For all writers, the allure of seeing your books on the shelf is perhaps more overwhelming than writing the book in the first place (or for some even finishing it).
As someone lucky enough to work in a bookstore and be in the vicinity of books for the majority of my day, I have to say the benefits of working in a bookstore far outweigh the limitations (not writing your own book, for instance).
This is quickly remedied by the connections forged by merely being surrounding by books and often, like-minded people.
I’ve had the opportunity to meet various people interested in my books and their story while stocking shelves, and have even had people come up to me and ask me if it were true; that I was really writing a book, and if so would it be available soon.
This, of course, goes a long way in ensuring future readers for ones work, but none more so than the overflow of support from coworkers who are immediately invested in seeing the books placed specially around the store, that author events would be swift in forthcoming – that the mere instance of having an author amongst their ranks deemed the particular sale a special one.
It has only fostered my belief that publishing (physical books) is not dead at all (despite many thoughts to the contrary but that’s another article), and many prefer these books to ebooks all the same. Even when I was self-published, it was a matter of, “So can I read a copy of your book now?” And rather than pull out an e-reader, it was expected of me to pull out a physical book.
This has not changed. It is why, I think, my publisher deemed to switch from an ‘ebook-only’ model to ensuring all 2016 releases have a print counterpart so even if they’re not directly solicited to stores, they will be available to order (into stores and online).
Despite the (for some reason) public outcry (where are these people besides the internet, anyway?) that bookstores are the death of publishing, they remain, and my and others blatant love for books, the written the word, the physical word – is why.
Now, I’m not saying for all aspiring writers to run and get jobs in bookstores (but if that’s where it leads you, by all means), but the power of books, the persuasion of recommendations, and the beauty of covers (that one can touch and admire) are all great things that cannot be denied, and that absolutely lead to sales.
I should know, I place the books in readers hands, myself.