Hu Longmire, who worked with me closely at Ruby Falls Cave (and was a big help), told me the Gift Shop Manager doesn't like books. Yet he/she has a rack full of religious books for sale. They do sell a small, commercial-looking "history" of Ruby Falls at an inflated price, next to the post cards. Maybe they don't want any competition for "their" book.
For a while, I was told at Raccoon Mountain Caverns that they were going to order the book, but they never did. I never got a real reason why they have not ordered it.
At Sequoyah Caverns, the owner again told me 2 weeks ago how much he loves the book, but he has never bothered to order any. He also initially told me that they planned to sell the book. We sent him MORE order forms, just in case.
All these caves got free, autographed copies from me, ordering insturctions, and, in most cases, another free copy and more ordering instructions from the NSS Office. They have all been approached as many times as possible, without risking totally turning them off.
Cumberland Caverns has always sold the "Cumberland Caverns" book, so I just assumed these caves would sell a book about their cave, too. You would think they would order 10 or 20 and see if they sell. If they didn't sell, then you would understand if they didn't re-order, but not to try to sell the book at all is just a mystery, to me.
Russell Cave National Monument did order the book, of course. Thank you Russell Cave !!!
I think our best bet, to make money for the NSS, is to try to get the book in as many Chattanooga area bookstores, as possible.
When I look at the "junk" they sell in the Gift Shops at Raccoon Mountain Caverns, Ruby Falls Cave, and Sequoyah Caverns, my guess is that our "Caves of Chattanooga" book does not have the HUGE mark-up that they expect on the other items they sell.
When I was a Guide at Cumberland Caverns, I remember being shocked at families that would come in and buy a lot of "junk", then not take the tour because the "tickets were too expense".
Larry E. Matthews