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Colorado Picture Book Authors Disrespected By Barnes and Noble

December 12, 2011

I spent last Friday afternoon visiting with a delightful and talented group of Colorado picture book authors at the Colorado Boulevard Barnes and Noble in Denver. Colorado. The women included:

Denise Vega who writes books including Build a Burrito, a counting book in English and Spanish and Grandmother, Have the Angels Come? 

Linda Ashman who published three new picture books this year, 12 Days of Christmas in Colorado, No Dogs Allowed! and Samantha on a Roll.

Kathleen Pelly whom you’ll know from her picture books, Raj the Bookstore Tiger, Magnus Maximus, A Marvelous Measurer, Inventor McGregor, and The Giant King.

Caroline Stutson, picture book author of Cats’ Night Out, Pirate Pup, Night Train, and others.

Jessica Swaim who writes poems and picture books – Scarum Fair is her book of poems and her picture books are The Hound from the Pound and Nate by Night.

Marjorie Blain Parker another fantastic writer and author of Mama’s Little Ducklings, A Paddling of Ducks, Your Kind of Mommy and Jasper’s Day, and more.

I felt so honored to spend time with these creative women but I must tell you, these women’s talents were completely devalued by Barnes and Noble! Not only did they cram these six authors and their books at one eight foot table, they were located in the back of the store on a Friday afternoon and got minimal traffic. Okay, pretty much no traffic. I mean, who promoted this event? It was such a waste of these authors’ time! Plus, the store didn’t even have ONE of Marjorie’s books. And she called ahead to be sure there were books in stock. How can you invite an author to do a book signing and have none of her books?

Shame on you Barnes and Noble. You want book sales – and could have made money with these authors but you didn’t do your job to promote the event. No wonder book sales are down — certainly incompetent business practices and unmotivated, inept employees aren’t helping your sales any. (Could you have at least given Marjorie a gift card for her time and inconvenience of attending an event without a single book of hers? P.S. I asked an employee and she offered Marjorie drink at Starbucks. Lame.)

Remember that picture book authors depend on you, the readers, to buy their books. So, readers, please visit these Colorado authors’ websites and buy a book or three. This supports our local economy and gives your kids good books. And don’t buy the books at Barnes and Noble if you can help it. They don’t deserve your patronage. Neither does Amazon for that matter. But, buying books somewhere is better than not buying them at all.

Thanks for supporting these authors. I hope someone from Barnes and Noble reads this and gives these ladies an apology. They deserve as much.

~ Melissa

6 Comments leave one →
  1. December 12, 2011 4:58 pm

    Sounds like a case of poor management. It’s hard to believe that they would take the time to organize such a large author event and then do practically nothing to promote it. Indeed, shame on B&N.

  2. December 12, 2011 9:38 pm

    I heard about the event through one of the author’s websites, but couldn’t fit the trip north into our family’s schedule. I think book signings may end up on the endangered list, if we don’t attend. Really saddened to see this report. Makes me feel a bit guilty too.

  3. December 13, 2011 12:20 pm

    I feel really badly for these authors – especially Marjorie not having even one book there! It was such a waste of their time and talents to not fully promote this event! That being said, it shows a case of bad management, as Janelle mentioned, and bad training. I had my book launch at my local Barnes & Noble and they went above and beyond to make it a successful and fun event! I’ve been at numerous PB signings at my store and they do a great job every time. We’re lucky to have wonderful people there. So you can’t really blame B&N as a whole. Really, the best thing we can do is try to have our events at local independent stores to help keep them afloat!

    • December 13, 2011 3:44 pm

      Lori, Your point is well taken and I am glad to hear that you had such a great experience at another B&N store. But, the company should have a quality standard for customer service and treatment of authors and if they do, they need to know when its not being met.

      Thanks for commenting!


      Melissa Taylor


      Writer, Blogger, Educator 2011 Parenting Magazine Mom Congress Delegate Catch up with Imagination Soup!

  4. December 13, 2011 3:43 pm

    Your point is well taken and I am glad to hear that you had such a great experience at another B&N store. But, the company should have a quality standard for customer service and treatment of authors – and if they do, they need to know when it’s not being met.

  5. January 13, 2012 1:59 am

    Wow, not cool B&N. Always seems the little independent book stores do a better job of putting together book signings and readings. Hopefully, this was just one glitch in one B&N, and not a new trend.

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