September 5, 2010

Blogging Barnes and Noble

While the summer started out gangbusters at the bookstore, those of us who work part shifts got fewer and fewer hours as the heat poured on. By the time I left on my vacation as July turned into August, I was working perhaps one evening a week, and for the two weeks after my return (before taking Rachael to college), I had no hours at all. Which means that when I came in to work, it was strictly cashiering, with the occasional stint in Kids. And never any Nook time.

Most of you who have visited a B&N over the past several months know that each store features, prominently, a Nook area, and additional staff were hired to man these sections. In our store, a full-time position was added, at 40 hours a week, and when Jeff wasn't there, other staff took up the slack with official Nook hours. I was not among them, and other than watching a Nook video or two when they were first introduced, and playing with one occasionally during breaks, I remained a Nook virgin. Last week, though, I asked for some training so I wouldn't stand around like a boob when somebody asked me about the device.

In the last few weeks several employees moved on, so hours are on the increase - at least temporarily, although I hope permanently (I'd prefer TPTB utilize part-time staff more rather than hiring on tons of new full-timers, but nobody's asked me). On Friday night, before I left the store close at midnight, I asked to check one out, and yesterday morning I learned the basics of Nook. Good thing too, because when I went into work in the afternoon, I was assigned an hour of Nook duty. Had I not set about learning it earlier in the day, I'd have been screwed.

I showed several customers the ins and outs during my hour, and sold a husband and wife one shortly after my shift ended last evening. It was a tremendous rush, and my knowledge of the Kindle helped tremendously in doing comparisons, but the last several shifts have all been a rush in that the store has been slammed by customers. Hooray!!! I'd been doing terrifically well selling memberships - and while in some ways I hate that we've added educational toys to our inventory (I came to sell books, not toys, after all, or electronics for that matter), it's hard to argue with $50 toys and $200 Nooks - but yesterday was a great hand-selling day. I sold seven books while at cash-wrap as add-ons, and talked up Clockwork Angel to other customers. Here is what I sold:

  • Two copies of Soulless
  • One copy of Blameless
  • One copy of Any Given Doomsday
  • Two Beverly Jenkins books
  • One copy of Naked in Death (to a reader who'd picked up Salvation in Death in Bargain although she'd never read the earlier books in the series...we put the bargain book away and I asked that a copy of Naked be brought up instead)

So far thirteen copies of Changeless have walked out the door as well - 35 remain left to sell. I've not yet had time to read the book, and part of the reason why I've not made time is that I know


the hero and heroine don't get back together until the end of the book. I assume Carrington did that to stretch out the action into additional installments of the series, and while I love the entirety of the world the author created, I can't help but long for more h/h face time. Even though the parts I've read are hilarious, I need to settle down and deal with my disappointment before actually reading Changeless.

I work a very abbreviated shift tonight and then during Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons this week. I'll be bringing my loaner Nook back when I head in this evening and now that I've got a real sale under my belt - and boy, did I work for it! - I'm confident about future Nook duty.


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