An Interview with Sue Grimshaw: Borders Romance Buyer

by Mary Jo

Cat 243 Dover ‘Tis a truth universally acknowledged that in hard economic times, romance novels sell well.”  Readers want a good story with a happy ending.  (And that includes me!)

So booksellers are doing their best to get books into our hands.  One such bookseller is our guest today, Sue Grimshaw, the much respected and much loved romance buyer of Borders.   (http://www.borders.com )

Sue is known for her enthusiasm and knowledge of the genre, and for her generous support of authors.  She has received numerous awards and recognitions, including RWA's 2008 Vivian Stephens Industry Award, which recognizes a “professional in the romance-publishing industry who is not a writer, and whose accumulated body of work has contributed to the genre in a significant and continuing manner.” 

Sue Grimshaw has attended numerous romance writing conferences, and willingly Image001 shares her experience of the genre.  Today, Sue will talk to us about her views of the romance genre, and discuss new initiatives Borders is taking to sell more romance.

MJP: Sue, your official bio says that you joined Borders Group (BGI) in Ann Arbor in 1995, and you’ve been the romance buyer for over eight years.  How did that come to pass?

SG:  I’ve been in the retail industry for years. I started working at Kmart stores and then I advanced to buyer of cosmetics. Then, a buying opportunity arose at Waldenbooks.  After a quick flight to Connecticut, I made a job change to become a Childrens book buyer.  A little more than a year later, I moved to Non-fiction, then on to Romance, which has been my dream category.

Linda Lael Miller
MJP: You mentioned in your e-mail that romance does very well at Borders.com, and is usually the second or third top selling genre within Fiction.  I’ve been to Borders new True Romance page ( www.bordersmedia.com/trueromance ) and it’s very cool!  Can you tell us some of the new things you’re doing there?

SG: Our Borders TRUE ROMANCE online program is a new endeavor for us.  The videos feature interviews with bestselling authors such as Lisa Jackson and Lisa Kleypas talking about their new book releases.  I have to say that we’ve been quite pleased with the viewing response we’ve received.  It was just another format for us to reach the reader in a viral marketing world and to offer readers something they can find no where else – unique insight into how their favorite authors think and write.

Lora Leigh MJP:  I asked the other Wenches if they had particular questions to ask you, so here there are!  First, “maybe she could talk about what makes a great story for her as a reader. Any pet peeves? Any stories she'd like to see? “

SG:  I cannot stress enough that stories should be told in the third person. Romance readers need to experience that conversational reaction between the hero and heroine – we have to know how each is thinking and why they are reacting a certain way.  To me, it can make or break a story.

Cypress bigger MJP:  Do you see any growth in other areas of historicals besides Regencies?  How about other areas of romance?

SG:  Regencies continue to be the bestselling timeframe in historical romances; however, a well camouflaged Georgian setting, like that in Eloisa James stories, can also sell well.  Paranormals continue to show double-digit sales gains. Soft romance in the contemporary genre is definitely filling a niche for our readers.Robyn Carr

MJP:  Covers are always a huge topic of discussions with historicals!  Do you see any new trends in covers?  What do you think works?

SG:  Historical covers need to be sexy and yet tasteful.  A hero and heroine embracing is always a winner.  Strong colors often work well with the costumes of the time period.  A Medieval will typically benefit from a handsome torso.  The caveat to this is that big, bestselling authors can usually get away with anything.

MJP:  In years as a writer, a number of promotional approaches have become popular, from the first bookmarks to trailers and blogging.  Is there any particular promotion for romance that you'd like to talk about?   Encourage more of?

Lynsay Sands SG: First and foremost, authors should have their own Web sites. However, rather than the author having to manage the blogging, etc – which can take a chunk out of the day – my advice is to work with other authors on one main site and link to it to fill your page.  I am still a firm believer that in-store placement is the most important promotional element needed to sell your books.  Getting out and visiting stores generates word of mouth that is infectious –booksellers are your friends and I really encourage authors to get to know them. 

MJP:  Any thoughts you'd like to share on e-books and (or versus) traditional print?

SG:  Authors, make sure you link Borders.com to your sites, newsletters, etc.  Romance is one of our top three categories in terms of online sales and you don’t want to miss out! Digital purchases are strong, too. The digital market is continuingSherryl Woods to evolve – don’t count it out as it will play a bigger role in our business moving forward. In my mind, traditional print is still the life blood of the category as we readers LOVE the sexy covers, but again, lots of people are discovering devices like the SONY Reader Digital Book which allows them to store lots of books on one device.

MJP:  How can we get more men reading romance? <G>

SG: Men are funny creatures, but we love them!  I wish I knew the secret to this question as that would really expand out reader base.  Hopefully as the stigma of the category disappears we’ll see more men wandering into the section.  Men definitely are reading our suspense authors’ stories.

Lorie O'Clare MJP:  Thanks so much for visiting, Sue!  Any last thoughts I didn’t think to ask about?

SG:  A BIG THANK YOU to all of the authors for continuing to write the books we love.  You give us insight into the times in our lives when we thought we were facing things on our own; and you continue to show us that life can be filled with happy endings.  Also, thanks to you all for your continued support of Borders – I truly appreciate it.  Keep your eyes on Borders.com and our new TRUE ROMANCE program (http://www.bordersmedia.com/trueromance). We have lots of wonderful things planned so feel free to link to your site and begin that viral marketing now! 

The Secret Wedding The covers shown here are all ones that Sue has picked as being effective at point of sale.  Lots of variety–but as you can see, handsome men are always in fashion!  What questions do you have for our expert?

Mary Jo, who has added a couple more covers Friday morning.  (Jo's cover is a great example of historical romance!)

