Friday, March 22, 2013

Christmas/Hanukka/Kwanza comes early

I went to the bookstore and what did I see?
501 Baseball Books, looking back at me...

Made my semi-regular trip to the Barnes and Noble near my office. Now, the book doesn't officially come out until April 1 (no fooling, nyuk, nyuk, nyuk), but since I know some readers -- to whom I am most grateful -- already have their copy via Amazon*, I was wondering...

Alas, I didn't see it among the new books, displayed with the front showing (as opposed to older titles, arranged with their spines outward. Still curious, I went to the customer computer and discovered that they did have it in stock. So I went back again; still nothing. Finally, I asked a clerk.

Third time's a charm. There it was: a single copy on the bottom row.

Mixed feelings. On the one hand, this really makes it official; it's available in a book store! On the other hand, one copy? Mixed in with all the other books and almost impossible to see? What's up with that? How is anyone going to find it by chance, as many readers do. And what happens if they sell it? Will the store manager realize this and order more? I know there are numerous marketing considerations in play. "Real estate" is important (location, location, location) and I don't understand what's involved with that (I'm pretty certain there's some financial remuneration to the retailer for prominent placement).

And maybe this was a sample copy? Maybe -- hopefully -- there will be many more copies, more easily accessible, once the official release day comes and bookstores highlight the baseball titles to commemorate the start of the season.

So in the spirit of full disclosure, I must say I placed the book as you see it below, in order to take the picture.

*As of this writing, 501 is #7 in Books/Education & Reference/Writing, Research & Publishing Guides/Publishing & Books/Bibliographies & Indexes/Literature and #67 in Books/Literature & Fiction/History & Criticism/Books & Reading/General and keeps moving back and forth in the Sports&Outdoors/Baseball category.

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