I went to Barnes and Noble today. It was depressing.
Not because it was Barnes and Nobel and not an indie bookstore (though, there is that), but because it was a depressing place for a wannabe to spend a Wednesday morning.
All of the employee’s looked bored out of their wits, or trying to busy themselves with “tasks” and “duties.” I feel for them. I used to work retail and there are days it blows. Nothing to do but, literally, stand around and, well, just stand. At least they have jobs, unlike me (soon to be, anyway).
The worst part was the books. I know. Books at a book store! How awful! I was surrounded by thousands of books, just waiting to be bought and read and loved. Or hated.
And that was the problem. There were so many there. How do I choose one? Sure, I can ask for a recommendation, read reviews or just test my luck, but where to start? And, these were just the physical books. It doesn’t even count the ebooks that are out there.
How does one stand out? Get their stuff before an audience? Especially these days when one is expected to have a following before you even think about signing on the dotted line with a publisher? If you go that route. It’s the same problem for self-pubs, I assume.
That wasn’t the worst of it. Heading toward the check out, I passed the bargain book display. Markdowns everywhere. All the books that just couldn’t find a home for whatever reason.
But the absolute worst? The “Former Best Seller” display. I don’t even know what to make of that. Books that used to awesome but now aren’t? Books that had their moment but now we’re over it? Leftovers?
Ack, who knows. But, being in there today almost made me want to quit. Almost. Because here I am, still writing away. I’m not quitting. Not yet.