Friday, September 28, 2007

Shelf Spots and New Authors

I was wondering if any other unpubbed writer, when in the bookstore, finds the spot on the shelf where your books will be one day? (or am I the only crazy one?)

As readers, do you think it's better for a book to be surrounded by big name authors in the same subgenre, or is it better to share shelf space with books not in the same subgenre?

Either way has advantages and disadvantages.

For example, when someone is searching for "Mrs Big Name's" newest book, if a new author's book is next to her on the shelf, there is a chance the reader will notice it. Or, they might only see MBN's book, and with a limited budget, will buy the author they already know.

On the other hand, floating off alone in a sea of another subgenres means the new author's spine might really stand out from those books around it. But, at the same time, readers who aren't looking for her and have never found a book in the subgenre they read on that shelf might not look there.

Kind of six one way a half dozen the other, I guess. So how do you find new authors? Do you search the shelves, or do you rely on hearing about the author first? Do you think shelf placement matters?


Crystal said...

If I already know the author I do it by name, if not I always look at the attractive cover. If I have time to kill I will read the back cover but that is rarely the case. I love werewolf novels. If I see a picture of a wolf on the cover I automatically grab it. That's how I picked up Stray by Rachel Vincent. Never new anything about her and one day I go in to buy a book and I see the cover of hers and see the scratches on the woman and think wolf or some type of shifter. I just bought it, didn't even read the back. Hope that helps you...Crystal

Kalayna-Nicole Price said...

Hey Crystal!

I agree, a killer cover always draws me in if I've never heard of a particular author before. I've found more than a few new authors that way too.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing!

Kelley said...

I don't typically have anyone recommend me a book. The way I find new reading material is browsing the shelves. I usually start near "MBN" to see if they have a newly released novel and then scan for interesting titles/covers - which I then read the back...if it makes it past that test I'll read the first couple of pages. If I still like it, I buy it.

Kalayna-Nicole Price said...

Hi Kelly,

So do you think you notice the new titles closer to "MBN" or do you pretty much scan all the shelves?

Sounds like a good title/cover is the real secret to initially getting noticed. Of course, the marketing people have known that for years! I think it must have been an author stuck with a terrible cover who coined the phrase "Don't judge a book by it's cover." At the same time, like you said, while the cover might draw us into picking up, it's what is between the cover that will make us take the book home.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing!

Kelley said...

That's difficult to gauge. Since I typically start at "MBN" then I guess the ones closer...For example, I discovered Kelley Armstrong's Otherworld series because she's fairly close to Orson Scott Card's books. Same with Sara Douglass's and Trudi Canavan's books.