Daily Archives: May 9, 2009

Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover

Today, SuperSense was officially launched in the UK so I went into Waterstones in Bath to see my baby. Imagine my horror when I asked the assistant who told me that yes it was in store upstairs filed under “occult & witchcraft” or as my UK editor calls it, the “woo-woo” section. I hurried upstairs and saw it on display in the deserted empty back store next to Wicca for Beginners and How to Douse Your Way to a Fortune. I went ballistic! I stormed up to the counter and demanded an explanation. But as I was reliably informed by the sales assistant, it was in the right section as this was how it was categorized on the Waterstones’s database. 

Apparently somebody had literally judged the book by its cover and not seen that in fact it was a science book about belief. Moreover, I happen to know that Constable & Robinson organized a promotional deal in a 3 for 2 scheme and that it was supposed to be displayed out front of store. 

To his credit, when this information was brought to the attention of the manager, he immediately apologized and set about sorting things out. Moreover, the wonderful Charlotte who reviewed it for the Waterstones’s Quarterly Magazine set about emailing head office to get the listing change to the same category as Gladwell’s “Blink.” 

When I returned an hour later SuperSense was prominently displayed in the “Everyone is talking about..” section. So bravo to Bath Waterstones and yaboo sucks to the person in head office who thought it was a “woo-woo” book.IMG_0156

Maybe I should have gone for a more prosaic title but that would have been boring…. but I would have thought the reference to Richard Dawkin’s “The God Delusion” on the front quote from the New Scientist should have given a clue to the content of my book.

Anyway, let me know if you see “SuperSense” on sale in your local bookstore and which section it appears in. I may have to throw a few more author tantrums!

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