I made some serious headway on the whole Christmas shopping thing today. At 8am I was waiting at the door of Target along with about thirty other people, waiting for the doors to be opened. Since I didn’t have to be at the morgue until 9, I had close to an hour to knock out some of the more basic present-getting. Then, we finished up around noon, and since the office was closing early today I headed back over to the shopping center to try and get the rest done.

I then tried to go to Barnes & Noble, but after circling the parking lot for over ten minutes trying to find a frickin’ empty parking spot, I gave up and went over to Books A Million. I ended up spending well over a hundred dollars there, but while i was picking books out for various family and step-family, I realized something slightly disconcerting: I was shopping by cover and by bestseller status. I also was looking primarily on the front table (co-op space that the publishers pay extra for). When I realized what I was doing I started going through the stacks, but even there I wasn’t looking hard at any title that wasn’t displayed face-out. It’s damn near impossible to look at books when they’re spine-out. In other words, unless someone is actively looking for a book by a particular author, that author doesn’t stand much of a chance of selling many books unless his or her book is in some manner of prominent display.

So, if there’s an author whose books you like who is not already displayed face-out or who does not yet merit an end-cap display, do them a huge favor and put their books face-out on the shelf! (After you buy one of their books, of course.) And then go tell people about that author!