Is This Atheist Magazine in the Front Row of the Magazine Section at Your Barnes & Noble Bookstore?

The new issue of American Atheist Magazine (1st Quarter, 2014) is now available at Barnes & Noble bookstores around the country (all four of them that remain, anyway):

Two reasons you should check it out:

1) I have an article in there about how adults can help young atheists!

2) AA decided to market this issue in a special way; as it stands, every B&N store should have the magazine in the front row of the magazine section with a placard stating “Featured Title.”

Based on what AA is hearing, not all stores are complying with the (paid) request. So they’re asking for atheists to check out their local stores, take pictures of the magazine whenever it is, and report back.

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  • Garstor

    Sam Harris recently did the same thing with B&N and his book Lying. It turns out B&N lied about their display rates… I managed to find Lying here in Texas but it was not obvious and I had to get a clerk to help me find it (contrast that with the dozens of shelf-feet for buy-bulls and other religious piffle books).

  • allein

    I saw Lying on the new release table at my local store (in NJ) a few weeks ago. Wasn’t even looking for it. (For the record, they give so much shelf space to that piffle because it sells. It’s really not some conspiracy.)
    .
    I will say I’ve never been able to find AA magazine the few times I’ve looked, even though they do carry it. It should be in the current affairs section but normally would not be in the front because they would only get a few copies per store. I’ll be there later today, though, and will look for it.

  • SkepticalandasfriendlyasHemant

    The atheist Gestapo. (1) Check it out. (2) Report back. (3) Javol.
    The more I read this blog to he more I’m convinced Hemant is an extremist , not a skeptic.

    “I have an article in there.” What a self serving buffoon.

    Have you ever published an article regarding mathematics? I pity your students. What a tragedy the Chicago school system is, especially for students that are in the suburbs.

  • OverlappingMagisteria

    Atheist extremists: visiting bookstores and looking at magazine displays since 2013!

  • islandbrewer

    Don’t forget raising money for libraries.

    Scary, scary militant extremists.

  • randomfactor

    Raising money to be REFUSED by libraries. Now that’s some WORLD-CLASS fascism.

  • katiehippie

    Gives me the creeps just thinking about it. 😉

  • paulalovescats

    Do you remember what the Nazis were like? Please put this in perspective. He’s just checking to see if a company is complying with the rules it got money for. It’s a very common thing for religious people to mistreat atheists and their products like that. I know it’s highly rare for people to toot their own horns on the internet in their OWN blogs. [S] But where else would he mention an article in an atheist magazine?

  • MerchantMariner

    The voice of experience, eh? Your education can’t have been too flash, either.

    “Javol”? What’s that supposed to mean?

  • paulalovescats

    Haha, he spelled it wrong. “jawohl”. German for “Absolutely, right away, I’ll get right on it.”
    Also, his name interests me. Does he feel insecure? Is he trying to compete?

  • MerchantMariner

    Yeah, I guessed that, I just thought it would be amusing to see if it would respond with it’s own attempt at an explanation.

    As my Opa used to say, “Eine Grundausbildung ist ein absolutes muss – Sie esel!”

  • islandbrewer

    I’m trying to guess: (1) Hemant once ran over his foot with a car, (2) Hemant always got picked before he did for dodge ball teams … and he still feels the pain, or (3) he’s an ex-student and Hemant gave him a C-.

  • Hi Father!

    If I’m not mistaken, it’s actually Fr. Alfonse Nazzaro from http://fralfonse.blogspot.com/

    He posted here for a while with names like “friendlyandskeptical” “friendylikehemant”, etc as well as “goddess” and “godless” I am not 100% positive it is him, but the poster used words and phrases very similar to what Fr A would post and some of the topics would parallel his posts when he was around.

    Anyway, everyone go over and say hi to Fr A, wish him a merry christmas and tell him we miss him over here.

  • MerchantMariner

    Obviously he’s not a Jesuit then. At least they’re taught to spell correctly.

  • $84687101

    But I don’t miss him and I don’t want him to look at his hit totals on his blog with glee as they suddenly rise above 1, so no thanks.

  • Jen

    He forgot “SCHNELL!”

  • randomfactor

    Starker! Thiss iss KAOS! Ve don’t “SCHNELL” here.

  • TVG

    That’s the second time I was hit by a Get Smart reference this month!

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

    i thought it was a new perfume, but wdik?

    but anyway, this is a person who thinks the CPS system includes the suburban districts. in other words, a moron.

