News, commentary, and fiction by Barb Hendee, co-author of the Noble Dead saga (www.NobleDead.org); author of the Mist-Torn Witches series, the Vampire Memories series, and more.

Barnes & Noble

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Yesterday was our 28th wedding anniversary.  We had a very fun day in which we'd planned an "outing," and we left about 10:00 yesterday morning to go do various things to celebrate.
 
But I did have one moment of discomfort and worry.  JC and I stopped by the huge Bridgeport Mall up in Tualatin.  There used to be a large Borders there, but it closed down when the company went belly up.  However, B&N picked up the lease a few months ago. 

We were so happy to learn of this.  This is a big store.  But the way books are being displayed now is soooooo different from just a few years ago.  Nearly half the bottom floor of the bookstore is now a big circular center for the Nook (and the layout of that area reminded me of walking into an Apple Store).  When Dhampir came out in 2003, Borders had stacks of new mass market paperback releases on tables right inside the front door.  No one could miss them.  That's how Dhampir got initially noticed, and word of mouth did the rest.  All genres were stacked there.  B&N did something similar, but in racks set up through the heavy traffic sections of the store.  Again, customers couldn't miss those books. 

All that is gone now.  Borders of course is gone.  But yesterday, at B&N, I noticed all the mass market racks were gone.  Mass market paperbacks have all been relegated to the "New Release" section of their genre.  New Mystery.  New Romance.  New SF/Fantasy.  So, people will see a new mass market only if they take the trouble to go to that particular genre and look at the New Release shelf.  I'm hoping this is a fluke and that other B&N stores haven't given up on the mass market center aisle racks.  I'm afraid no one is ever even going to see The Mist-Torn Witches when it's released.

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