Playing with making an ad for the book and an update re Barnes & Noble...

I have to say that using Flash8 is a bit infuriating.  I wanted to make a simple advert for my book and have been trying to find a way to do it for ages.  I finally found a site that makes the creation of flash movies a doddle - INTRODUUUCIIING:! I've shoved the video on the top of this blog - it'll only play if activated by you.

They have some nice and easy video tutorials if you get stuck.  I like programs to be a little smart in the way they work.  If you've used certain types of programs you get a feel for what should happen and how a program should work.  Sorry Adobe - Flash didn't do it for me.

So, Barnes & Noble decided not to stock my book but didn't give me any reasons for the rejection, initially.  It took some perseverance and it gave me a huge insight into the journey of a 'writer' ... any writer!  I personally don't like unprofessional attitudes in business - full stop.  The more I have to do with the likes of big distributors, the more I cringe.  I don't think I could do the 'self publishing' lark for a living - or the promoting for that matter. 

So, the review process for Barnes & Noble is this (this took 3 emails to get so I hope it's useful if you're considering approaching them) ...

I wrote to their submissions address by email and then went to the trouble of posting a copy of the book to them for review - this had its problems as well as Barnes & Noble in the USA don't seem to use manners and good business ethics with regard to communicaition. 

I had been waiting for the review.  I was told that someone would review it and that the information I forwarded onto the help desk could not be forwarded on to the reviewer and that all necessary information had to be sent with the book.  Help desk ... really?  I had to insist that they pass the emailed information along and I insisted on a named contact and email address of the person that would be reviewing my book.

Heres' the decision of the reviewer:

'The buyer decided not to stock the title, citing, the market is narrow.'  That is all the replying email sent.  No salutation, no explanation and surprisingly, no actual review of the book.

So I wrote back and asked:

Yes, I received that message Evelyn. If we submit a book for a review in the for purchase, we usually get an opinion on the book - hence it being 'reviewed'?

Has anyone done that and am I going to get a copy? Otherwise there would be no point in sending the title to you guys...


The reply to this email was the best yet:

'I can send you a letter in writing, informing you of our decision and letting you know why we passed.

It would be the same as the email I sent to you, but a bit more formal.

I gently explained that I didn't want a 'formal' kick in the nuts by writing:
It's not that Evelyn and you don't have to go to that trouble.

I'm trying to find out what you thought about the book - it's content, as you presumably did read it?


Her reply:

No, I do not read the books. It would be impossible. I get about 400 submissions a month.

I make sure the book meets all the B&N requirements. I give the book and material to the category buyer and he or she takes a look at the book.

They usually read a few pages, check out the layout, cover, price and marketing. Also look for sales on previous titles if the author has written other books and make their determination based on the market and its salability.

I certainly have an opinion, but it doesn't really matter for your purposes.

Hope this helps.


The reply begged the following questions:

Ok, (they'd sucked me in to dropping salutations too at this point - crafty buggers!)

so did the book meet the B&N requirements?

I am curious as to your opinion of the book?

Having read that I need you to visualise me sat on a chair with my legs spread open, tied to the chair on a massive runaway that seems to end around the region of my gonads.  Part of my head asked the other, 'Did you REALLY just ask this person to comment on a book that she hasn't read?'

Her reply:
I found the cover unappealing.

I was also confused by the synopsis in the back of the book.

Is it poetry or is it a memoir?

If its both..... who is the target audience?

Didn't make sense to me.

But, art is seldom, liked by everyone.

I did enjoy the photography.

Best of luck.


It didn't make sense to her , but to be fair, you'd have to have read the book for that to happen.  It might have made things gel a bit more.  C'est la vie.  I feel for the writers that are dependent on their art for a living, especially as this sort of unprofessional behaviour is the norm.  I don't know how you cope.

All I can say is thank feck for Waterstones' open approach towards independent writers and publishers.

The video above isn't finalised yet, but I'd be interested in your feedback, especially as I've managed to leave that chair on the end of the gonad runway.  :o)


Popular Posts