Thursday, December 1

Braving the Evil Empire

I have a love/hate relationship with Wal*Mart. As someone who owned a small business for several years, I hated hearing "I can get something just like it at Wal*Mart for half the price." Oh yeah, well, it wont be a one of a kind American handmade, so there, mentally sticking my tongue out... I could go on about low wages, pushing out mom and pop business etc. but most people know all this. And, yet I still on occasion find myself walking through their doors.

It has always been my store of last resort or the place I head to avoid having to make 10 different stops. Tuesday I dragged Junior there, bought him a Happy Meal at the McDonalds in the entry, sat him down in the cart, and proceeded to finish shopping for the "Stocking Stuffers." We don't exchange gifts with the adults in the family, but I do buy little things to give from Junior, candles, CD's, etc. We also needed printer paper, labels, transfer paper, ink cartridges and a few groceries--so we ended up at Wal*Mart...

Of course, if you're there you have to check out the books. And, shock of shocks, what is sitting right there for anyone to pick up is the mm edition Emma Holly's Strange Attractions.

I have SA in trade paperback and enjoyed the book, even though at the time I read it I only said it was okay, well, it was a really well written okay, and the only reason at the time I thought "okay" was it ends without a clearly defined monogamous relationship, which I consider a must for a romance, and yet, the more I thought about it, that was part of the point of the story. I know this all sounds rather vague, but it's an interesting story with a major hero, a minor hero (both of whom are bi-sexual) and a heroine who is willing to try just about anything. I would have been happy if the major hero ended up with either the minor hero or the heroine, but both left me scratching my head in a now where is this going to go sort of way.

Later in the day while Junior was at Tae Kwon Do, I ran to my UBS/Indie bookstore and picked up Samantha Winston's The Argentine Lover which I had them special order for me from Ellora's Cave. TAL turned out to be a sweet, poignant story about a young couple finding love on the Polo circuit. And even though the sex is incredibly "HOT," it's still a sweet story, which is rather nice and not necessarily expected in an erotic romance.

Where am I going with all of this? How does Wal*Mart determine that they will sell an erotic romance published by Berkley, but not Ellora's Cave? It seems to me Strange Attractions would be more shocking to most of what they would consider "mainstream" consumers. Or did this one simply fly under their sensorship radar?

My deep thought for the day and maybe the week--LOL.

Have a good one and happy reading.



Bookwormom said...

Wal Mart truly is the Evil Empire, however, the are convenient & inexpensive & have great hours. I am conflicted about shoppping there because their employee policies & the fact that they chase small businesses out of town, but my pocketbook wins out every time.

As to the Emma Holly book, I think the Wal Mart book buyer is unaware of the content of Holly's books & apparently the ladies buying it haven't complained (to Wal Mart) in enough numbers to have her blacklisted. I think I'll have to go hunt for this one, I've wanted to read it for awhile.

Sam said...

Thank you SO much for the kind words about TAL!!
(I am being lazy here and not writing out the whole title. I have also decided that my titles will now be Very short, and not have the word Angels in it - because I'm always writing 'angles', and that drives me nuts, lol.)
I'm so glad you enjoyed the story - and you said exactly what my editor said - she said 'This story is so sweet that people won't see the kink and sizzle in the sex', lol. I think people Do see it, but it is an awfully romantic tale and I'm really glad you saw that!!

Nicole said...

I'd say one reason is the covers. Really, compared to print pubs, EC has some nasty covers. If they really are starting to do well, you'd think they could start hiring better artists.

Also, the Walmarts I've been to haven't stocked trade paperbacks, so that's another reason.

Not that Walmart wouldn't stock them for other reasons, but those are some.