Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Seeing Your Book in the Bookstore -- Emily

Tip of the Day: The laws of science dictate that when you take a camera into a bookstore, the likelihood of a salesperson asking you if you need assistance finding a book is three times greater than without said camera in hand.

Today is the official release date of I Heart You, You Haunt Me by our very own Miss Pinch Me I’m Pubbed, Lisa Schroeder. Congratulations on your release, Lisa. And readers, if you have any doubts about buying the book, just look how lovely it is sitting on a bookstore shelf!

“Hi, I’m Lisa’s book. Won’t you please give me a nice, new home? I’m not picky: anything has to be better than those shipping boxes I’ve been living in.”

I think seeing my book on the shelf for the first time will be one of the most surreal and non-surreal experiences at the same time. Surreal in the sense I can’t believe it’s happening. But non-surreal in the sense, that even now as an aspiring writer each time I go into a bookstore, I can’t help but pick out a spot my book would look nice once I, yanno, get an agent and sell a book.

If/when I finally do see my very own copy of my book on the shelf, I think my first instinct will be to think it’s someone else’s book with the same name and same book title as myself. Mainly because I have a feeling I will be stalking bookstores weeks before my official release date in the hopes of spotting a glance of it on the shelf. And once I actually spot it, I think I might be inclined to take a second glance to make sure it is in fact the book I’ve been trying to find for weeks.

After I had confirmed it was indeed EMILY’S BOOK. I would probably start examining it’s location on the bookshelf.

Take this Picture for example:

Why yes, that would be EMILY’S BOOK nicely located between Uninvited and Vampire Academy.

Then I would start panicking thinking: why is my book placed in between a book named Uninvited and Vampire Academy? Is that supposed to be some sort of sign? Like my book isn’t good enough that the book next to me is saying I’m “Uninvited?*” And what’s the deal with me being squished between two vampire books and having witches close by. Aren’t vampires and witches supposed to be mean? My poor book is going to feel so…well…uninvited. And then they are going to want to teach all my characters to become a vampire at Vampire Academy, I’m sure, which would be a slight departure from their real selves.

After convincing myself that my mind was playing tricks on me and those other books weren’t out to get mine, I’m sure my next thoughts would be something like this:

  • Why is no one picking up my book?
  • If no one picks up my book, then surely my publisher is never going to buy another book by me. And then all my hard work to get even this one book published is going to go nowhere.
  • And if my publisher never buys another book by me, surely it will prove all those people that rejected me during my agent and editor submission phase correct: that my books weren’t good enough.
  • Maybe I should face the book face forward, so people can see it more. Surely they will buy it then, won’t they?
  • Great, no one’s buying it still. It’s because they realize this Emily Marshall chick is a horrible writer. I can see in on their faces as they walk by.
  • Maybe I should ask the bookstore clerk if I can autograph it, because I heard signing books can help sell more.

Then the following conversation might take place:

ME (going up to the bookstore clerk): Um, yeah, so I wrote this book, here. Do you think I could sign them and you can give me one of those spiffy stickers that says, ‘Autographed Copy.’

16-YEAR OLD MINIMUM WAGE BOOKSTORE CLERK: Yeah right, lady, like you wrote a book?

ME: No really. (opening the back cover of my book and pointing to the author picture): Look that’s me.

16-YEAR OLD MINIMUM WAGE BOOKSTORE CLERK THAT IS CLEARLY OUT TO GET ME: whatever lady that person in the photo has much nicer hair then you do.

ME (thinking that was a low blog and talking myself into the fact I’m above arguing with a 16-Year Old bookstore clerk that is clearly in allegiance with Uninvited and Vampire Academy*)


As I head back to the YA books section, I would continue thinking that the conversation didn’t go over as I planned, so I would devise a new plan:

  • Maybe I should move my book to random places in the bookstore. Because aren’t people seeing your book in multiple places, supposed to make it feel more important and want to buy it more?

And of course it would end there: at me thinking about putting my book in multiple places in the bookstore. Because it would be wrong of me to place my book in the “Best Seller” section or on every end cap in the bookstore, wouldn’t it?

Now I have to get back writing the best book I can, so that the above can become a reality. Even if I’m sure in actuality seeing my book on the shelves for the first time would go nothing like the above, but it was fun to pretend.


