Just about every book publisher, including mine, has a beautifully lit display case of their books in the lobby. And just about every author, including me, looks at the display case when he walks in, hoping (expecting?) to see one of his books there.

So put it there.

Sure, we’ll know you put it there just because you knew we were coming, but we can’t help but wonder whether it’s always there. And even if we know you put it there just for us, that’s a nice thing, isn’t it? That’s a big part of what the author is paying you for.

And of course, the same thing true is for any business. If I come back to your website and you know my name, why not plaster it across the page? If I come to your fancy restaurant for dinner, why not ask me about some of my preferences on the phone and laser print a menu that highlights some of my faves. Or better yet, the waiter (with help from a computer) should remember that I loved the cucumber soup and maybe he can let me know the chef will make it again if I’d like. If I’m visiting your insurance brokerage for a meeting, how about a little welcome sign on the cube, or my favorite seltzer on ice?

Amazon has raised the bar. Invasion of privacy? Creepy? I think it has become an expectation. People like to be recognized, respected and trusted.