 

115 thoughts on “An Interview with Sue Grimshaw: Borders Romance Buyer”

  1. I don’t love the sexy covers. I’m just sayin’
    I DO love the True romance site – especially the books ordered by type and release date since the site I was using to find this has stopped listing other authors books. I was so sad when my Waldenbooks was forced out of the area, and I’m 45 minutes or more from a Borders.
    What keeps me from heading out there or from ordering online is that most of the books I want I can get from discount chains, the others I tend to pick up during buy 4 get 5 or buy 3 get 4 sales. I used to buy 100% of my books at Waldens/Borders until the discount program changed (from 10% off to the weird cash back program). Now I buy maybe 1% and I miss you! It just doesn’t make sense to me to drive so far or pay so much when I’m not really supporting a local branch anymore and I can’t cash out the discounts. My local branch was great – they’d pull all the releases they knew I was interested in the day of the sale and call me to come down. I tried to buy everything there because of the customer service.
    Do you see Borders having any kind of romance centered frequent buyer plan? Or is this cash back thing working out well chain wide?

    Reply
  2. I don’t love the sexy covers. I’m just sayin’
    I DO love the True romance site – especially the books ordered by type and release date since the site I was using to find this has stopped listing other authors books. I was so sad when my Waldenbooks was forced out of the area, and I’m 45 minutes or more from a Borders.
    What keeps me from heading out there or from ordering online is that most of the books I want I can get from discount chains, the others I tend to pick up during buy 4 get 5 or buy 3 get 4 sales. I used to buy 100% of my books at Waldens/Borders until the discount program changed (from 10% off to the weird cash back program). Now I buy maybe 1% and I miss you! It just doesn’t make sense to me to drive so far or pay so much when I’m not really supporting a local branch anymore and I can’t cash out the discounts. My local branch was great – they’d pull all the releases they knew I was interested in the day of the sale and call me to come down. I tried to buy everything there because of the customer service.
    Do you see Borders having any kind of romance centered frequent buyer plan? Or is this cash back thing working out well chain wide?

    Reply
  3. I don’t love the sexy covers. I’m just sayin’
    I DO love the True romance site – especially the books ordered by type and release date since the site I was using to find this has stopped listing other authors books. I was so sad when my Waldenbooks was forced out of the area, and I’m 45 minutes or more from a Borders.
    What keeps me from heading out there or from ordering online is that most of the books I want I can get from discount chains, the others I tend to pick up during buy 4 get 5 or buy 3 get 4 sales. I used to buy 100% of my books at Waldens/Borders until the discount program changed (from 10% off to the weird cash back program). Now I buy maybe 1% and I miss you! It just doesn’t make sense to me to drive so far or pay so much when I’m not really supporting a local branch anymore and I can’t cash out the discounts. My local branch was great – they’d pull all the releases they knew I was interested in the day of the sale and call me to come down. I tried to buy everything there because of the customer service.
    Do you see Borders having any kind of romance centered frequent buyer plan? Or is this cash back thing working out well chain wide?

    Reply
  4. I don’t love the sexy covers. I’m just sayin’
    I DO love the True romance site – especially the books ordered by type and release date since the site I was using to find this has stopped listing other authors books. I was so sad when my Waldenbooks was forced out of the area, and I’m 45 minutes or more from a Borders.
    What keeps me from heading out there or from ordering online is that most of the books I want I can get from discount chains, the others I tend to pick up during buy 4 get 5 or buy 3 get 4 sales. I used to buy 100% of my books at Waldens/Borders until the discount program changed (from 10% off to the weird cash back program). Now I buy maybe 1% and I miss you! It just doesn’t make sense to me to drive so far or pay so much when I’m not really supporting a local branch anymore and I can’t cash out the discounts. My local branch was great – they’d pull all the releases they knew I was interested in the day of the sale and call me to come down. I tried to buy everything there because of the customer service.
    Do you see Borders having any kind of romance centered frequent buyer plan? Or is this cash back thing working out well chain wide?

    Reply
  5. I don’t love the sexy covers. I’m just sayin’
    I DO love the True romance site – especially the books ordered by type and release date since the site I was using to find this has stopped listing other authors books. I was so sad when my Waldenbooks was forced out of the area, and I’m 45 minutes or more from a Borders.
    What keeps me from heading out there or from ordering online is that most of the books I want I can get from discount chains, the others I tend to pick up during buy 4 get 5 or buy 3 get 4 sales. I used to buy 100% of my books at Waldens/Borders until the discount program changed (from 10% off to the weird cash back program). Now I buy maybe 1% and I miss you! It just doesn’t make sense to me to drive so far or pay so much when I’m not really supporting a local branch anymore and I can’t cash out the discounts. My local branch was great – they’d pull all the releases they knew I was interested in the day of the sale and call me to come down. I tried to buy everything there because of the customer service.
    Do you see Borders having any kind of romance centered frequent buyer plan? Or is this cash back thing working out well chain wide?

    Reply
  6. Great interview, Sue and Mary Jo. Loved the ‘man’ question. I’ve been giving romance books (contemps/paranormal—I save historicals) to my daughter, only to find out her husband has read every one of them in the bathroom, LOL. I look upon that as his gesture of solidarity with his mother-in-law the romance writer!
    Interesting cover choices—either pastel or dark/brooding.If you were to design the ‘perfect’ cover, what would it be?

    Reply
  7. Great interview, Sue and Mary Jo. Loved the ‘man’ question. I’ve been giving romance books (contemps/paranormal—I save historicals) to my daughter, only to find out her husband has read every one of them in the bathroom, LOL. I look upon that as his gesture of solidarity with his mother-in-law the romance writer!
    Interesting cover choices—either pastel or dark/brooding.If you were to design the ‘perfect’ cover, what would it be?

    Reply
  8. Great interview, Sue and Mary Jo. Loved the ‘man’ question. I’ve been giving romance books (contemps/paranormal—I save historicals) to my daughter, only to find out her husband has read every one of them in the bathroom, LOL. I look upon that as his gesture of solidarity with his mother-in-law the romance writer!
    Interesting cover choices—either pastel or dark/brooding.If you were to design the ‘perfect’ cover, what would it be?

    Reply
  9. Great interview, Sue and Mary Jo. Loved the ‘man’ question. I’ve been giving romance books (contemps/paranormal—I save historicals) to my daughter, only to find out her husband has read every one of them in the bathroom, LOL. I look upon that as his gesture of solidarity with his mother-in-law the romance writer!
    Interesting cover choices—either pastel or dark/brooding.If you were to design the ‘perfect’ cover, what would it be?

    Reply
  10. Great interview, Sue and Mary Jo. Loved the ‘man’ question. I’ve been giving romance books (contemps/paranormal—I save historicals) to my daughter, only to find out her husband has read every one of them in the bathroom, LOL. I look upon that as his gesture of solidarity with his mother-in-law the romance writer!
    Interesting cover choices—either pastel or dark/brooding.If you were to design the ‘perfect’ cover, what would it be?

    Reply
  11. Hi Maggie — thanks for your comments & it is interesting that men are finding this genre albeit secretively 🙂 Good covers really vary from sub genre to sub genre within Romance — clinch types do well for debut authors or authors that are growing their reader base –sexy torso’s always sell well & the pastel type of scenery is staple for soft romance books. Let me think about the cover design question — I like blonde hero’s so it would have to be a blonde man on the cover & I’m partial to histoical stories.
    Thanks again for commenting!
    Sue

    Reply
  12. Hi Maggie — thanks for your comments & it is interesting that men are finding this genre albeit secretively 🙂 Good covers really vary from sub genre to sub genre within Romance — clinch types do well for debut authors or authors that are growing their reader base –sexy torso’s always sell well & the pastel type of scenery is staple for soft romance books. Let me think about the cover design question — I like blonde hero’s so it would have to be a blonde man on the cover & I’m partial to histoical stories.
    Thanks again for commenting!
    Sue

    Reply
  13. Hi Maggie — thanks for your comments & it is interesting that men are finding this genre albeit secretively 🙂 Good covers really vary from sub genre to sub genre within Romance — clinch types do well for debut authors or authors that are growing their reader base –sexy torso’s always sell well & the pastel type of scenery is staple for soft romance books. Let me think about the cover design question — I like blonde hero’s so it would have to be a blonde man on the cover & I’m partial to histoical stories.
    Thanks again for commenting!
    Sue

    Reply
  14. Hi Maggie — thanks for your comments & it is interesting that men are finding this genre albeit secretively 🙂 Good covers really vary from sub genre to sub genre within Romance — clinch types do well for debut authors or authors that are growing their reader base –sexy torso’s always sell well & the pastel type of scenery is staple for soft romance books. Let me think about the cover design question — I like blonde hero’s so it would have to be a blonde man on the cover & I’m partial to histoical stories.
    Thanks again for commenting!
    Sue

    Reply
  15. Hi Maggie — thanks for your comments & it is interesting that men are finding this genre albeit secretively 🙂 Good covers really vary from sub genre to sub genre within Romance — clinch types do well for debut authors or authors that are growing their reader base –sexy torso’s always sell well & the pastel type of scenery is staple for soft romance books. Let me think about the cover design question — I like blonde hero’s so it would have to be a blonde man on the cover & I’m partial to histoical stories.
    Thanks again for commenting!
    Sue

    Reply
  16. Hey Liz M — thanks for the kudo’s on the site —feel free to share with your friends, neighbors, authors, people you don’t know . . .link to your Twitter, Facebook etc, etc, etc. Really trying to get the word out to everyone & most especially to our readers. Borders Rewards has over 20M subscribers & although it is different from other club plans it does offer savings — email blasts release weekly to customers promoting various books that are either newly released that week or books customers are looking for. We are always looking for ways to reach our customer & improve our shopping experience for them so I really appreciate your comments. Thanks for your support of our stores & give us a try online . . . I think you’ll find us very competitive. Sue

    Reply
  17. Hey Liz M — thanks for the kudo’s on the site —feel free to share with your friends, neighbors, authors, people you don’t know . . .link to your Twitter, Facebook etc, etc, etc. Really trying to get the word out to everyone & most especially to our readers. Borders Rewards has over 20M subscribers & although it is different from other club plans it does offer savings — email blasts release weekly to customers promoting various books that are either newly released that week or books customers are looking for. We are always looking for ways to reach our customer & improve our shopping experience for them so I really appreciate your comments. Thanks for your support of our stores & give us a try online . . . I think you’ll find us very competitive. Sue

    Reply
  18. Hey Liz M — thanks for the kudo’s on the site —feel free to share with your friends, neighbors, authors, people you don’t know . . .link to your Twitter, Facebook etc, etc, etc. Really trying to get the word out to everyone & most especially to our readers. Borders Rewards has over 20M subscribers & although it is different from other club plans it does offer savings — email blasts release weekly to customers promoting various books that are either newly released that week or books customers are looking for. We are always looking for ways to reach our customer & improve our shopping experience for them so I really appreciate your comments. Thanks for your support of our stores & give us a try online . . . I think you’ll find us very competitive. Sue

    Reply
  19. Hey Liz M — thanks for the kudo’s on the site —feel free to share with your friends, neighbors, authors, people you don’t know . . .link to your Twitter, Facebook etc, etc, etc. Really trying to get the word out to everyone & most especially to our readers. Borders Rewards has over 20M subscribers & although it is different from other club plans it does offer savings — email blasts release weekly to customers promoting various books that are either newly released that week or books customers are looking for. We are always looking for ways to reach our customer & improve our shopping experience for them so I really appreciate your comments. Thanks for your support of our stores & give us a try online . . . I think you’ll find us very competitive. Sue

    Reply
  20. Hey Liz M — thanks for the kudo’s on the site —feel free to share with your friends, neighbors, authors, people you don’t know . . .link to your Twitter, Facebook etc, etc, etc. Really trying to get the word out to everyone & most especially to our readers. Borders Rewards has over 20M subscribers & although it is different from other club plans it does offer savings — email blasts release weekly to customers promoting various books that are either newly released that week or books customers are looking for. We are always looking for ways to reach our customer & improve our shopping experience for them so I really appreciate your comments. Thanks for your support of our stores & give us a try online . . . I think you’ll find us very competitive. Sue

    Reply
  21. Question: What’s a soft romance? Is it a sweet one (no sex)?
    And I like blond heroes, too. But even when the hero is blond, they usually have a dark-haired model on the cover.

    Reply
  22. Question: What’s a soft romance? Is it a sweet one (no sex)?
    And I like blond heroes, too. But even when the hero is blond, they usually have a dark-haired model on the cover.

    Reply
  23. Question: What’s a soft romance? Is it a sweet one (no sex)?
    And I like blond heroes, too. But even when the hero is blond, they usually have a dark-haired model on the cover.

    Reply
  24. Question: What’s a soft romance? Is it a sweet one (no sex)?
    And I like blond heroes, too. But even when the hero is blond, they usually have a dark-haired model on the cover.

    Reply
  25. Question: What’s a soft romance? Is it a sweet one (no sex)?
    And I like blond heroes, too. But even when the hero is blond, they usually have a dark-haired model on the cover.

    Reply
  26. From MJP:
    Covers are ALWAYS a lively topic of discussion! I suppose the current trend of cutting off heads is one way of making hair color irrelevant if art directors don’t like blond men.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  27. From MJP:
    Covers are ALWAYS a lively topic of discussion! I suppose the current trend of cutting off heads is one way of making hair color irrelevant if art directors don’t like blond men.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  28. From MJP:
    Covers are ALWAYS a lively topic of discussion! I suppose the current trend of cutting off heads is one way of making hair color irrelevant if art directors don’t like blond men.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  29. From MJP:
    Covers are ALWAYS a lively topic of discussion! I suppose the current trend of cutting off heads is one way of making hair color irrelevant if art directors don’t like blond men.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  30. From MJP:
    Covers are ALWAYS a lively topic of discussion! I suppose the current trend of cutting off heads is one way of making hair color irrelevant if art directors don’t like blond men.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  31. Soft Romance actually is a contemporary that deals with real life issues — romance’s version of Women’s ficiton with a happy ending — some authors that are masters in this sub genre include: Susan Wiggs, Sherryl Woods, Robyn Carr, Debbie Macomber to name a few.

    Reply
  32. Soft Romance actually is a contemporary that deals with real life issues — romance’s version of Women’s ficiton with a happy ending — some authors that are masters in this sub genre include: Susan Wiggs, Sherryl Woods, Robyn Carr, Debbie Macomber to name a few.

    Reply
  33. Soft Romance actually is a contemporary that deals with real life issues — romance’s version of Women’s ficiton with a happy ending — some authors that are masters in this sub genre include: Susan Wiggs, Sherryl Woods, Robyn Carr, Debbie Macomber to name a few.

    Reply
  34. Soft Romance actually is a contemporary that deals with real life issues — romance’s version of Women’s ficiton with a happy ending — some authors that are masters in this sub genre include: Susan Wiggs, Sherryl Woods, Robyn Carr, Debbie Macomber to name a few.

    Reply
  35. Soft Romance actually is a contemporary that deals with real life issues — romance’s version of Women’s ficiton with a happy ending — some authors that are masters in this sub genre include: Susan Wiggs, Sherryl Woods, Robyn Carr, Debbie Macomber to name a few.

    Reply
  36. MJP — LOL — typically readers would rather not have the full facial view on the cover . . they like to create their own heroes image as to what appeals to them. Yes, to anyone else a headless character on the cover of a book is odd.

    Reply
  37. MJP — LOL — typically readers would rather not have the full facial view on the cover . . they like to create their own heroes image as to what appeals to them. Yes, to anyone else a headless character on the cover of a book is odd.

    Reply
  38. MJP — LOL — typically readers would rather not have the full facial view on the cover . . they like to create their own heroes image as to what appeals to them. Yes, to anyone else a headless character on the cover of a book is odd.

    Reply
  39. MJP — LOL — typically readers would rather not have the full facial view on the cover . . they like to create their own heroes image as to what appeals to them. Yes, to anyone else a headless character on the cover of a book is odd.

    Reply
  40. MJP — LOL — typically readers would rather not have the full facial view on the cover . . they like to create their own heroes image as to what appeals to them. Yes, to anyone else a headless character on the cover of a book is odd.

    Reply
  41. Something I find interesting is the trend in paranormal covers in order to appeal & capitalize on the Fantasy crowd –with the TRUE BLOOD series, etc. Strong heroines are usually the cover focus as seen with Jeaniene Frost’s Destined for an Early Grave.

    Reply
  42. Something I find interesting is the trend in paranormal covers in order to appeal & capitalize on the Fantasy crowd –with the TRUE BLOOD series, etc. Strong heroines are usually the cover focus as seen with Jeaniene Frost’s Destined for an Early Grave.

    Reply
  43. Something I find interesting is the trend in paranormal covers in order to appeal & capitalize on the Fantasy crowd –with the TRUE BLOOD series, etc. Strong heroines are usually the cover focus as seen with Jeaniene Frost’s Destined for an Early Grave.

    Reply
  44. Something I find interesting is the trend in paranormal covers in order to appeal & capitalize on the Fantasy crowd –with the TRUE BLOOD series, etc. Strong heroines are usually the cover focus as seen with Jeaniene Frost’s Destined for an Early Grave.

    Reply
  45. Something I find interesting is the trend in paranormal covers in order to appeal & capitalize on the Fantasy crowd –with the TRUE BLOOD series, etc. Strong heroines are usually the cover focus as seen with Jeaniene Frost’s Destined for an Early Grave.

    Reply
  46. I much prefer Borders to your competitor, which shall remain nameless. Unfortunately, the local Borders closed down 3 years ago and the others are some 20 miles away.
    There is a Borders across the street from my husband’s office, and he doesn’t mind picking up romance novels for me. But I miss that local Borders.
    Will you be opening up any new stores in the future?

    Reply
  47. I much prefer Borders to your competitor, which shall remain nameless. Unfortunately, the local Borders closed down 3 years ago and the others are some 20 miles away.
    There is a Borders across the street from my husband’s office, and he doesn’t mind picking up romance novels for me. But I miss that local Borders.
    Will you be opening up any new stores in the future?

    Reply
  48. I much prefer Borders to your competitor, which shall remain nameless. Unfortunately, the local Borders closed down 3 years ago and the others are some 20 miles away.
    There is a Borders across the street from my husband’s office, and he doesn’t mind picking up romance novels for me. But I miss that local Borders.
    Will you be opening up any new stores in the future?

    Reply
  49. I much prefer Borders to your competitor, which shall remain nameless. Unfortunately, the local Borders closed down 3 years ago and the others are some 20 miles away.
    There is a Borders across the street from my husband’s office, and he doesn’t mind picking up romance novels for me. But I miss that local Borders.
    Will you be opening up any new stores in the future?

    Reply
  50. I much prefer Borders to your competitor, which shall remain nameless. Unfortunately, the local Borders closed down 3 years ago and the others are some 20 miles away.
    There is a Borders across the street from my husband’s office, and he doesn’t mind picking up romance novels for me. But I miss that local Borders.
    Will you be opening up any new stores in the future?

    Reply
  51. Thanks Linda — appreciate your loyalty more than you’ll ever know 🙂 I am not aware of any immediate plans for new stores however, things are always evolving — hopefully it will be one in your area. & thanks for the dig on the one who shall remain nameless . . .

    Reply
  52. Thanks Linda — appreciate your loyalty more than you’ll ever know 🙂 I am not aware of any immediate plans for new stores however, things are always evolving — hopefully it will be one in your area. & thanks for the dig on the one who shall remain nameless . . .

    Reply
  53. Thanks Linda — appreciate your loyalty more than you’ll ever know 🙂 I am not aware of any immediate plans for new stores however, things are always evolving — hopefully it will be one in your area. & thanks for the dig on the one who shall remain nameless . . .

    Reply
  54. Thanks Linda — appreciate your loyalty more than you’ll ever know 🙂 I am not aware of any immediate plans for new stores however, things are always evolving — hopefully it will be one in your area. & thanks for the dig on the one who shall remain nameless . . .

    Reply
  55. Thanks Linda — appreciate your loyalty more than you’ll ever know 🙂 I am not aware of any immediate plans for new stores however, things are always evolving — hopefully it will be one in your area. & thanks for the dig on the one who shall remain nameless . . .

    Reply
  56. I’m not a fan of “sexy man” covers, so it’s interesting to get a reminder of what most people buy. But I’m sure the styles will swing back around at some point, and if they don’t, I’ll survive. I don’t keep them if I find them ugly, but I do continue to read ’em.
    BTW, everywhere I’ve lived, Borders has had the best romance selection around.

    Reply
  57. I’m not a fan of “sexy man” covers, so it’s interesting to get a reminder of what most people buy. But I’m sure the styles will swing back around at some point, and if they don’t, I’ll survive. I don’t keep them if I find them ugly, but I do continue to read ’em.
    BTW, everywhere I’ve lived, Borders has had the best romance selection around.

    Reply
  58. I’m not a fan of “sexy man” covers, so it’s interesting to get a reminder of what most people buy. But I’m sure the styles will swing back around at some point, and if they don’t, I’ll survive. I don’t keep them if I find them ugly, but I do continue to read ’em.
    BTW, everywhere I’ve lived, Borders has had the best romance selection around.

    Reply
  59. I’m not a fan of “sexy man” covers, so it’s interesting to get a reminder of what most people buy. But I’m sure the styles will swing back around at some point, and if they don’t, I’ll survive. I don’t keep them if I find them ugly, but I do continue to read ’em.
    BTW, everywhere I’ve lived, Borders has had the best romance selection around.

    Reply
  60. I’m not a fan of “sexy man” covers, so it’s interesting to get a reminder of what most people buy. But I’m sure the styles will swing back around at some point, and if they don’t, I’ll survive. I don’t keep them if I find them ugly, but I do continue to read ’em.
    BTW, everywhere I’ve lived, Borders has had the best romance selection around.

    Reply
  61. I have to say, I’ve gotten so used to the sexy covers I don’t even notice the funny glances I sometimes get on the plane 🙂 I will admit, when I’m shopping in the store a sexy cover catches my eye . . . again, it is really sub genre specific — & if you’re a NYT best seller readers will buy you no matter what the cover!

    Reply
  62. I have to say, I’ve gotten so used to the sexy covers I don’t even notice the funny glances I sometimes get on the plane 🙂 I will admit, when I’m shopping in the store a sexy cover catches my eye . . . again, it is really sub genre specific — & if you’re a NYT best seller readers will buy you no matter what the cover!

    Reply
  63. I have to say, I’ve gotten so used to the sexy covers I don’t even notice the funny glances I sometimes get on the plane 🙂 I will admit, when I’m shopping in the store a sexy cover catches my eye . . . again, it is really sub genre specific — & if you’re a NYT best seller readers will buy you no matter what the cover!

    Reply
  64. I have to say, I’ve gotten so used to the sexy covers I don’t even notice the funny glances I sometimes get on the plane 🙂 I will admit, when I’m shopping in the store a sexy cover catches my eye . . . again, it is really sub genre specific — & if you’re a NYT best seller readers will buy you no matter what the cover!

    Reply
  65. I have to say, I’ve gotten so used to the sexy covers I don’t even notice the funny glances I sometimes get on the plane 🙂 I will admit, when I’m shopping in the store a sexy cover catches my eye . . . again, it is really sub genre specific — & if you’re a NYT best seller readers will buy you no matter what the cover!

    Reply
  66. From Sherrie:
    One thing I’ve noticed over the years is that stores like Borders (most especially Borders) have evolved into something more like a community rather than the hard, cold retail machines of years past, where the norm was to get ’em in, sell ’em something, and get ’em out. Now Borders caters to the Whole Reader, with books (of course), food, lattes, comfy armchairs, booksignings, newsletters, etc. I consider this Good Business!
    My writers’ group used to meet at a Borders near the Southcenter Mall in Seattle. We’d meet in the reader-friendly cafe, and the store was always packed with browsers, including those who lounged, reading, in the comfy armchairs scattered about, as well as in the cafe chairs too. And there were also lots of writers and students with their laptops, pounding away on their keyboards.
    I’m reminded of a favorite New Yorker cartoon showing a guy in a bookstore. He’s addressing a clerk at a sales counter, and he’s not happy. He says, “What? You don’t sell lattes? What kind of bookstore is this, anyway?” *g*

    Reply
  67. From Sherrie:
    One thing I’ve noticed over the years is that stores like Borders (most especially Borders) have evolved into something more like a community rather than the hard, cold retail machines of years past, where the norm was to get ’em in, sell ’em something, and get ’em out. Now Borders caters to the Whole Reader, with books (of course), food, lattes, comfy armchairs, booksignings, newsletters, etc. I consider this Good Business!
    My writers’ group used to meet at a Borders near the Southcenter Mall in Seattle. We’d meet in the reader-friendly cafe, and the store was always packed with browsers, including those who lounged, reading, in the comfy armchairs scattered about, as well as in the cafe chairs too. And there were also lots of writers and students with their laptops, pounding away on their keyboards.
    I’m reminded of a favorite New Yorker cartoon showing a guy in a bookstore. He’s addressing a clerk at a sales counter, and he’s not happy. He says, “What? You don’t sell lattes? What kind of bookstore is this, anyway?” *g*

    Reply
  68. From Sherrie:
    One thing I’ve noticed over the years is that stores like Borders (most especially Borders) have evolved into something more like a community rather than the hard, cold retail machines of years past, where the norm was to get ’em in, sell ’em something, and get ’em out. Now Borders caters to the Whole Reader, with books (of course), food, lattes, comfy armchairs, booksignings, newsletters, etc. I consider this Good Business!
    My writers’ group used to meet at a Borders near the Southcenter Mall in Seattle. We’d meet in the reader-friendly cafe, and the store was always packed with browsers, including those who lounged, reading, in the comfy armchairs scattered about, as well as in the cafe chairs too. And there were also lots of writers and students with their laptops, pounding away on their keyboards.
    I’m reminded of a favorite New Yorker cartoon showing a guy in a bookstore. He’s addressing a clerk at a sales counter, and he’s not happy. He says, “What? You don’t sell lattes? What kind of bookstore is this, anyway?” *g*

    Reply
  69. From Sherrie:
    One thing I’ve noticed over the years is that stores like Borders (most especially Borders) have evolved into something more like a community rather than the hard, cold retail machines of years past, where the norm was to get ’em in, sell ’em something, and get ’em out. Now Borders caters to the Whole Reader, with books (of course), food, lattes, comfy armchairs, booksignings, newsletters, etc. I consider this Good Business!
    My writers’ group used to meet at a Borders near the Southcenter Mall in Seattle. We’d meet in the reader-friendly cafe, and the store was always packed with browsers, including those who lounged, reading, in the comfy armchairs scattered about, as well as in the cafe chairs too. And there were also lots of writers and students with their laptops, pounding away on their keyboards.
    I’m reminded of a favorite New Yorker cartoon showing a guy in a bookstore. He’s addressing a clerk at a sales counter, and he’s not happy. He says, “What? You don’t sell lattes? What kind of bookstore is this, anyway?” *g*

    Reply
  70. From Sherrie:
    One thing I’ve noticed over the years is that stores like Borders (most especially Borders) have evolved into something more like a community rather than the hard, cold retail machines of years past, where the norm was to get ’em in, sell ’em something, and get ’em out. Now Borders caters to the Whole Reader, with books (of course), food, lattes, comfy armchairs, booksignings, newsletters, etc. I consider this Good Business!
    My writers’ group used to meet at a Borders near the Southcenter Mall in Seattle. We’d meet in the reader-friendly cafe, and the store was always packed with browsers, including those who lounged, reading, in the comfy armchairs scattered about, as well as in the cafe chairs too. And there were also lots of writers and students with their laptops, pounding away on their keyboards.
    I’m reminded of a favorite New Yorker cartoon showing a guy in a bookstore. He’s addressing a clerk at a sales counter, and he’s not happy. He says, “What? You don’t sell lattes? What kind of bookstore is this, anyway?” *g*

    Reply
  71. Interesting about blond heroes. They just don’t do it for me. 🙂
    Sue, are book buying habits changing? I keep hearing that romcom will be stronger, and then of course is the ever-present rumor that never pans out, that western historicals are coming back. We’ve had quite a run with darker books, so I’m interested in your observations.
    Jacquie

    Reply
  72. Interesting about blond heroes. They just don’t do it for me. 🙂
    Sue, are book buying habits changing? I keep hearing that romcom will be stronger, and then of course is the ever-present rumor that never pans out, that western historicals are coming back. We’ve had quite a run with darker books, so I’m interested in your observations.
    Jacquie

    Reply
  73. Interesting about blond heroes. They just don’t do it for me. 🙂
    Sue, are book buying habits changing? I keep hearing that romcom will be stronger, and then of course is the ever-present rumor that never pans out, that western historicals are coming back. We’ve had quite a run with darker books, so I’m interested in your observations.
    Jacquie

    Reply
  74. Interesting about blond heroes. They just don’t do it for me. 🙂
    Sue, are book buying habits changing? I keep hearing that romcom will be stronger, and then of course is the ever-present rumor that never pans out, that western historicals are coming back. We’ve had quite a run with darker books, so I’m interested in your observations.
    Jacquie

    Reply
  75. Interesting about blond heroes. They just don’t do it for me. 🙂
    Sue, are book buying habits changing? I keep hearing that romcom will be stronger, and then of course is the ever-present rumor that never pans out, that western historicals are coming back. We’ve had quite a run with darker books, so I’m interested in your observations.
    Jacquie

    Reply
  76. Love it! The cafe is very good, I agree — Seattle’s Best has become my preference in coffee’s primarily because I enjoy the taste more than anything. Try their scones sometime — the best!

    Reply
  77. Love it! The cafe is very good, I agree — Seattle’s Best has become my preference in coffee’s primarily because I enjoy the taste more than anything. Try their scones sometime — the best!

    Reply
  78. Love it! The cafe is very good, I agree — Seattle’s Best has become my preference in coffee’s primarily because I enjoy the taste more than anything. Try their scones sometime — the best!

    Reply
  79. Love it! The cafe is very good, I agree — Seattle’s Best has become my preference in coffee’s primarily because I enjoy the taste more than anything. Try their scones sometime — the best!

    Reply
  80. Love it! The cafe is very good, I agree — Seattle’s Best has become my preference in coffee’s primarily because I enjoy the taste more than anything. Try their scones sometime — the best!

    Reply
  81. From MJP:
    Thanks so much for visiting today, Sue! We like having different perspectives here, and that most certainly includes booksellers who love romance!
    Have a great weekend–
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  82. From MJP:
    Thanks so much for visiting today, Sue! We like having different perspectives here, and that most certainly includes booksellers who love romance!
    Have a great weekend–
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  83. From MJP:
    Thanks so much for visiting today, Sue! We like having different perspectives here, and that most certainly includes booksellers who love romance!
    Have a great weekend–
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  84. From MJP:
    Thanks so much for visiting today, Sue! We like having different perspectives here, and that most certainly includes booksellers who love romance!
    Have a great weekend–
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  85. From MJP:
    Thanks so much for visiting today, Sue! We like having different perspectives here, and that most certainly includes booksellers who love romance!
    Have a great weekend–
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  86. Question for Sue: I have two Borders stores near enough to me, but I seldom visit because it seems to me that they are way slow on putting out new books. The last time I went in with a list (using up a gift card), I only found about half of what I was looking for. I wound up getting the others online from amazon. Perhaps I’m too impatient, but that’s how it is. Can anything be done at the local level — kick butt and get the books out there on the shelves? I like the Borders atmosphere and would go there more often if it weren’t such an exercise in frustration.
    I used to visit a Waldenbooks store in a nearby mall, where the service was superior. The staff was romance-friendly, and they were really prompt in getting the books out and there were always some new ones to see. Naturally they were closed down.

    Reply
  87. Question for Sue: I have two Borders stores near enough to me, but I seldom visit because it seems to me that they are way slow on putting out new books. The last time I went in with a list (using up a gift card), I only found about half of what I was looking for. I wound up getting the others online from amazon. Perhaps I’m too impatient, but that’s how it is. Can anything be done at the local level — kick butt and get the books out there on the shelves? I like the Borders atmosphere and would go there more often if it weren’t such an exercise in frustration.
    I used to visit a Waldenbooks store in a nearby mall, where the service was superior. The staff was romance-friendly, and they were really prompt in getting the books out and there were always some new ones to see. Naturally they were closed down.

    Reply
  88. Question for Sue: I have two Borders stores near enough to me, but I seldom visit because it seems to me that they are way slow on putting out new books. The last time I went in with a list (using up a gift card), I only found about half of what I was looking for. I wound up getting the others online from amazon. Perhaps I’m too impatient, but that’s how it is. Can anything be done at the local level — kick butt and get the books out there on the shelves? I like the Borders atmosphere and would go there more often if it weren’t such an exercise in frustration.
    I used to visit a Waldenbooks store in a nearby mall, where the service was superior. The staff was romance-friendly, and they were really prompt in getting the books out and there were always some new ones to see. Naturally they were closed down.

    Reply
  89. Question for Sue: I have two Borders stores near enough to me, but I seldom visit because it seems to me that they are way slow on putting out new books. The last time I went in with a list (using up a gift card), I only found about half of what I was looking for. I wound up getting the others online from amazon. Perhaps I’m too impatient, but that’s how it is. Can anything be done at the local level — kick butt and get the books out there on the shelves? I like the Borders atmosphere and would go there more often if it weren’t such an exercise in frustration.
    I used to visit a Waldenbooks store in a nearby mall, where the service was superior. The staff was romance-friendly, and they were really prompt in getting the books out and there were always some new ones to see. Naturally they were closed down.

    Reply
  90. Question for Sue: I have two Borders stores near enough to me, but I seldom visit because it seems to me that they are way slow on putting out new books. The last time I went in with a list (using up a gift card), I only found about half of what I was looking for. I wound up getting the others online from amazon. Perhaps I’m too impatient, but that’s how it is. Can anything be done at the local level — kick butt and get the books out there on the shelves? I like the Borders atmosphere and would go there more often if it weren’t such an exercise in frustration.
    I used to visit a Waldenbooks store in a nearby mall, where the service was superior. The staff was romance-friendly, and they were really prompt in getting the books out and there were always some new ones to see. Naturally they were closed down.

    Reply
  91. Hi, What a great interview. Very interesting stuff. I don’t live near a Borders, but when I pass one I love the fact they have a great Romance section. The British bookshops here seem to have a Chick-Lit section, but not really romance.
    One point I’d like to say though; I mean this in the nicest possible way – Sue, you say a romance shouldn’t be in the first person. Have you not read Twilight?
    Jenna
    x

    Reply
  92. Hi, What a great interview. Very interesting stuff. I don’t live near a Borders, but when I pass one I love the fact they have a great Romance section. The British bookshops here seem to have a Chick-Lit section, but not really romance.
    One point I’d like to say though; I mean this in the nicest possible way – Sue, you say a romance shouldn’t be in the first person. Have you not read Twilight?
    Jenna
    x

    Reply
  93. Hi, What a great interview. Very interesting stuff. I don’t live near a Borders, but when I pass one I love the fact they have a great Romance section. The British bookshops here seem to have a Chick-Lit section, but not really romance.
    One point I’d like to say though; I mean this in the nicest possible way – Sue, you say a romance shouldn’t be in the first person. Have you not read Twilight?
    Jenna
    x

    Reply
  94. Hi, What a great interview. Very interesting stuff. I don’t live near a Borders, but when I pass one I love the fact they have a great Romance section. The British bookshops here seem to have a Chick-Lit section, but not really romance.
    One point I’d like to say though; I mean this in the nicest possible way – Sue, you say a romance shouldn’t be in the first person. Have you not read Twilight?
    Jenna
    x

    Reply
  95. Hi, What a great interview. Very interesting stuff. I don’t live near a Borders, but when I pass one I love the fact they have a great Romance section. The British bookshops here seem to have a Chick-Lit section, but not really romance.
    One point I’d like to say though; I mean this in the nicest possible way – Sue, you say a romance shouldn’t be in the first person. Have you not read Twilight?
    Jenna
    x

    Reply
  96. Hi Jenna & thanks for your comment. There are authors that can very successfully write in first person where the reader does not even identify it as such, I believe TWILIGHT is of that nature. TWILIGHT does reside in the Young Adult section of most book stores and YA readers may not be as picky as Romance readers seem to be. When I review sales, especially when comparing third person vs first, there is definitely a distinction as to what romance readers look for. Again, always an exception to every rule. Thanks again for your feedback.
    Sue

    Reply
  97. Hi Jenna & thanks for your comment. There are authors that can very successfully write in first person where the reader does not even identify it as such, I believe TWILIGHT is of that nature. TWILIGHT does reside in the Young Adult section of most book stores and YA readers may not be as picky as Romance readers seem to be. When I review sales, especially when comparing third person vs first, there is definitely a distinction as to what romance readers look for. Again, always an exception to every rule. Thanks again for your feedback.
    Sue

    Reply
  98. Hi Jenna & thanks for your comment. There are authors that can very successfully write in first person where the reader does not even identify it as such, I believe TWILIGHT is of that nature. TWILIGHT does reside in the Young Adult section of most book stores and YA readers may not be as picky as Romance readers seem to be. When I review sales, especially when comparing third person vs first, there is definitely a distinction as to what romance readers look for. Again, always an exception to every rule. Thanks again for your feedback.
    Sue

    Reply
  99. Hi Jenna & thanks for your comment. There are authors that can very successfully write in first person where the reader does not even identify it as such, I believe TWILIGHT is of that nature. TWILIGHT does reside in the Young Adult section of most book stores and YA readers may not be as picky as Romance readers seem to be. When I review sales, especially when comparing third person vs first, there is definitely a distinction as to what romance readers look for. Again, always an exception to every rule. Thanks again for your feedback.
    Sue

    Reply
  100. Hi Jenna & thanks for your comment. There are authors that can very successfully write in first person where the reader does not even identify it as such, I believe TWILIGHT is of that nature. TWILIGHT does reside in the Young Adult section of most book stores and YA readers may not be as picky as Romance readers seem to be. When I review sales, especially when comparing third person vs first, there is definitely a distinction as to what romance readers look for. Again, always an exception to every rule. Thanks again for your feedback.
    Sue

    Reply
  101. From MJP:
    Sue Grimshaw has already commented, Jenna, but I wanted ot as well. The Stephanie Meyer books are indeed wildly romantic, but they are targeted at the Young Adult market, and a lot of YAs are first person because that’s a good mode for exploring the protagonists growth.
    The first person viewpoint can certainly be powerful, but it is a little different from the give and take between hero and heroine that one sees in the adult romance genre.
    Chick lit is also often in first person, because again, it gives a close up view of the heroine growing. Mystery is often in first person because the reader than learns along with the sleuth. Point of view is one of the writer’s most powerful tools.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  102. From MJP:
    Sue Grimshaw has already commented, Jenna, but I wanted ot as well. The Stephanie Meyer books are indeed wildly romantic, but they are targeted at the Young Adult market, and a lot of YAs are first person because that’s a good mode for exploring the protagonists growth.
    The first person viewpoint can certainly be powerful, but it is a little different from the give and take between hero and heroine that one sees in the adult romance genre.
    Chick lit is also often in first person, because again, it gives a close up view of the heroine growing. Mystery is often in first person because the reader than learns along with the sleuth. Point of view is one of the writer’s most powerful tools.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  103. From MJP:
    Sue Grimshaw has already commented, Jenna, but I wanted ot as well. The Stephanie Meyer books are indeed wildly romantic, but they are targeted at the Young Adult market, and a lot of YAs are first person because that’s a good mode for exploring the protagonists growth.
    The first person viewpoint can certainly be powerful, but it is a little different from the give and take between hero and heroine that one sees in the adult romance genre.
    Chick lit is also often in first person, because again, it gives a close up view of the heroine growing. Mystery is often in first person because the reader than learns along with the sleuth. Point of view is one of the writer’s most powerful tools.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  104. From MJP:
    Sue Grimshaw has already commented, Jenna, but I wanted ot as well. The Stephanie Meyer books are indeed wildly romantic, but they are targeted at the Young Adult market, and a lot of YAs are first person because that’s a good mode for exploring the protagonists growth.
    The first person viewpoint can certainly be powerful, but it is a little different from the give and take between hero and heroine that one sees in the adult romance genre.
    Chick lit is also often in first person, because again, it gives a close up view of the heroine growing. Mystery is often in first person because the reader than learns along with the sleuth. Point of view is one of the writer’s most powerful tools.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  105. From MJP:
    Sue Grimshaw has already commented, Jenna, but I wanted ot as well. The Stephanie Meyer books are indeed wildly romantic, but they are targeted at the Young Adult market, and a lot of YAs are first person because that’s a good mode for exploring the protagonists growth.
    The first person viewpoint can certainly be powerful, but it is a little different from the give and take between hero and heroine that one sees in the adult romance genre.
    Chick lit is also often in first person, because again, it gives a close up view of the heroine growing. Mystery is often in first person because the reader than learns along with the sleuth. Point of view is one of the writer’s most powerful tools.
    Mary Jo

    Reply

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