There are certain products that I'm constantly tempted by.
Warhammer is probably the best example. I like their miniatures, I like the idea of painting them, of creating a panorama. But every bit of information I have, including my own aborted experience, tells me it would be a bad idea. We can in no way do them, don't ask.
Jigsaw puzzles are another product I've often thought should work. We tried it at Linda's store, and they did poorly. I'm not sure if it was just the wrong venue or because we didn't have the right puzzles or because jigsaw puzzles just don't sell well.
We've carried a smattering of jigsaw puzzles over the years. People ask, we show them, and they walk away.
Anyway, in the course of working at the store, I tend to move things around. Yesterday I realized I'd opened a good space for displaying jigsaw puzzles face out. Even more importantly, we could have them at eye-level instead of high up the way.
So now the question becomes--can I get good jigsaw puzzles from my book distributor? (I can't afford to open an account with jigsaw puzzle makers--there are minimums, and it restricts me to whatever company I decide on.)
I've always had a bit of a problem figuring out what posters and t-shirts people want. Put bluntly, my tastes are apparently not what people want. I think a design is really cool and no one buys it. I think a design is ugly and it sells out.
I called Brandon at Herringbone Books in Redmond asking for advice.
"Easy," he said. "Order the opposite of what you like."
I asked a lady in the store yesterday what kind of jigsaw puzzles she liked.
"Thomas Kincade," she said.
I tried not to roll my eyes. Aesthetic taste is individual, after all. But to me, Kincade is like a cake with whipped cream on top of chocolate frosting on top of syrup on top a cup of sugar.
In contrast, I have a Frazetta puzzle. "Deathdealer." What middle-aged woman doesn't want that?
Anyway, in the end, I sort of blurred my eyes and ordered the pictures that popped. The ones that were visually arresting, no matter the content. (Though I did take Brandon's advice and tried to order nature pictures.)
The puzzles are going to be here by Thanksgiving. We'll see what happens.
6 days ago