I Saw Glenn Beck Down at the Barnes & Noble


Interesting info about out facing books at chain stores, Paul. Thanks.
You're correct, if I remember right (although I mostly worked in the cafe at B&N). The only exception were the shelves where most of the actual books were; there, we'd face books because we had a lot of them, or needed to fill a gap, or liked them, or whathaveyou.
When I worked in a bookstore, back in the Dark Ages, we'd face-out anything with three or more copies. Sometimes two, if our stock was low.

I've been known to "adjust" some displays that displeased me, as a customer, at the U-Village B&N.
Next time I'm there I going to grab a copy of "Common Nonsense: Glenn Beck and the Triumph of Ignorance" and place it on the the display alongside his books.
OMG, for once Fnarf and I have done the same thing - except I prefer the Pacific Place B&N.

Easiest thing to do is just turn the books backwards - drops the attraction value - and any "open" books have with the pages facing out instead of the jacket. The jacket front is designed to attract buyers.
Go on, William; tell us more about how books are put together. It's fascinating. The cover is designed to attract, you say? And this "backwards", what's that all about? And pages? Really, I feel like I am learning so much here.
As someone who worked at B&N for years I can verify that yes indeed the publishers paid for that space. I remember dealing with those swift boat folk who threw a hissy fit because the publishers didn't pay for space and they wanted to know why we didn't have their book on major display. They were convinced we were doing it because we hated America or something. I couldn't exactly tell them that we were just being capitalists.
I just like to move a Bible or two to the "Mythology" section.
I've spent more than one merry trip to the campus B&N placing every copy of "Going Rogue" on the Twilight display.
The trouble with Beck's books is that you can't just turn them around, since his ugly mug is always on the back too. I've been limited to putting the odd copy of "Arguing With Idiots" on the "Religious Fiction" shelf.
The important takeaway here is that telling the employees you are annoyed by having Glenn Beck as the featured writer is not going to make one bit of difference besides making a bookseller feel bad.

This general principle holds for basically any retail chain, of course. People who harangue B&N or Starbucks or QFC or whatever employees for the policies of their employers are among the smelliest of assholes.
As a Barnes & Noble employee, I beg you to please stop screwing with displays, turning books over and generally making my life a misery. Do you get pissed when there is no one to help you at Customer Service? when there aren't enough cashiers and you have to wait in line? Well, that's because precious payroll hours are spent on the people that have to clean up and straighten the store. It is hard enough without crazy people rearranging stuff to their satisfaction. You think I like seeing Ann Coulter's face leering and sneering at me from a display? Ugh. I do not, but it is not my call. So, please stopy punishing the wrong people because you loathe Glen Beck. I loathe him too, but unfortunately, he sells books and it is a BOOK STORE. If you are offended by displays, authors, etc., get the email of the district and regional managers and email THEM. Every little voice counts, you would be surprised. However, when you make more work for me in a economic environment where I am already being asked to do the work of two people (and am grateful I have the job), I use my voice to curse you. Do you want that cosmic crap aimed at you?
Back in college (11 years ago. eek!) had several friends working at the big chain bookstores. I'd been curious why B&N, etc, didn't care that people would sit, read a book, and leave without purchasing (it's not a library). It was explained to me that the profit from displays, endcaps, placement, etc covers much of the store's revenue, so they don't need to worry about sales as much as indie bookstores.
Yeah, I noticed Beck was the Featured Author in the Borders in Boulder as well. Boulder!
Speaking as a former B&N employee, you're right on target. Same deal as Borders. I absolutely hated setting up & replenishing the "Oprah Book Club" section. Does that make me a bad person?
@11: Since it's Glenn Beck we're talking about here, I assume you're using the term "book" loosely.