|Autobiographies are shelved in this bookstore by last|
name of the author. Franklin and Eleanor is also
shelved under the author, i.e., Rowley.
This is about where a biography of Will Woodin might be found in a bookstore.
The bookstore I have examined in detail is the Vero Beach Book Center in Vero Beach, Fla. It is the only listed independent bookstore between Orlando and Palm Beach.
Biographies in Author Order
|Chernow's Hamilton is next|
to the story of a Holocaust
- In a library, biographies are shelved by name of the person who is the subject of the biography.
- In a bookstore, biographies are shelved by author, not the name of the biographee–except for autobiographies, where the authors are also the subjects.
|Didion is next to Keynes because|
Daugherty is next to Davenport.
|Some books have the covers facing out. (At the new|
Amazon store in Seattle, all covers face out.)
In the new Amazon bricks-and-mortar store in Seattle (with another in the pipeline in San Diego), all the books face out, as shown on the first page of the Business Section of the NY Times on Saturday and in an article in GeekWire.
Bookstores are less concerned about having many biographies as having the ones that people are looking for. Some biographies sell themselves based on their subjects, like Prince Philip or Teddy Roosevelt.
|FDR is next Lincoln's cabinet|
because both are by Goodwin.
A good bet for sales are books about royalty in the news, like [Prince] William & Catherine [Kate Middleton] or William and Harry.
Note from the photos of the shelves how important it is to have a cover that can be read quickly, in large type.
From all of the above, it seems that a book about Will Woodin would have to have FDR in the name, to establish Woodin's closest connection to fame today. Treasury Secretary is a long title and by itself does not establish Woodin's importance.
A title like How Roosevelt and Woodin Calmed the Banks gets the subject matter across. If this could be tied into the election-year debate about Glass-Steagall, even better.
- The need for greenbacks.
- The need for more liquidity from the Federal Reserve.
- The need for gold (gold reserves were declining).
- The long-term need for fiscal spending to reduce unemployment.
American History Books in Author Order
Another approach to shelving a biography of Will Woodin would be to put it under American History. It would most likely go chronologically between books on the Crash of 1929 and books on the Great Depression. It belongs exactly next to a book on FDR's First Hundred Days. Here are some key books that evaluate the First Hundred Days and the New Deal, starting with the three most recent, two of which sought to knock the New Deal from its pedestal:
2007. Amity Schlaes, Amity. The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression (Harper Collins).
2006. Alter, Jonathan. The Defining Moment: FDR’s Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope (Simon & Schuster).
2003. Powell, Jim. FDR’s Folly: How Roosevelt and His New Deal Prolonged the Great Depression (Crown Forum).
1999. Kennedy, David M. Freedom From Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945 (New York: Oxford University Press).
1993. McElvaine, Robert S. The Great Depression: America, 1929-1941 (New York: Random House).
1989. Anthony Badger, The New Deal: The Depression Years, 1933-1940 (Ivan R. Dee).
1963. Leuchtenburg, William E. Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal, 1932-1940 (Harper & Row).
1958. Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., The Age of Roosevelt: The Coming of the New Deal (Houghton Mifflin).
1939. Moley, Raymond. After Seven Years (Harper Brothers).
Better Place: Business Books
|Banks and banking never fail to |
draw business interest. The
business reader wants a takeaway.
A better place to be than in American History is the Business Section of a bookstore. These books will be found at airport newsstands and get reviewed in places where book-buyers will find them – the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, The Economist, Forbes etc.
A book on Will Woodin fits the criteria.
|The Big Short updates 1929-33|
In 1928, Woodin was CEO of one of the 20 companies in the Dow. He was also Chairman of another company in the Dow, American Locomotive Co. The rise of his company is a history lesson of the 100 years leading up to 1929.
Woodin's second act was as confidant and financier of FDR's ascent to the presidency and then as the man who carried out the calming of a panic-stricken country. In addition to creating liquidity, FDR and Woodin got through the Glass-Steagall deal to insure bank deposits while preventing speculators from having access to the insured deposits. The Glass-Steagall Act is often cited but few people understand how and why it was enacted.
Even Better Place: Staff Picks
To get here, presumably one would have to establish a connection between the customers and the subject matter. So a book on Will Woodin could be promoted to staff in bookstores in Pennsylvania, where he came from, and New York and Washington, D.C., where he went.
Another way to get a bookstore to pick the book would be to establish a local connection in another way. Two of Woodin's children retired to Vero Beach, for example, and he has many descendants who still live there. Tucson and Sedona, Arizona also have Woodin grandchildren in residence.
Best Place: Best Sellers
The best place to be–and libraries also offer these shelves–is on a best-seller shelf.
This is harder to maneuver onto. The shelves are filled based on periodic consultation of a standard ranking system, such as the New York Times Book Review section, which has weekly rankings of the nationally top-selling books in fiction and nonfiction as well as other categories.
Biographies routinely make it onto the best-seller list. The shelf at right includes recent biographies of Jefferson, the Wright Brothers, Reagan, Clementine Churchill and the Koch Brothers (Dark Money).
The inclusion of two books on Vero Beach and Palm Beach suggests they are on a local (Florida? Southern Florida?) best-seller ranking.