I scanned a book promoted by a friend of mine and felt bad for the author because I realized her book never had a chance at being discovered because it had been improperly categorized. Her book was scheduled to be returned to the publisher due to “poor sales.” Her publisher would count it as a loss, and when she gets ready to publish another book, her publisher would hold these returns against her. She had written a historical book about Nat Turner and the great slave revolt. Her book, however, was on a shelf in the religion section. I realized that book buyers in the religion section were not likely to pick this up, and book buyers in the historical sections would not find it there. Did publishers and Barnes and Noble decision-makers intentionally sabotage certain books? Could they be this careless? Of course, I kept my friend’s book on the shelf. But, of course, the next time we did these major overhauls her book would get sent back.
I realized that my book sales may have been low for the same reason. It, too, had been wrongly categorized, wrongly shelved. This insight was worth more to me than the $8/hr. the company was spaying.