I did something a little sneaky two weeks ago, as Borders announced it was going out of business for good and closing all its stores–including my hometown original Ann Arbor Borders. I went to the liquidation sale on the first day and took advantage of my last chance to see my book on my hometown bookstore chain’s shelves. Yup, I snuck three copies of my book EcoFrugal Baby onto the shelves of Borders to see if the copies would move, to see if anyone would notice, to see if something as small as having the book on display in one bookstore during a high-traffic week could impact the book’s sales. (Please note that I placed the book in an empty slot on the shelf, so it wouldn’t displace anyone else’s book. This sneaky marketing experiment wasn’t about competing with anyone else’s title.)
Today, I went back to Borders to see if my books were still there. If they sold, I knew I wouldn’t gain any profits, since the books weren’t in Borders’ system. I just wanted to see if they were there, how they had fared compared to books in the same location.
Nowhere to be found. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the liquidation sale, the whole display was gone. I went in search of the books in other parts of the store, finally locating the pregnancy and childbirth section with the help of a staffer and still not seeing my book reshelved there. Were they sold? I hope so. Were they noticed? Someone I know called me and told me they saw my book on the display the first day I placed it on the shelf. I guess we’ll never know. But it was a fun little sneaky experiment, and I do hope those books found good homes.
How is Borders doing 2 weeks into their liquidation sale?
Not so hot. If my books did sell, I take it as a huge compliment as nearly every other book I would have purchased for the mere 10% off the chain offered the first week of its liquidation sale is now gone, with prices only slashed to 20% in most sections of the store. I picked up some lit and poetry that first day as well, more for the sake of nostalgia than any cost savings. After all, anyone can save 10% off a book by purchasing it on Amazon. But as I browsed through the store today, I could see the quality stuff was gone. And so was my book. I hope that’s a sign that it means something to someone.
As you can see above, the poetry section in particular was gutted. I think I may have some kindred spirits around this lit-loving town of Ann Arbor who had the same idea I did: pull the last quality literature and poetry out of the wreckage while there was still time. But did anyone else sneak a book in?