The Writers’ Support Group which has met monthly at the Boardman Ohio Barnes & Noble store for the past seven or more years has been told that the store will no longer reserve us a table in their common area. Oh, if there’s by chance a table there, we’re welcome to drag some chairs over—so long as we accommodate anyone else who wanders in. (Sidebar: we actually are that welcoming. Ask Louise. She came into the store hoping to find a book discussion group, spotted us, and was invited in on the spot. Because Readers need Writers and Writers need Readers!)
We’re also welcome to sit in the Café. Tiny tables, no power outlets within reach, and of course no way to reserve a spot.
Never mind that we shop there, buy books and coffee and all the non-book items the store is filled with. We’re good guests. Never mind that our group contains at least four writers who have books available on Barnes & Noble’s Nook platform. We’ve told them. We’ve offered to be part of their Nook promotions. They aren’t interested. Our indie-published books cannot be stocked. They host signings with sports figures and politicians, but writers get the shortest shrift ever.
What can a physical book store offer that an internet store cannot? A writers’ group. Shoot yourself in the foot much, B & N? Someday you’ll wish you had the buzz we brought to your store. Too bad—the Writers’ Support Group with no name has moved to Caribou Coffee. See the photo of our smiling faces. The coffee’s better too!