Starting on April 9th, local independent authors from The Villages will achieve a much hoped for opportunity to have their books featured at the Barnes & Noble (B&N) store in Lake Sumter Landing.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal late last year, James Daunt, the new CEO of Barnes & Noble stated that in order for his stores to stay in business they needed to be more engaged with their local readers. The Writers League of The Villages used that interview as an opportunity to reach out to local B&N store management and present a mutually beneficial plan for both the store and local authors.
As a result of those discussions, the Writers League of The Villages (WLOV) entered into a trial relationship with the B&N in Lake Sumter Landing. That relationship removes the major impediment that previously prevented the store from carrying the books of independent (indie) authors—inventory management. B&N’s store inventory is purchased through distributors—unsold books are returned to the distributor. Since most indie authors’ books are purchased through ‘print on demand’ services, they are unable to be returned.
Additionally, even indie authors whose books are available through distribution don’t have a large enough reader following to get on the ordering radar of B&N management.
The relationship between WLOV and B&N addresses both of these issues. To resolve the inventory management issue, WLOV will assume responsibility for members’ books that are featured in the store. Books will be delivered to the store and, after an agreed upon period, any unsold books will be picked up. B&N management will have an opportunity to review and have a voice in selecting the local Villages authors’ books that will be featured in the store.
Under the terms of this trial relationship, the WWII themed books of four Writers League of The Villages authors will be featured in the month of April—starting on April 9th. These books are as follows:
Jenny Ferns, Ripple Effect
Mark Newhouse, Book 1 of The Devil’s Bookkeepers
Rita Boehm, One Soldier’s War
Linda Lee Keenan, With Love From Poland
This is an exciting time for local Villages’ authors. However, in order for the opportunity to continue and be expanded, the store management needs to know that the local community supports the effort. An overall increase in store business, sales of the local authors’ books, expressions of gratitude to management for supporting local authors—all of these will solidify this relationship and allow it to grow.
The Writers League of The Villages is open to all residents of The Villages. WLOV focuses on networking, education, and promotion for writers of all levels. New members are always welcome. The group meets on the 2nd Wednesday of the month at 9:00. The May meeting will be held via Zoom. Many interesting speakers, educational sessions, and fun activities are planned throughout the year. The much-anticipated, and highly successful, Book Expo which was postponed due to Covid, is back on the calendar for January 2022 at the Eisenhower Recreation Center. Please go to www.writersleagueofthevillages for more information.
Related Article: Update on Barnes & Noble “Local” Policy