An interesting article from the Wall Street Journal reveals the power of the Barnes & Noble fiction book buyer, Sessalee Hensley, who can make books. Publishers and authors marvel and tremble with fear at what her decisions can mean, but Hensley, naturally, says, "I'm just one person and I'm not infallible. The fact of it is if I read something I don't like it's just me not liking it, not the world not liking it. Any house that thinks I'm wrong can meet with my boss." She gives books 50 to 100 pages to make their mark ;some of Hensley's choices that became unexpected blockbusters are The Lovely Bones and The DaVinci Code.
Gothamist noticed The Book of Ages: 30 placed strategically across from the Romance section at Barnes and Noble (click picture to further appreciate the placement). While Hensley said she cannot be swayed by expensive gifts or cheap talk, we wonder if that's true of the nonfiction buyer. We know that Josh, Jonathan, and Lockhart are all about shilling the book. But it worked for us: Buy the Book of Ages.