Tag Archives: Small Press

Shelf Talker Shelf Talker Shelf Talker…

What the heck is a Shelf Talker you ask?

It’s one of those pieces of cardstock paper you see on a bookstore’s shelf that tells you when an employee really loves a book and wants to draw attention to it. I think the best bookstores are the ones full of passionate readers always willing to share their literary discoveries while also cultivating a sense of community. You can learn a lot about a bookstore’s collective personality by scanning what they choose to give shelf talkers to. I have been to a couple of bookstores where there are NO shelf talkers at all and it always jars me a little, like the store is saying: “You’re on your own here. We are not excited about anything and we have no opinions.”

Oof. What a downer.

Bookstores: Show us your shelf talkers!!

Last year, at work, we introduced a whole line of new shelf talker designs to freshen up the look of the store. That’s cool and everything, but (like a bibliophile hoarder) I am a little sad about throwing away some of my old stand-bys. I love making shelf talkers for my small press section. I think it has really helped a lot of readers discover new talent through the past fourteen years I’ve been in charge of it.

So before I tossed them in the recycling, I took photos of some of my favorites and decided I’d post them here (about 140 more are not pictured). That way, they live FOREVER! Enjoy this journey–and read these books!

(click on the pic to make it bigger)

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For Cowboy Maloney’s Electric City (Dark Sky Press)

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The first shelf talker I wrote for Gary Lutz, when 3rd Bed republished Stories In the Worst Way.

The first shelf talker I wrote for Gary Lutz, when 3rd Bed republished Stories In the Worst Way.

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Another book that we've sold a ton of at Powell's.

Another book that we’ve sold a ton of at Powell’s.

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Zachary Lipez, Stacey Wakefield, and Nick Zinner did a great reading for this book at Powell’s back in 2010.

I was so excited to introduce Chelsea Martin's magic to the world.

I was so excited to introduce Chelsea Martin’s magic to the world.

I think this was for Greg's first book, I Have Touched You.

I think this was for Greg’s first book, I Have Touched You.

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For CA Conrad

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I love Spork Books!

I love Spork Books!

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Proof of my early love of all things Iredell.

Proof of my early love of all things Iredell.

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My favorite literary journal.

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We've sold so many copies of Ghost Machine. One of my all-time faves.

We’ve sold so many copies of Ghost Machine. One of my all-time faves.

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Still pretty obscure, SJB was one of my first writing influences.

Still pretty obscure, SJB was one of my first writing influences.

I still think this is kind of a minimalist classic.

I still think this is kind of a minimalist classic. By Paul Fattarusso.

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Like how I burned the edges?

Like how I burned the edges?

The first shelf talker for Chloe's classic.

The first shelf talker for Chloe’s classic.

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Just Look Where Twenty Years of Work Gets You

Hi everyone,

I always thought it would be cool to have a kevinsampsell.com someday and now here it is. What’s the occasion, you ask? Well, I’ve sold my soul to the devil (HarperCollins!).

But seriously–I am super excited to be two weeks away from the release of my most personal book to date, A Common Pornography. After so many years of publishing through small presses (including my own, started in 1990), I’m about to make my debut into the big leagues and I couldn’t ask for a better group of friends, editors, and writers to make the leap with.

I hope you’ll check in here often and read my updates (is it sexier to call them blogs?). But for now, take a gander at the other parts of this site. You got: all my tour dates, an assload of fiction, some saucy non-fiction, and a page with links to info and reviews of all my previous books.

Many thanks to the handsome Bryan Coffelt and the sultry Frayn Masters for all their help with this here site. Their winks, high fives, and computer skills are treasured.

Coming soon on this site: watch for videos, audio rarities, lists, letters, incoming reviews, and photos (old and new). You could almost call this site the “special features” for the book (if the book were a DVD–movie producers: hint hint). And if you’re curious about the header, that’s part of a photo of my childhood home when it was on fire. You can read about it (and see more photos!) in A Common Pornography when it lands in stores on January 19th.

Okay, folks. Comment any time you want (we’re open 24 hours here) and thanks for tuning in!

love,

Kevin