When I go shopping, I always check out the book section. I even do this when I go to Dollar General; did you know they have waaaay old titles for a buck? Anyway, today at my drug store, I visited their tiny book shelf, just in case there was a title I wanted. Most of the books were thrillers and I got to wondering…who decides which titles are stocked in a particular store?
Now, most chain stores have similar books. Target, K-Mart, Wal*Mart, etc…if you go to one store in the chain, you know what the rest of the stores carry. But, sometimes I’ve noticed that the percentages of the titles can differ. When we still have Albertsons in town, the one at 31st & Garnett would have a lot more Western titles than the one at 51st & Memorial. Target and K-Marts have really limited SF, but my local Reasors has none at all.
Is it by geography? I know if I want a confession magazine, I have to go to the Warehouse Market on 18th & Garnett, but can’t find one at the WM only 1/2 mile from my house. Of course, I can always go to Steve’s if I’m desperate to find the unusual book. Steve’s carries about anything.
Does the broker get to decide? Does he/she stock his favorite covers or titles or authors in the stores in his district? Does his boss tell him which titles to put where or does the individual store manager decide which books will be stocked so he/she gets to pick out their favorite covers, titles, authors?
Maybe its magic. The book fairies sneak into the stores at night and stock the shelves with whichever author leaves the correct cookies and milk. Wait…that’s Santa Claus, isn’t it?
All I know is that sometimes, I have the devil’s time finding certain titles. Now, it’s a given that if I want a POD, I’ll have to order it. But I’ve had some long time favorites who I occasionally have to search for their latest book. Sometimes, I can’t find it anywhere and have to order it…and that’s counting checking for the book at an honest to God book store. So even there, who decides what titles they carry. Is there any organization to the process???