Friday, January 20, 2017

Unknown Author

By Shirley Hailstock

I want to be an unknown author.  I went to Barnes and Noble last night, admittedly to buy a new book by one of my favorite authors.  And of course, I came home with more than the one book.  As any reader knows, books are like potato chips – you can’t buy just one.  So I was walking around the superstore, scoping out the books and looking at the guys to see who was just there to hang out.



There were a lot of tables and free standing book carousels and I found myself looking at the titles and authors.  I’m a sucker for a good title, so I look at those first.  These are the tables that publishers pay money to have the titled featured.



I consider myself fairly well read and well informed about books – all books not just romance or women’s fiction.  But what I noticed on these tables were books by people unknown to me.  Of course, I can’t know everyone, no matter now hard I try, yet on many of those tables, I didn’t recognize a single name.



I did recognize the publishers.  And I decided that is who I want to be.  I want to be one of those names that people come in the store find.  My book and my name prominently displayed.  I want to be the books they go home with, spend the night in bed with, and read from page one to The End.


18 comments:

  1. Shirley, I also amazed at the numbers of books in B & N by writers I've never heard of. I feel I'm reading all of the time, and like you, across genres and in non-fiction. I just keep buying more books hoping, maybe, to find out what makes the book great enough to be on those tables you speak of.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's all about publisher backing. They pay for that space, sometimes in the form of deep discounts or more favorable paying terms. It's what the publisher is pushing (or what author), but they are pushing someone enough to put promotion dollars behind them. I want to be that author.

      Delete
  2. I recently read Summer on Kendall Farm, and definately would have picked it up off a table at B&N. You're only unknown until someone reads your book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love that quote, "You're only unknown until someone reads your book." Thank you.

      Delete
  3. I'm with you, Shirley!

    I so seldom get to a B&N, but I love to browse our little bookstore here in town. Love the smell of new books!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pat, I do too. I don't smell it so much in B&N as I do in a small store. My small store is miles and miles away, but whenever I go there, I stand inside the door and just take in the smell.

      Delete
  4. I'm always overwhelmed when I walk into B & N or any bookstore. Many of my favorite authors I can't find, but there are always plenty of new names to discover.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't it fun, though, when you see someone you know on those tables. I remember the euphoria I felt when Jennie Crusie's new book was inside every store I went to.

      Delete
  5. That's who I want to be, too! I've discovered a few new-to-me ones that way. It's always great when they have a back list.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We'll be sisters, with companion books on the table, positions so anyone coming through the door will see our books first.

      Delete
  6. My goal is to be one of the book that Walgreens stocks. They have such a tiny supply....
    I always find it interest to think that ten years ago if I judged a published authors contest, I'd have read four of the ten books and at least two were authors I read and then there would be four new authors. Cool beans.
    Now, in a stack of ten books, I might, might, recognize one name. LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I still know a lot of the romance writers names. It's the books on these tables with people who are probably prolific and I've never heard of them, even though I read voraciously.

      Delete
  7. I think that's an excellent plan, Shirley! I've noticed those tables, too, and just figured I was out of touch with publishing these days. Good luck with the unknown author plan.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I hope you get what you want, Shirley. I would love to walk into a book store and see your book on that front table. Then I could say: "I know that author!" :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. I'll talk to the universe and see what they can do.

      Delete
  9. Shirley, I'm always wondering why book stores don't have shopping carts on wheels for folks like me. I'm a sucker for those tables as well. And the hunt to find a new author who rings my chimes is like finding gold when I do latch onto one. Then I go buy everything of theirs I can get. I have few new authors to me, that as far as I'm concerned, can't possibly write fast enough. Poor souls. They do deserve a life. Great post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too. I discovered backlist (before I knew the term) before I was a writer. I'd read everything I could find. When I found authors on Harlequin it was too late to find their books and I have never heard of a used book store. It was the library (that didn't carry romance) or buy it knew. So glad I am now educated.

      Delete