Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Pass it on . . .

In the old days, ordinary books by real authors (i.e., people not on TV) got attention mainly because of the word of mouth provided by independent bookstores. (In the incredibly grating jargon of book industry sales reps, this is known as "hand selling.") But now there are hardly any independent bookstores around and this hugely important avenue for discovering new books and spreading the word about them is but a shadow of its former self. The chains have never cared about anything but volume and bestsellers; and the online sellers, despite their admirable efforts to create virtual communities that replicate the word of mouth that local independent stores provided, still are not places to browse.

So it's nice to see the independent stores that are still fighting the good fight, especially when they plug my book, as did the Northsire Bookstore in Manchester, Vermont, the other day:

Terrific. Proves that first rate history writing can be both exciting and scholarly. Makes a trip to visit the U.S.S. Constitution almost mandatory. And don't mess with American sailors...even if you outnumber them 100 to 1. 
Pass it on!