Bookshelves

Diane Report:

Number of pages written since past rant of two weeks ago: I have no idea
Daily average: I have no idea
Daily goal: totally not met
Number of pages to go: 139
New Daily Goal: 20 pages
New Deadline: June 16 (I broke down and asked for 2 more weeks)

Megan’s talk of organizing bookshelves got me to wishing for time to organize mine. I’m still in crazy mode of writing (see above) which automatically increases my desire to organize my bookshelves. I believe the urge will pass as soon as the book is turned in.

Speaking of bookshelves, I was in my local Borders Express recently and again got burned up. They shelve the Romance novels against the side wall, floor to ceiling. This makes it impossible for a woman of average height (me) to reach or even see the top shelves, and nearly as difficult to reach what is on the bottom. There is a stool nearby to climb on to reach the top shelf but even I am wary of falling. It is far easier to confine my search to books within easy reach.

This means, of course, that authors such as Gaelen Foley and Elizabeth Hoyt were unreachable and thus were less likely to sell.

When I first encountered this new shelving, the cashiers told me it was a corporate decision. Whoever made the decision certainly did not think it through that it was possibly not a good idea to make the best-selling genre hard to reach, especially when women are the most likely purchasers and most likely to be too short to reach the top shelves. “You can ask a cashier to help,” I was told, but when was the last time you saw cashiers wandering around the bookstore waiting to climb up on a stool for you? And would you be likely to ask them to browse the shelves for you? What’s more, some romance readers like to browse with a little more privacy, not out in plain view so everyone in the store can see you are looking at books with “man-titty” covers (as Janet would call them).

I can see it all now…the stores will sell fewer romance novels and will thereby convince the corporate decision-makers that romance novels are not selling as well as they used to. Then they will decrease the shelf space for romance novels and order fewer of them, thereby making the sales go down even more.

When I first saw this I asked the cashiers for a phone number to call to complain. They gave me a corporate number, they said, but it was a wrong phone number. This time I didn’t bother to ask because the unhappy-looking cashier who waited on me had been reading “Resumes for Dummies” and I supposed he didn’t want to hear me rant about romance novels.

Has anyone else encountered shelving like this? What do you think is most conducive to selling romance novels?
And (totally self-serving question) does shelving Harlequin Historicals in with the other Harlequin series books make it easier to find them or more difficult?

On this Memorial Day take a moment from your fun and remember all soldiers who dedicated their lives to their country — like my father!)

About diane

Diane Gaston is the RITA award-winning author of Historical Romance for Harlequin Historical and Mills and Boon, with books that feature the darker side of the Regency. Formerly a mental health social worker, she is happiest now when deep in the psyches of soldiers, rakes and women who don’t always act like ladies.
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