Honestly, being a self-published author is tough when you’re in… a bookstore. You see, most of us never make it onto the shelves of a bookstore. Imagine the torture of that. One of my favorite places is a good bookstore. Before I had a book of my own, I never thought about it. Now I do.
It’s a curse, really. You see, every inch of a bookstore’s shelves is precious real estate. Especially the end caps – where a book is featured. The tables in the middle of the store are also great spots – anything within eyesight, basically. Authors who are trying to get the word out about their books don’t want their work to be buried on a shelf between other tomes. They want exposure.
So when I walk through our local Barnes & Noble and see books prominiently featured with titles like Why Men Marry Bitches, my first thought is “I’m glad I didn’t.” My second is a mental sigh of exasperation.
“Really?!” I think. “This book gets shelf space and featured and even published.. while mine doesn’t even make it into the store? I KNOW mine is more helpful, valuable and better written…” And the perplexing thoughts continue. And then I walk by (on the way to the bathroom) the three ENTIRE SHELVES of manga.
Manga is basically cartoons that all featured poorly drawn derivatives of the Big Boy character from Shoney’s. Perhaps the plots in these comics are fantastic. However, I just can’t get beyond the image of someone reading manga without wanting to offer them french fries. Or a job. The books’ proximity to the bathroom can’t be accidental.
And there you have it.. honest confessions of a self-published author as he wanders through a bookstore.
Now I’m off to get a burger for some reason..