Author's name obscured

Here at Sling Words, we're bothered by something and wonder if it's common practice at all WalMarts or if it's just the Wally Worlds near the Reeves hacienda. What's got us slinging angst this fine TGIF? The bar code/price sticker on books at WalMart.

The adhesive label which measures .75" by 2.25" is about the size of a return address label, like the Avery 5160 which I use. This label is slapped right across the top of the cover. Unless the author's name is in a point size equivalent to that used for The mega-sellers like King, Koontz or Roberts, the label does a great job of obscuring the author's name if the name is above the title. If the name is below the title, then the label on many books covers part of the title.

So if you're looking for a particular author's name or a specific title, you have to pull the book from the rack and look at the spine. After unracking about a dozen, this becomes more than a bit annoying. I worry that book buyers who are non-writers and are just looking for a good read they heard about may get exasperated and walk away empty-handed.

The book cover's title and author name should be easily seen. A reader shouldn't have to search for it. Good marketing strategy is always make it easy for buyers to find books, not harder.

I wonder if the other big retailers do this. I'll have to start checking Targets, etc. I also wonder if editors and cover artists are aware of this practice. If so, I think publishers should be asking jobbers to slap their in-house label over the barcode on the back of the book.

Sling Words out.

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