Monday, May 01, 2006

Doing My Homework #8: Book Placement

Final question from the “Are You Pondering What I’m Pondering, Pinky?” thread (unless Doug was serious about his question about what would sell better fiction or memoir and it wasn’t just a jab at Frey). Eileen asked:

“How do you decide where to shelve a book (romance or general fiction?—mystery or general fiction)? How do you decide who gets front of store display? And what are your views on writers who sneak in and rearrange their books on the front table in a tragic and desperate desire to get attention?”

For most chains book placement is decided by the book buyer (I’m assuming) and that information is entered into the inventory system. Book placement can differ between chains or between off-shoots of chains. Usually this difference is most apparent with books categorized as “thrillers” or “suspense” (although I hear this is all being rectified). These books could find their way into to fiction or mystery (although more than likely these days you’ll find them in mystery). Often publishers indicate where they think the book should be placed (either on the spine or on the back), but I’ve found that sometimes this varies from bookstore placement as well. In the end final placement comes down to where the bookseller thinks the most logical location might work for the book.

As for front of store displays here, and authors who rearrange books here. Best advice would be to just go talk to your bookseller and see what they can do about moving your books for you.

1 comment:

Jane said...

Jenny Crusie's fans always talk about rearranging her books for better placement. I always thought that was a bit weird. I am sure fans of other authors do it as well, but that one sticks out in mind (it comes up pretty often). I do know that I only browse the romance aisle, the new paperback tables, and the new sci fi/fantasy section. Hey, it used to be only the romance aisle.