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  • Writer's pictureJane Rubin

In the Hands of Women - Sales Strategy

The Launch is behind me, and events are rolling in – both in person and virtual, but the in person bookstores are tough customers. Don’t get me wrong, they are all willing to order a copy or two of In the Hands of Women, particularly since they can research the sales record and later return the books if they don’t sell. But when it comes to product placement, it’s an entirely different matter. And when I'm working with only a couple of books, product placement is critical. When I visit a store in person, I try to steer the conversation to where they plan to place the book - hopefully somewhere where it will be noticed and sold. It is a slippery slope because every author wants front and center, and a debut author is much like a beggar… I remember studying this concept in business school. Cereals were used as an example of product placement. Kid eye vs. mother eye level was always a good debate in class. I'm sure you've noticed that the sugary cereals are always low on the shelf, healthy up high. Today, I had the unique opportunity of being asked where I’d like my books placed. I couldn’t believe my ears! So, I asked the manager, “Can I look around a little?” My immediate quandary was the first display table, Beach Reads, a table of 30 books most with blue covers, or the Historical Fiction section where my work truly belonged. While I struggled to reconcile whether I could swallow placing my heavily researched work next to Barbie Fell in Love with Ken in Nantucket, the other side of me was chanting ‘front and center, front and center.’ So, I did what any reasonable writer would do – I split the stack. Half was placed beside the Beach Reads, the only sepia book cover on the table. The other half was set on the historical fiction rack. At eye level! Let’s see what happens! I love you, Indigo Books!!!

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