1. What’s your favorite area of your bookstore?
My bookstore is pretty small, so I’m not sure about “area,” but my favorite section is fantasy, and I do love our sticker board!
2. What’s the coolest book cover that you like to have facing out on the shelves?
This is a hard one, there are so many great covers! My current favorite is The Wild Ones by Nafiza Azad. (I attached it in case you want to show it!)
3. If you had a staff pick for a recent new release, what would it be? Backlist pick?
There’s a book coming out February 8 called Dead Silence by S.A. Barnes that is definitely a staff pick. It’s like Titanic meets Alien and it’s about a ghost ship. It’s one of the most compelling books I’ve read recently; I haven’t been able to put it down! I have so many backlist picks that I yell about, but my favorites that I read last year are The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune, Light from Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki, A Master of Djinn by P. Djéli Clark, and The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri.
4. Do you have a strange customer story?
I have so many! I actually do TikToks about these. My favorite is when a customer came in, looked around, then asked where our literary fiction section was. I explained that we’re a genre fiction store, and the customer said, “Oh, so this is a men’s store?” I said, “No, the store is for everyone, we just specialize in genre fiction, so like science fiction, fantasy, horror, and romance.” The customer replied with, “Right, that’s what *men* read. So this is a men’s store.” I honestly didn’t know how to respond!
5. What author have you been starstruck to meet, or have you gotten to host a fun virtual event?
I’ve been so honored and grateful to host virtual events for so many amazing authors! I think the event I geeked out most on was when I got to host Felicia Day and Charlie Jane Anders in conversation. That one made my nerdy little heart SO HAPPY!
6. What are some misconceptions people have about working in a bookstore?
The biggest misconception is that you just sit around and read all day. That couldn’t be further from the truth! Unfortunately I feel like I have *less* time to read now that I own a bookstore than I did before.
7. What is your least favorite bookstore task? Favorite part about working in a bookstore?
My least favorite task by far is bookkeeping. It’s so tedious! I have two favorite parts: curating the book collection/inventory and planning and hosting events (right now all virtual). I love selecting what books to put on the shelves, and I love interacting with authors and publicists for events! Both things use my creative brain, which is my favorite piece to exercise.
Candice Huber (they/them) is the owner of Tubby and Coo’s in New Orleans.
Ellen Whitfield is senior publicist at Books Forward, an author publicity and book marketing firm committed to promoting voices from a diverse variety of communities. From book reviews and author events, to social media and digital marketing, we help authors find success and connect with readers.