While I’m definitely going to try to get to Watchung Booksellers today, I wanted to do a special edition of “Help a Bitch Out,” only in this case it’s, “Help a Bookstore Out.”
When I did a signing at Watchung Books this week, I learned from Margot Sage-EL, the owner, that much of what sells in her store is trade fiction, usually of a literary fiction bent. When they have stocked mass market paperback romances in the past, the books haven’t sold well.
Yet, recently, Margot told me that shoppers looking for something to read have in fact asked for “something lighter,” or something “uplifting.”
So here’s my question: with an audience that’s particularly partial to trade fiction, what books would you recommend, uplifting, romance, or both? Margot would love to have a list from our readers of a few books she could stock as “Recommended” for those who are searching for the types of narratives we romance readers enjoy.
I would start with Nora Roberts’ new trade paperback, Vision in White which you’d have to see to believe how beautiful it is. Cover flaps and beveled pages – it’s truly a beautiful production. And that may influence a buyer who sees Nora’s name and thinks, “Romance, oh, no thanks.”
It’s not quite a “book that will bring you over to the romance side (cue the sparkle ponies)” but more of a list of romance or SRE narratives which an avid fiction reader might enjoy as they hunt for more encouraging, friendly fictional tales, and (we hope) discover the power of the happy ending.
An aside: I’m a big fan of bookstores in general, and while the independents are suffering, so are, unfortunately, some outposts of the corporate chains, and the folks who work there are often as tenuously employed as the folks who work at indies. So even though it goes against the spirit of today’s holiday, I want to encourage you in general to buy a book today. Call it the Jaye Wells Mantra: any book that sells is good for all of us.