March 8th, 2009


Bookselling is sometimes very odd. Take last January. We received a directive to put up a "Winter Reads" table in the fiction section. This is the kind of thing we do all the time, and it seldom does very well. This time, we put the table at the front of store, behind the bestseller tables, but I still didn't expect much from it. Then it turned out that we had hardly any of the titles that were supposed to go on the table in stock. So I filled it with similar titles we did have, mostly fairly serious fiction titles that had done well when they were on the "Buy 1, Get 1 Half Price" table, along with a couple of others that I just liked. And it sold like crazy. I had to keep re-stocking it. I still don't know why. Was it the placement of the table? (And yet we have had similarly themed tables there in the past that never did particularly well.) Was it the titles I picked out? Or were people just more inclined to look at a table of winter reads this year? Like I say, very odd.