I was at the local Barnes and Noble yesterday when I encountered an older man looking for Harry Potter for a grandchild. I pointed them out to him...then I said that if the child liked that series, there was another series he would also like.. It was not quite on such a grand scale as the Rowling books, but it was another very good series, and was even set in nearby Marshall. I showed him the Lewis Barnavelt collection and I think he got both sets. This is not the first time I have told a Potter buyer about John Bellairs.
Good old fashioned word o' mouth still works! Over the years we’ve heard tales of people putting together Bellairs displays in local libraries and some going as far to write the Compleat Bellairs website URL on slips of paper and slipping them into books at bookstores. You know, back when you could find the titles in bookstores. Another message on the same vein:
I worked in a Waldenbooks back in the late 1980s, and I always ordered Bellairs hardcovers for myself and my roommate when the new books were released. I used to make little displays of Bellairs books on the endcaps in the Children's section when I could, but alas, Waldenbooks was paid by publishers to "merchandise" in a certain way, which meant promoting certain titles (many times, not the best or most interesting titles) more aggressively than our regular stock. Today I almost never set foot in "new" bookstores like Barnes and Noble. You can never find a title that you want and the place is always full of folks lounging on the floor using the place as their own private library. Puts me off. I do love going to used bookstores though.
What ways have you promoted John’s work to either your friends or even compleat strangers? Visit our discussion forum and share your success stories.
(Or those "almost but not quite success" stories.)