Rainy Writers’ Night In Tennessee

What is it with this rain? For goodness sakes, is it ever going to stop? Three solid months of exceptional drought and two weeks of temps over 100, and now, ongoing rain, four days and counting, and I’m already complaining. Monday, it started with gentle drops, and I took my early morning walk in it, looking upward, letting it tickle my face like snowflakes and wash over me. Then the low gray sky released and poured cold needles. Tuesday, I wore sandals when I went to vote for mayor and aldermen, and my feet got soaked. So did my clothes, for that matter. Wednesday came with a swift wind and a hard mist, and it was cold. I slipped on my father’s Mississippi State sweatshirt, which I inherited after his death, along with 10 others from SEC teams, most of which were Christmas gifts from me. In August, I would’ve sworn I’d never need a sweater again, but last night I wore one.

It was cozy under the lights in the Writers’ Nook at the Cool Springs Barnes and Noble, though, for last night’s Writers’ Night. Robbie Bryan, Community Relations Manager, spoke on “How to Market Your Book” and “How to Get Your Book into a Barnes and Noble.”


If it has to do with books and book selling, Robbie knows it! He was prepared with details, examples, handouts, and humor. The thing that amazed me the most was his description of how quickly books move in and out of the store. Books arrive every day; there is only a finite amount of space on the shelves for books, so books are constantly moving. New releases on the step ladders in the front display windows change every week. A front list book–or new release–may have a shelf life of only 2 to 4 weeks. Think about it. In 2 weeks, a brand new book can go to old stock. Think about it as your book. All the time–one year, five years, whatever–energy, focus, grit, and brain drain poured into a manuscript, the excitement of having it accepted for publishing and the thrill of seeing it for the first time on a bookstore shelf. Then it’s over in 2 weeks. [Sputter, sputter, cough]


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