* NOTE TO READERS: I have in fact heard wonderful things about these books, and am sure in actuality they would welcome my book with open spines J Sorry, I couldn’t resist, though.


DeenaML said...

Oooh -- I'd never thought of moving copies of my book to different random locations around the stores -- that's GREAT idea! Like doing my own Amazon pairings. I'll place my book next to Linda Stolarz's PROJECT 17 with a sign that says, "If you liked PROJECT 17, here's another book you'll enjoy." And then I'll put it in the memoir section, too, next to MY LOBOTOMY. Em, you are a genius!

The first time I see my book in the stores, I'll probably keep staring at it and spying on it to see if anyone's picking it up and buying it. While trying not to look creepy.

Emily Marshall said...

Wow, I've been upgraded to genius status. I'll take it. Thanks.

And yep, I would definitely sit there awhile staring at it, too. I'm sure!

Kate Fall said...

I'm making those signs right now! "If you liked *any damn book in the store*, here's another book you'll enjoy!"

Also, I'm going to the bookstore to find out what titles I'm next to for my next plot twist when I'm stuck. "Hmmm, what if my characters DID enter a vampire academy?" And it goes without saying I'll be going to any store where I want service with a camera in hand.

Lisa, I hope you appreciate how much we're enjoying your launch!

Anonymous said...

I am so glad you were able to take a picture of Lisa's book. I know you were wanting to have that for today's post.

Me: Hi, I'm looking for my wife's book.
Clerk: Um, when did she order it?
Me: No, she wrote it.
Clerk: She wrote it?
Me: Yes. She authored a book.
Clerk: Personally?

Emily Marshall said...

Kate, I think everyone is going to make those signs, now. And you won't believe what having a camera will do to inspire service. I've never been asked for help with anything so much in a bookstore before.

Jordan...HAAAAA (even if I'm the only one that will get the inside joke). I knew I married you for a reason.

Ghost Girl (aka, Mary Ann) said...

I'll second the genius vote! Did they threaten to frisk you, Em?

Add me to the pile of transfixed gazers, sitting cross-legged in the middle of the floor. Maybe I'll even bring lunch!

Congrats, Lisa!

Lisa Schroeder said...

Em, wow, look at that, little elves came in to the store *right* before you got there and turned my book facing out just for your picture! How KEWL is that?

Kate - "If you liked any damn book in the store..." - HA!!! Yes!

Thanks for the congrats, everyone!

Emily Marshall said...

Ghost Girl--thankfully no frisking was involved! Bringing lunch in an excellent suggestion as well. I hadn't thought of that.

Ha...I know Lisa, it was quite the coincidence :)

DeenaML said...

All right everyone, unlike Em and her quick service due to her camera accessory, I was told I was NOT allowed to take pics of Lisa's book bc it was a "copyright infringement." Um, I knew B&N was taking over the world, but can they really copyright Lisa's book on a shelf???? HA!

Ghost Girl (aka, Mary Ann) said...

Okay, guys, I was killing time in the B&N today and saw that they do, indeed, have Lisa's book on the shelf, now.

However, I was looking for another item so I went over to Borders. Let me tell you, gals, Borders was much nicer to our ghost-loving friend. Her book was displayed face out, in all its glory. B&N had it filed in line with the rest and I really had to hunt a little. Of course I had to snap one up and turn one out so everyone could see it!

DeenaML said...

There is a local Borders here, too -- I should see if THEY let me snap a pic! ;)

Emily Marshall said...

That's so sweet, Ghost Girl, I'm sure Lisa will thank you. Borders was where I took the pic, since B&N didn't have it in yet where I live. But I'd imagine mine would be different, since they actually have a "New Books" section in the B&N and don't in Borders. It's funny how things are different all over the US.

And Deena, I say go for it.

Lisa Schroeder said...

ghost girl, you are AWESOME! Thanks for the book sighting report and for snapping one up. :) I hope you like it!!!

Anonymous said...

I've got a new one. My book came out this weekend so I took the whole family to Borders to view it. It was stuck on the shelf in the 'Family Health' section and not displayed so you could see the cover, so I re-arranged the entire book case so you could see my lovely cover. Btw I found this blog because I was trying to figure out why it is stocked in some Borders stores but not others. Anyone know the answer?