Thursday, September 28, 2006

Some Advice for Authors (and Future Authors)

Please do not go into a bookstore between mid September and the end of October to check up on the sales floor stock of your newly released book. Unless, perhaps, you are Eric Carle or Nora Roberts, but probably not even then.

If you cannot find your book, please do not walk up to the information desk and ask the nice employee there to find your book - all the while pretending to be a customer and not the author of said book. The employee in question is currently trying to do the work of two people at once because corporate is full of jackasses who recently took all the extra hours the store had saved up for Christmas. Consequently, the managers have been running the increasingly busier store you are now in on a skeleton crew for the last few weeks - and they need to continue doing so until November. The employee in front of you, and his or her manager, would much rather spend the five minutes you are sucking up either helping an actual customer or getting more books out onto the floor.

If you cannot refrain from doing this, do not be surprised if stacks of books "accidentally" fall onto - or maybe just near - you. It won't be on purpose, I swear. Really, it's just that we've realized you are right and that we need to make getting all our new books onto the sales floor our number one priority - right after customer service, ringing up customers, cleaning the bathrooms, and, of course, dealing with local authors. Unfortunately, just about everyone's books come out between September and November. That's when we get our Christmas overstock in as well. It's also when the always brilliant corporate big-wigs decide they are going to steal our store managers for a week for their annual retreat. When you are trying to get hundreds of boxes filled with thousands of books out onto the sales floor per day* - all while multi-tasking, because, well, I suppose the customers should be helped every once in a while - accidents are bound to happen with all that rushing about.

One final note....

To the nice, but slightly annoying author who came into RandomCity B&N, CA the other day and got me at the information desk: don't take it personally, but if I haven't managed to find the time to get the brand-new pop-up book by the author of Where the Wild Things Are out from under a stack of books in the receiving room (a stack of books, by the way, that not only covers an entire work table and then some, but is also taller than I am*) and out onto the floor, despite several customer requests, I really don't give a shit that your new mass market is still sitting on the top of one of carts in the back.

*ok, I lied, one more note: these are not exaggerations

No comments: