Tuesday, November 11, 2008
A Taste of New England
Last week I made a quick trip to Massachusetts. I sampled authentic New England Clam Chowder and real Boston Cream Pie. And I gloried in a bargain shopper's paradise.
Did you realize that over 200,000 Christian products are warehoused in Peabody, MA?
I had the pleasure to visit Christian Book Distributors, to see their packing/shipping operation and meet their wonderful staff. These people know how to market and move Christian product -- and they really like Christian fiction.
Saturday, November 8 was their fall warehouse sale, and they asked Wanda Brunstetter to come and sign books at the event. We were received like family on Friday and given the royal treatment. We were shown through the whole 2-level warehouse where miles of computerized conveyor belts ran through pick stations where real people filled the boxes. Then we were taken to the huge room full of cubicles where numerous calls are manned each day by a cheerful customer service team. The room was festively decorated with product samples, holiday décor, and personal items.
Next it was on to a conference room where Wanda spent an hour each with two groups of customer service employees. She talked about her writing, answered questions, and signed books. She also did a recorded audio interview with Dianne Burnett, who is the editor of the fiction online store information, that will soon be posted online. We also got a peek that evening at the warehouse sale with time to do some fun shopping.
Saturday the warehouse sale began at 8:00 am, but there were people there at least by 6:00 who wanted to be the first ones in. They came from all around New England, down from Maine and up from Pennsylvania. By the time Wanda was ushered to her signing table at 9:00, there were already a dozen folks in line to see her and 3 cases of White Christmas Pie were already sold though. We estimate Wanda signed over 300 books of various titles for approximately 150 people. They came in droves, standing 30 deep in line most of the time. Wanda took a break at the 11:00 ending time, but she came back and signed for another hour.
After lunch with the CBD staff, we found it rather sad to have to leave our new friends and hit the road. I really learned to value Barbour’s good relationship with CBD and the great way they get behind fiction in particular.
Check out their online fiction store. It can be a value tool for an author to research what is already available in the market and where there may be opportunities for new book ideas.
Editor Du Jour Becky