Friday, May 27, 2011

Real Books in Walmart

Many of us have heard the chatter recently about ebooks rising in popularity. The New York Times reports that Amazon's ebook sales have surpassed their paper book sales. Many of us have looked wistfully at our favorite paperbacks, the ones you can sprawl on the couch with or lend to a friend, the ones that give your eyes a break from the various screens we're all staring without ceasing at these days. Endangered?

Take a look at the colorful picture above on the right. This is a rack of paperback cozy mysteries. Think Agatha Christie, with an amateur sleuth, no real violence on the page, often set in a village of some kind. Well sure, bookstores big and small always stock cozies. Where are these books? This rack is in a Walmart near you. Wait. WALMART?

What does this mean for the authors, fellow writers like Sheila Connolly, Jenn McKinlay, Leann Sweeny, and others published by Berkeley Prime Crime, the publisher who made this deal with Walmart? Consider the number of people who do all their shopping in Walmarts across the country. Consider one-stop shopping. Consider how these authors' sales numbers are likely to shoot way up. This is huge.

I personally don't shop in Walmarts. I have other options, and I choose to stretch my resources in the direction of local stores rather than a big-box national chain with questionable employment and sourcing practices. But I know Walmart is pretty much the only option left in some communities, and it offers lower prices for those with less money to stretch.

Would I, if I had a cozy series published by Berkeley Prime Crime, refuse to have my book stocked in Walmart? Absolutely not! So congratulations, Sheila, Leann, Jenn, and the other authors with books on that rack. May you actually make some real money from your writing. May you entertain many new readers with your stories.

What about you, readers? Will you be going to Walmart to shop for books now? Are you glad the paper book is still alive and well?

(Oh! This is my 50th post. Wow.)


  1. Edith, thank you for mentioning this promotion. I have my own reservations about Walmart policies, but I've already heard from several people that they don't live anywhere near a bookstore but they're regular Walmart shoppers and will look for the books there.

    No one told us authors the why and the how of the selection process, but we're all grateful!

  2. I agree. Some people have no other choice than Walmart and what a wonderful way to introduce this bunch of fabulous writers!

  3. I'm going to mine and take a look! I can see a huge upside to this--exciting!