  • Jeff

    Do you have the same complaints about Christian groups surveying businesses that say Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas, then passing it on for a boycott? And, can you please clarify the point you are trying to make about the Chicago school system? This is an blog about atheism, not mathematics. How are you linking the two together?

  • ghoat

    hes not linking them together, hes grabbing at dust in the air.

  • Sven2547

    Great galloping Godwins!

  • momtarkle

    DFTT! Remember?

  • diogeneslamp0

    Listen asshole, the magazine paid $$$ to have their mag put in the front row. They have every right to check to make sure they got their money’s worth. If they’re not in the front row, then B&N committed fraud. Capische? And you compare atheists who refuse to be defrauded to the Gestapo? Fuck you.

    I’ll put it in terms you can understand. When you paid top $$ for a front row ticket at your live donkey sex show, you expect to be in the front row so you can catch the spray. If they then seated you in the back row, you’d be furious, right? Because it would be fraud. Verstehen Sie, dummkopf?

  • $84687101

    How many high school teachers do you know of who’ve ever published anything at all? Sure, there are some, but it’s a pretty small percentage. Or do you just think that overworked and underpaid school teachers ought to also spend all their free time doing math instead of having their own hobbies and extracurricular activities?

  • $84687101

    “Hey, guys, we’re paying good money to this business for a service, but we don’t have the resources to ensure they’re providing it as per our contract. So if our supporters could just have a look and see if the business is fulfilling the contract and let us know, that would be great” = Hitler. Got it.

  • TVG

    What’s next, burning the Reichstag? /s

  • Lark62

    Wow. A group paid extra to have their magazine displayed prominently. The group wants to know whether the agreement is being honored, or if they are being cheated. This is equivalent to genocide and mass murder. That’s some crazy world you live in.

  • OverlappingMagisteria

    PS: Not that it matters, since this is an atheist blog, not a math blog and hardly any high school math teachers ever publish papers anyway, but…

    Here’s an article Hemant wrote about math education, as per your request:
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2012/07/31/why-algebra-is-necessary-rebutting-andrew-hacker/

    I seem to remember him posting a speech he gave at some education conference too, but I could be wrong.

    So… question: Is making bald, unsupported assertions contrary to evidence something that a “skeptic” like yourself should do?

  • Jen

    Between Obamacare and visiting bookstores, you are totally right- America has become Nazi Germany….

  • http://www.miketheinfidel.com/ MikeTheInfidel

    /trying to determine if the ‘….’ means sarcasm/

  • Jen

    From me? Sarcasm always. I hope the upvotes weren’t sincere agreement, LOL!

  • WallofSleep

    Jealous much?

  • moose

    Yes, because encouraging people to check out the availability of a magazine and, perhaps, ask the book store to display it as promised, is EXACTLY like what the Nazis did with books. SMFH.

  • Babbling Brooke

    Damn, dude! It’s not as if Hement asked anyone to go to a manager and raise a stink. He just asked for a report. Kinda like being a Secret Shopper. It’s done all the time.

  • cary_w

    So I guess the thought never crossed your mind that people who read Hemant’s blog might be interested to read something else he just got published? What I don’t understand is why you’re here at all.

  • nick

    What is it about atheism that embraces poor design so heavily?

  • $84687101

    It’s the low budget.

  • nick

    There are plenty of out of work designers starting out that could do it for them pro bono, I’m sure (I’m one of them)!

  • $84687101

    So are you volunteering just for the next issue, or for all future issues? Just the cover, or the entire issue? Will you also do all the billboards? The website?

  • doggmatic

    that would be a good way to show the creativity and humanness of atheists, allow every issue cover to have an anonymous or referenced volunteer artists to design thought provoking but not necessarily offensive images. you could create a back pool of submitted work very quickly that way.

  • WallofSleep

    It’s all part of the conversion. Lose your soul, lose your sense of design. Decent trade off, in my opinion.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

    as a black, gay atheist i have to protest. i have both soul and a sense of design, thank you very much. 😉

  • WallofSleep

    Of course there are exceptions to every rule. I guess that makes you exceptional.

    BTW, I too have a soul. I think it came from some gypsy girl in the 16th century. Heh, I’ve had it so long I don’t even remember.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

    but i’m with you on the cover. Orange + license plates??? wtFSM were they thinking???

    clearly, the queer community needs to invade AA. 😉

  • WallofSleep

    An alliance of godlessness and good taste? We could take over the world with that combination, I think.

