In celebration of Small Business Saturday. We'll be joining with Indie Bookstores across the land to celebrate Sherman Alexie's idea, "Indies First". Some of our favorite local authors have volunteered to come and be booksellers that day. Ann Haywood Leal, James Benn and Susan Kietzman will be here to assist in selling books.Acclaimed author Sherman Alexie has launched Indies First, a grassroots movement that calls on authors to show their support for independent booksellers by signing up to work at their favorite indie bookstore on Small Business Saturday, celebrated this year on November 30, the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
This movement emanated from a conversation a year ago between ABA Vice President Betsy Burton, co-owner of The King’s English Bookshop, and Nancy Stauffer, Sherman Alexie’s agent. It started with the question, “What can authors do to help the indies?” Over the Labor Day weekend, Alexie started the movement with a letter to a small group of authors, whom he called on to become “superhero[es] for independent bookstores.”
At Queen Anne Book Company in Seattle this past spring, he told his fellow “book nerds”: “We will become booksellers. We will make recommendations. We will practice nepotism and urge readers to buy multiple copies of our friends’ books. Maybe you’ll sign and sell books of your own in the process. I think the collective results could be mind-boggling (maybe even world-changing).”
There’s not a lot of work involved in joining the grassroots effort, he assured. “Just pick a bookstore, talk to the owner (or answer the phone when they call you) and reach an agreement about how to spend your time that day. You’d also need to agree to place that store’s buy button in a prominent place on your website, above the Amazon button if you have one. After all, this is Indies First, not Indies Only, and it’s designed to include indies in our world but not to exclude anyone else.”
Word of the movement has spread quickly, since Alexie’s September 1 e-mail. While it’s expected that participating authors will see a boost in title sales at the store where they volunteer, Alexie said, “The most important thing is that we’ll all be helping independent bookstores, and God knows they’ve helped us over the years.”
We hope to see you here at Bank Square Books on November 30 to celebrate "Indies First"!