It’s not an incredible feat. Lots of people do it. But in short, here’s how it went down:
- Walked in the store
- Sat in vacant wooden chair on the sales floor
- Spotted cool cover and picked up book
- Read 50 pages
- Bought book
This is an everyday type of occurrence. I was actually pleased to see as many people walking in and out of the bookstore (not an idie store, I’m afraid, but I didn’t have time to drive deep into the city for one). The numbers may be lower, but every time I go in a brick and mortar store, I’m uplifted; Print is not dead!
So why tell the story? I’ll call the first reason: on the importance of an eye-catching cover. The book I bought is A Walk Across the Sun by Corban Addison. A quick Google Image search says the cover I bought isn’t the only one out there, although I’m sure this is due to UK release or other international releases. But the message is: I picked it up because the cover intrigued me. It was lucky enough to be front-facing, which is a difficult feat for authors to get at big stores. I’m currently working with someone on the cover of my own book, (well, she’s doing all the hard lifting), and I’ve been studying covers.
Man and girl almost kissing (aka Nicholas Sparks), Black cover with single object (fifty shades), a girls face, (lots of YA books), artwork (literary fiction).. .the list goes on. It’s hard to make your work stand out. But it’s possible, as evidenced by this book that not only stood out, but followed through with really captivating content.
Okay, okay, we get it. COVERS are important. What else?
Brick and mortar stores… that’s what else. This week I actually bought two books: One from Amazon because I like the author and saw a review on the old Twittersphere, and the other because I sat in a store, on a hard chair and saw the cover. Amazon is fine for the one-click, insta-purchase, but it’s not a browsey kind of place. Algorithms and previous purchases prevent the kind of freedom you experience in a bookstore. You know, the old aisle wander. The old guilty pleasure stop in the fantasy section, or new age section or the teens’ favorite: the sexuality section. At the physical stores you can just chill out for a while. It’s great.
Oh, and before I go, I just wanted to say that this book purchase was one of the very few times that I bought the first book I picked up. It felt kind of cool and daring. I suggest you try it 🙂