  • Brie

    I’m not sure why the photo is so orange… The cover is actually red…

  • yahnmarx

    it is clearly red to me.

  • allein

    Me too. And I saw it in person and it is definitely red.

  • randomfactor

    Oh, the cover is nothing compared with the insides. Made my eyes itch.

  • WalterWhite007

    You may wish to have a soul but you don’t really. No one does. If you think you have one then you haven’t given it much thought.

  • WalterWhite007

    Can’t lose what you never had…..

  • OverlappingMagisteria

    It’s about time efficiency!

    “Okay, first in today’s meeting agenda, we need to come up with a cover des-”
    “Orange!”
    “Done! Moving on to the next item…”

  • Maggie Winnike

    As a former employee of Barnes and Noble it might not be a case of the stores just not complying with putting them on the shelf to be sold. Magazine stock is done differently than books. The company sends out a few issues of a magazine as sort of a test to see if there is a demographic there to buy it. After a few unsuccessful months being on the shelf they’ll pull the magazine and send the copies to a store where they will sell. And because magazines are usuallysingle print runs for an issue, stores aren’t able to order in current issues but employees can send a request for the store to carry future issues.
    That being said, I’m sure there probably are some managers that are going against store policy by refusing to place the magazine on the front shelf.

  • allein

    Good point. Anyone who doesn’t see it should ask at the customer service desk if their store even carries it before assuming they’re hiding it. The system can’t tell them how many are actually supposed to be in stock (unless it’s changed in the last year or so, which I doubt; in my experience they’ve never been very good at keeping track of magazine stock) but I believe they can see how many copies of each issue they’re supposed to get each month (or whatever the publication schedule is). In the case of AA, unless they’re sending extra copies for this promo, most stores probably don’t get more than a few.
    .
    My local store (where I used to work) has 3 copies but they aren’t in the front (they’re kind of in the middle of the section but not that hard to spot, especially since I know what the issue’s cover looks like). This is the first time I’ve actually found it at all. I checked to see if they carry it a year or so ago but they’ve never seemed to have it in stock when I’ve looked (granted, I don’t normally seek it out). I doubt they get more than 3 or 4 of each issue. I know one of the assistant managers there; I might ask him about the feature placement if I get the chance, but I’m not in an area where I would automatically suspect it’s anti-atheist sentiment that is keeping it from being up front. More likely it’s a bookseller just putting out the new magazines and not paying that much attention to anything that’s not on an endcap or other separate display (especially this time of year, they’re busy and very likely short-staffed). I almost never see any featured title shelf talkers in the actual magazine racks.

  • Maggie Winnike

    Yeah, most magazines the store I worked at carried, unless it was something that always sold well like People or Newsweek, we only got 3 or 4 copies of. Also, most stores carry close to 100 different magazine that we got through the whole month at random times. At my store at least the way mags were organized were by subject and then by alphabetical order just to make things easier to find.

  • allein

    I’m not sure there was any organization beyond subject in the stores I worked in. They might have been assigned to a row within the section but we never alphabetized anything. (I always looked at magazine recovery as a giant game of Memory, mostly to keep myself from going crazy when I got stuck with it.) And we got well over 100 titles, too. (Both stores I worked at are classified as superstores with 6 main fixtures (two bays each) with endcaps, plus a couple gondolas and some smaller fixtures, plus the cashwrap displays, though the titles in those separate fixtures usually have a presence in the regular rack as well.)

  • Denise

    *nodding* I went over to my local B&N and it wasn’t there. Rather than assume anything, I simply asked. The man was kind enough to explain to me what you expressed here (the differences in inventory between books & magazines); then he looked it up on the computer. The shipment for this magazine was *supposed* to arrive yesterday, but it hasn’t gotten there yet. He suggested to check back over the weekend or early next week, since calling to check wouldn’t be practical (given the differences in how inventory is done). He was most helpful and I was glad he provided the insight…I learned something new to me! :-)

  • Darrell Ross

    If B&N is incapable of meeting the requirements of a service they are charging money for, then they deserve to be taken to task for it.

    My guess is that for many stores, it’s not that they haven’t put them out there because they are atheist mags as much as it is they likely just don’t update them quickly at all. I’m betting that many a sales clerk doesn’t even know that the featured title mags are paying for that slot (or if they do they likely don’t care).

    Either way, this shines a pretty piss-poor light on B&N’s Featured Title service.

