Third Time’s a Charm with Cornelia Gamlem and Barbara Mitchell

When our first book, The Big Book of HR, was published, we were in New York for a writer’s conference. We went to Barnes & Noble on 5th Avenue in New York City and saw our book displayed on a shelf – pretty exciting for both of us. “We can’t beat this,” we said.

Fast forward a year. We were back in New York for the same conference and visited B&N on Fifth to discover two copies of the book were displayed. As we were taking pictures, two men approached us and asked if they could help. One was the manager of the business book department who was excited to learn we were the authors of The Big Book of HR.

Turns out they were just discussing the need for more HR books. Cal, the manager, turned to his assistant and asked him to order more copies of the book. “I’m going to give your book better placement,” he told us, pointing to a display at the front of the store “Top Picks in Business.

We were delighted to have met him and thrilled about his enthusiasm about our book. “We can’t beat this!”

Each year we go to the writer’s conference and walk over to B&N on Fifth to see our books. On our next two trips, our friend Cal Hunter wasn’t there, but it was still great to see multiple copies of The Big Book of HR prominently displayed.

But the third time was a charm. Cal was in the store and after thanking him for his support, he said, “Did you see the window display?” There in the window on 5th Avenue in New York City, was The Big Book of HR in a display of “hot” business books. “We can’t beat this!”

We have a message for aspiring authors: Finish that book and market it like crazy. And that includes bragging rights. Think about this, if we hadn’t been snapping pictures of our book that day, we wouldn’t have met Cal, had him take an interest in our book, and ultimately place it in the store window. Marketing doesn’t get any better than that–and authors, it’s your personal touch that sells your books. So, keep writing, keep marketing, and never give up.

Cornelia Gamlem and Barbara Mitchell are the coauthors of The Big Book of HR, The Essential Workplace Conflict Handbook, Conflict Resolution Phrase Book, and The Manager’s Answer Book. Cornelia can be reached at and Barbara at

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