"We don't sell a lot of one thing, we sell one thing of a lot."

Here's my answer to what kind of promotions for new books we do: we carry as many good books as we can afford and can stock. Period.

I do no promotion whatsoever, for reasons I won't try to detail here. Suffice to say, I think most don't work, or are more trouble than they are worth, and often, if time and energy are included, are actual drawbacks.

Originally, new books were brought in haphazardly, and to an unfortunate extent, still are. (If I had the time and energy to promote, I'd be better off making this process better.) I could do a better job of curating, making lists, making sure books don't fall off the list. So far, as if often the case with my store, I'm just making sure I have a steady flow of books coming in. I'm still trying to get up to speed on this.

The way my store works, I've committed to filling the space with as much stuff as I can squeeze in there, and once I went with that model, I realized that Overstuffing is the answer--getting more than I can reasonably accommodate and just keep doing it. Why that works, I don't know.

I have a great advantage for a bookstore in that I have--if I may humbly say--read one hell of a lot of books in my life, and not just in one or two genres, and I've got this sort of encyclopedic thing I do where I just keep slotting titles into my brain even if I haven't read them, I know what they are, to the point where someone will ask for a title and out of the murky recesses of my brain, the author and title will pop up, surprising even me.

When I was a kid, I'd read the movie review books from cover to cover, memorizing first the actors, then the directors and so on. It was a little game my Dad would play with me, trying to stump me with character actors.

I carried that mindset into a comic shop where at first the history of comics and titles was overwhelming but over the years I accumulated so much knowledge that I pretty much at least knew what someone was talking about.

As an adult, I read the New York Times Book Review from cover to cover for years, never reading most of the books, but just curious. And so on.

All this explanation is a roundabout way to say, I can usually separate the wheat from the chaff. And in books, especially these days, there is one hell of a lot of chaff. So being able to look at a long list of books and pick the 10% I should carry is a nice talent.

That's why I avoid most new bestsellers, because most of it is B.S. Some will endure for a few years, and THEN I'll pick them up.

Meanwhile there is a whole history of great books, and a pent up demand if the book is actually in stock and available.

I also order from liquidation sites, which are full of unsold books, but an amazing number of really good books slip through the cracks, enough to fill orders, and with these books I can take chances. Order old Greek plays, or Dante, or Homer, or...well, on and on, just books that I suspect there is Someone out there, in the course of a year or two, who will want it.

People often ask what my bestselling book (or comic or game) is and my stock (heh) answer is: "We don't sell a lot of one thing, we sell one thing of a lot."