Thursday, February 17, 2011

Borders bookstores closing

News of Borders filing for Chapter 11 is nothing surprising to the publishing industry now but 3 years ago when my books were coming out, there was not an inkling of trouble with the company.

Borders in Westwood (near UCLA) was the first store where I signed stock of LOVE, MEG. I was so nervous and excited to see my books on the shelf! Mo and I searched on-line first to see where the books were around here and then we set out with pen and camera in hand. The very first time it took me forever just to get up the nerve to talk to a manager and say, "Hey, those are my books, do you want me to sign them?" I think we walked around the store for about half an hour first! But they were so nice and eager to slap the "Autographed copy" stickers on them. It was a huge thrill for me.

I always had a soft spot for Borders over Barnes & Noble for the simple fact that they stocked my books in more of their stores than B&N did. Also, they hosted a really nice signing for me at their West Hartford store when ALL ABOUT VEE came out. The manager, David, was amazing and kind and did everything he could to make it a success. When we ran out of books, he promised to order more that I could come in and sign before I left for the west coast - and he did!

Borders was also a better place to strike up conversations with other customers. For some reason, the stores I went to attracted readers who liked to talk about their favorite books. B&N customers were more business-like - either in and out with their purchases or hanging out with a coffee and earbuds in.

I'll miss Borders and I'll miss their managers. I hope the ones I met on both coasts fare well in this business, regardless of where they decide to stay.