  • allein

    I’m betting that many a sales clerk doesn’t even know that the featured title mags are paying for that slot

    This is the most likely reason. From what I understand, a lot of stores no longer have a specific person in charge of magazines, and if people are putting out the new stock without scanning them (which is a likely scenario), they might not even be alerted to the special placement (I think magazine promos are shown on their scanners). Whenever I used to find myself putting out new magazines in the store (which wasn’t often since we did have a magazine person), it was usually a matter of pulling the old issue and putting the new one in the same place, and we didn’t bother with scanning unless we didn’t know where it was supposed to go. And if you’re only getting the usual few copies, you’re not going to think there’s anything special about it. Though I agree there should be a better system in place.

  • http://lisabrowndesign.blogspot.com/ Lisa | It Keeps Getting Better

    Looks like something I’d like to read, but I’m not near a B&N. is there anywhere else to buy a single issue of the magazine?

  • allein

    Their website says B&N and Book World stores carry it (I’ve never heard of Book World, though). It’s apparently available online but you have to be a member of AA or a subscriber. Issues older than a year are apparently available online to anyone. http://www.atheists.org/magazine

  • http://heartofbirch.blogspot.com/ CarysBirch

    Apparently Arizona has a lot of atheists with vanity plates. (I was hoping there would be a Maine one. No such luck.)

  • allein

    I see they have Dave Silverman’s ATHE1ST from my state on there (NJ).

  • tinker

    Yes, there are a lot of atheists here. We have to do something to balance the crazy so we don’t compete to hard with Texas.

  • jen

    Went to my local B&N here in Newton, Massachusetts. There were no magazines at all, which may have had something to do with the sign on the door saying today is their last day of business after 19 years! I wasn’t really expecting to be bummed out by a trip to the bookstore. :(

  • Artor

    Slightly off-topic, but I have to cheer whenever I hear Barnes & Noble doing poorly. They and Borders are like the WalMart of bookstores. They have been a blight on local, independent bookstores for decades. Perhaps, with their too-long-awaited demise, a healthy crop of locally-owned bookstores can arise again. My fingers will remain crossed, even after they’ve gotten a bit of a cramp.

  • tinker

    Unfortunately I fear that most books will be sold in electronic form in the near future.

    http://mashable.com/2013/04/11/ebooks-23-percent-publisher-revenue/

    I personally love my kindle and bought a couple of dozen books for it this year, but I don’t recall a single paper book. My Mother-in-law and Mother have both embraced the technology as well. We no longer inherit boxes of books that they no longer want.

    I guess that is better for the publishers that don’t get more money for additional reads.

  • allein

    I have a nook but I still like real books.

  • allein

    I don’t recall any independent bookstores in my town when I was a kid. We had B. Dalton and Waldenbooks in the mall. B&N closed B. Dalton (B&N owns them) when they opened across from the mall in 1995 and Walden closed some time after that. Never had any independents other than small used bookstores.

  • Artor

    B. Dalton & Walden are probably the reason you had no independent bookstores in your town. I will bet you cash that there used to be before they moved in.

  • allein

    That I don’t know. They are the only bookstores I remember and I’ve lived here most of my life.

  • David S.

    Why would I go to a local new bookstore? I occasionally went to the Borders or Barnes & Noble, but even then, not often. You’re suggesting that instead of going to Amazon, I would go to a new bookstore that didn’t have the selection of Borders and Barnes & Noble.

    I guess I bought books at Pandemonium in Cambridge, but that’s because they were a game store I frequented all the time. I can’t see what a new book store is going to do to bring me in.

  • thecdn

    I don’t do facebook – not a luddite, I’m a programmer, build my own machines, etc – just don’t give a shit about facebook.:)

    Can someone post on the facebook page that the B&N in Coral Springs Florida had the magazine on the back row in the upper shelf? I was with my wife and told her I was going to take a picture because of the AA deal. An employee who was sorting comics on the bottom shelf said, in a surly manner, that he was working on moving things. I didn’t hold my breath and stay. Although I might go back in a couple of days to check.

  • randomfactor

    It wasn’t, where I live. It is now. Going back tomorrow sometime to see if it’s still there.

  • TVG

    I’ve seen Skeptical Inquirer on the shelves at book stores and supermarkets in Canada. Prominent, no, but there.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    The Valencia, CA B&N had only one copy, and it was not in the front row with a placard as agreed. It was lost in the crowd, buried behind at least two others. I bought it and informed the sales clerk that it was the last copy. I took a picture and posted it on the AA Facebook site.

  • Lark62

    It was on the second row at the Springfield, Va store behind other magazines and hard to see. They had about six copies.