An Open Letter to Barnes & Noble

I went into a Barnes & Noble store for the first time in years.

Occasionally I shop online at their store for books because I have the nook app, though I’m sorry to say, I prefer reading on my Kindle. When B&N went off the deep end and stopped supporting their devices, I never bought another because their marketing was just too iffy. You sent way to many mixed messages that basically told consumers to jump ship. I did.

So, the store. I took my 3-year-old grandson in to buy a book. In my mind it could be a boxed book with a small toy or stuffed animal to go along with the story. We were both very excited.

What I didn’t know is that B&N has added an entire toy section totally unrelated to books.

Toys like you would find at Walmart or Target. We walked out with a Power Ranger toy. No book for us to read because my grandson had his heart set on PR and I’ll be darned if I forced a book on him.

My daughter told me her and her three children spent a lot of time in B&N stores and they loves walking out with their books. It was a treat. But my daughter stopped taking them because all they wanted was overpriced toys and the actual excitement over books went out the window.

So here’s my problem… B&N you cannot keep up with the Jones (Amazon). Just get it in your head that you cannot. What you can do is go back to your roots, BOOKS! Not toys, or alcoholic beverages for people who don’t buy what you should be selling.

I get it. Amazon takes a huge bite out of your market but have you really looked at your clientele? Honestly they’re a little pickier than the average Kindle reader. They like shopping small and they loved the sense of “class” B&N gave them as a consumer.

I owned a small independent bookstore for twenty years. I had to change with the times and I did. It’s funny because I can look at B&N with a business eye and see exactly what they should be doing. Independent authors run the navigation of the tricky publishing dilemma daily. We adapt.

B&N you don’t adapt. You hire CEO’s who have NO book background to look at your business and move into the future. You’ve failed, so how about go back to a general manager who has worked in the business, knows the business, and is customer savvy to what readers want.

This isn’t rocket science, it’s good old-fashioned business sense.

I’m available if you need me. I have an entire slew of ideas. I want you to succeed and you could if you would stop doing everything in your power to go out of business.


A very frustrated B&N consumer

Writing Romance

I’m a romance writer.

What that means is I deal in love and happily ever after. It’s truly a wonderful thing. Before I became a police officer (long before I became an author) I was a mystery reader. Mysteries were some of my favorite books but I’d throw the occasional romance in the mix now and then. Being a police officer changed my perspective on mysteries and I found I needed books that made me feel good and allowed me to forget what a horrible place this world can be. Reading Romance books and writing them saved my sanity.

A romance book can change your life!

A romance book can make you laugh and cry and sigh. They can leave you breathless and craving that special someone. They can take you on adventures around the world. Romance novels can lift your spirits and put a smile on your face. I sincerely hope mine do.

But here’s the thing… I keep reading that romance authors and readers are endlessly shamed for their choice in literature. It really boggles the mind. I love romance novels. It’s happened to me too, the shaming that is. I have some pat answers prepared now. I thought I would share a few with you. Please use whenever the the opportunity arises.

I hope I never stop believing in love.

I hope I’m never too old for sex and so does my husband.

Romance is what makes the world go round and keeps human beings in existence. How can that be a bad thing?

Pardon my laughter, I’m trying to figure out how you got here without romance. Was your parent’s marriage arranged?

You’re ridiculing my reading? Do you even know how to read?

You can judge me after you read a romance. I judged your books by reading them. I’m judging you strictly on attitude.

When I owned my bookstore romance novels kept me in business. They were always my number one seller. Romance readers are veracious when it comes to the books they love. Romance has one common denominator and that’s LOVE. LOVE is never a bad thing.

I’ll read a mystery every now and then since I retired from the police department but they don’t hold the same oomph they once did. Give me a sexy book boyfriend, a real tear jerker, and a story that will pull me in and squeeze my heart. I make no apologies.