More on Gettysburg Visitor Center Bookstore

In talking with friend Dwayne Siskey, who lives in Gettysburg, I’ve learned a bit more about the bookstore in the new Gettysburg Visitor Center.  He was told during a recent visit that they haven’t ordered any new books in the last 2 or 3 months (I guess since the store was initially stocked) and that they don’t plan to order any more for a while.  I guess that means my new one (which will be out next month) may not be ordered anytime soon, or at all.  Our publisher has been contacting the store to set up a signing this summer, but is getting no response.  I don’t even know if they carry my first book.  They don’t carry my good friend Scott Mingus’ books, and this seems to confirm all that I’ve heard – that the store carries about half the titles of the old store.  Newt Gingrich’s alternative fiction is, however, stocked in the store.

I’ll be visiting myself this Friday morning on my first trip to Gettysburg this season, and I’ll post a full report on the new Visitor Center here.  As for the bookstore, it indeed seems that inventory has been designed to cater to the masses, not the specialized historian by any means. 

All of which leaves the door wide open for the bookstores at the Farnsworth House, Gallery 30, the Antique Center, the Gettysburg Gift Center, the Habitat Gift Center, and a possible new stand-alone bookstore that might be opened by Eastern National (which ran the old Visitor Center bookstore).

Published in: on April 15, 2008 at 9:45 am  Comments (9)  

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  1. J.D.,

    And the new bookstore charges the publishers more than the old one; therefore the publishers’ (and authors) profits per book are sharply reduced. We’re still trying to get in, but it does not look promising for the short-term. Instead, we are focusing on the other alternatives, as you also mentioned.


  2. I plan to visit, in the near future, and to check things out for myself, as you mentioned. If that is, indeed, how they want to run things, more power to them. However, I will write them a letter to the battlefield park, explaining that I will not make any purchases in their bookstore or make any donations even to the park itself.

  3. Hi JD. One of my publishers is actually based out of Gettysburg (Patriot Press) and has better luck getting our books in the smaller (private) bookstores than the big NPS ones. It bothers me to hear that a bunch of authors are getting this treatment and as a member of the Gettysburg Foundation, I may have to rethink who I donate to in the future. If I want a bookstore that caters to the masses I’ll go to Borders. The Visitor’s Center bookstores (at all battlefields) are supposed to carry those special titles that you don’t get in the mainstream stores. Not the other way around.

  4. Exactly, Michael, and I couldn’t have said it better. I’ve been a big contributor to the Foundation since it formed – but that may change. Heck, if they won’t carry my titles in the store (and I haven’t yet determined that they don’t) they can’t expect to be getting contributions from me anymore.
    I’ll be going through the bookstore on Friday, and I’ll post a complete report on it here. If all I see is the “mass appeal” type books, few specialized titles, and the place dominated by plastic swords and cap guns, the report ain’t gonna be good…


  5. I’ll be very disappointed if they don’t have more items and books that are more specific to the Gettysburg Campaign. I’ve been looking forward to this new center for a long time, of course. I was very excited about it, but the more I hear and see, the more nervous I get about seeing it for the first time – I hope in May. I’m almost broken hearted over it. However; I don’t mind the plastic swords, etc. I have a 6 year old who can relate more to that stuff, so whatever it takes to get him excited or interested is pretty okay with me.

  6. I hear you – ANYthing that gets kids interested can’t be all bad 🙂

    I just found out from Dwayne that the new bookstore does indeed carry my first book. I’m making the 3-hour drive to Gettysburg later this afternoon, and will be checking it out tomorrow. I will report here on the variety of titles I observe.


  7. That’s too bad about the new bookstore. I was hoping to find a place in Gettysburg which would carry my new book. It’s not about the Battle of Gettysburg but about the Grand Army of the Republic. Many big names were members of the GAR, Dept. of NY and were instrumental in establishing this Soldiers’ Home for Civil War veterans. Anyone have any ideas on what stores may be interested in hosting a booksigning or carrying my book? The title is “From Soldiers’ Home to Medical Center.”

  8. Whatever else they have, they now (5/25/09) carry David Adkin’s “The Gettyburg Companion,” which has been savaged in book reviews for its misinformation, bad research, and dubious scholarship. I always thought that the NPS had a veto over which books were carried in such a store, so I have to suppose that the NPS has approved its sale at GNMP. Too bad, too bad, oh too bad.

  9. Dear Mr. Petruzzi,

    I, too, am quite disappointed with the Visitor Center AND the bookstore. My recent historical fiction, “ONE NATION UNDER GOD — MINE EYES HAVE SEEN THE GLORY OF THE COMING…” has been reviewed here in the Western New York area by several newspapers and is currently carried by Borders and Barnes and Noble. However, it is like pulling teeth to get anywhere with the Visitor Center Bookstore. Visiting last summer, I was told to contact Event Network in San Diego re’ carrying my book at the Vistor Center and sent a copy of it along with newspaper articles, comments,press release,etc. on August 16th and have still not heard a thing from them. Won’t give up hoping but….

    Let’s keep on trying to help one another.

    Best — Don Mang, Amherst, New York

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