Book Trailer The Noble Train

Thursday, April 27, 2017

How Barnes and Noble Can Survive and Thrive

Barnes and Noble has been under siege for some time by Amazon. They just hired another CEO to get sales moving in the right direction. They are scratching their head on how to compete against people clicking away on their books. Barnes and Noble is not exploiting their biggest advantage, their physicality and the physicality of their authors. Let me explain what I mean.

I do a fair amount of book signings at Barnes and Noble. My book Madam President The Secret Presidency of Edith Wilson came out in the fall and my latest is out May 1 Forging A President How the Wild West Created Teddy Roosevelt. So I have been in the stores. Here is what I tell the manager. Put me in during your busiest days if you can if not I will take whatever time you have. When I am in the store I usually sell every copy of my books. And I don't have people coming to the store to see me. In fact I sell all my books to people who had not even heard of my books when they walk in. How do I do it?

What I do is when people pass my signing table I talk to them. I tell them about my book about the story of our First Woman President Edith Wilson who took over the White House in 1919 and ran the government for two years. I tell them about Teddy Roosevelt losing his wife and mother on the same day and then going West for three years. People want to hear a good story. They want to read a good book. And then I tell them I will sign the book and it is game over. A sale. It doesnt matter if I have 5 books to sell or 20...I can sell them all by just talking to people.

If I was the powers that be at Barnes and Noble, I would have authors in the store every day of the week and surprise people by having them talk to people about their books. I would not have them sitting behind a table and waiting for people to talk to them. Have them rove the store. The very advantage of a physical store over the internet is that it is full of real live people. I see people walking around in Barnes and Noble looking for a good book. Imagine if  "surpise authors" all over the country were chatting it up in the stores with customers. The books would fly off the shelf. No one is more motivated to sell their book than an author.

Believe me, I know.

William Hazelgrove Website

Madam President The Secret Presidency of Edith Wilson
Forging A President How the Wild West Created Teddy Roosevelt

Books by William Hazelgrove