some nice, clean writing, and there was plenty of movement along the plotline to keep me turning those pages. As an ET romp, one could do a lot worse than picking up a copy. Glad I had them order me a copy of How to Lose an Extraterrestrial in 10 Days while I was there. I’m looking forward to it.
Oh, and I also mentioned to them that for all the books the woman had out, they had only one copy, and it was the one I bought. “I’m a fan…get some more of her books in the store, will you?” I figure it can’t hurt.
Oh, here’s one cool thing that happened yesterday… Mom (who is a voracious reader of anything and everything) is reading Stephenie Meyer’s book because I told her to buy it while we were at the bookstore. (I haven’t read it myself yet…I’ve got it on reserve at the library. Wanna see what all the fuss is about…if it’s good, which I hear it is, I’ll buy my own copy.)
Mom said, “It seems quite juvenile…the writing is juvenile.”
I said, “It’s for teenagers. I guess it’s supposed to be.”
She said, “Well, your books are on a different plane than this. The language, the writing…something about your stuff is more complicated and deeper than this. Your stuff is better.”
She’s my mother…it’s her job to say stuff like that. As far as she’s concerned, I shit gold. (Forgive the crass wording, but that’s always what I think when she says stuff like that.) Well, I liked it just the same. (Every writer likes nice stuff said about their work—no matter who says it! LOL) On the other hand, I should be so “juvenile.” (In my dreams.)
Speaking of which, I saw Stephenie on Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood a couple of weeks ago. She looked really good, too. Pretty face. Maybe having plenty of Benjamins in your pocket makes for a more attractive visage. Not sure. At any rate, I’m not sure even millions could improve the bags under my eyes. I need more sleep…and I’m not going to be getting it within the next 10 or so years…I can see that already.