books · indie booksellers

Get Your Indie On! a challenge for 2019

My challenge to you in 2019: step up your support of Independent Booksellers, in any and every way you can.

zenith
Zenith Bookstore, Duluth, Minnesota.

Part I: If there’s an Independent Bookstore near you, shop there. If, sadly, your area doesn’t have one, then familiarize yourself with the Indie Bound website. Indie Bound sells books. They don’t sell electronics, food, auto parts, clothing, dog collars, or widgets of any kind. Just books. Buy your books right on the Indie Bound website or use their handy bookstore locator to find a store in or near your zip code.

Personal benefits:

  • you won’t be filling the already over-stuffed pockets of one of the richest men in the world
  • you’ll be supporting a ‘mom and pop’, a main street, a local economy–yours or someone else’s
  • you’ll make new friends (and good ones); indie sellers are among the best people on earth.
  • you’ll be more appreciated than you can possibly imagine

Part II: If you are on FaceBook: post a pic there of each book you read in 2019 by linking to that book’s page on the Indie Bound website. If you link to books on your blog, do the same. It’s not only that you will be linking to Indie Bound, it’s that you won’t be linking to that other place, not sending traffic their way. And you’ll be spreading the word visually (which sticks with folks).

If you aren’t on FaceBook, find other ways to spread the Indie word. For example, if you’re an author who sells books, always include Indie Bound among your website or blog links. Ditto for Libraries, Art Centers and any other organizations that host authors or sell books and link to them on their event sites. Find a way to promote your independence from… well… you know who. And show it!

I first issued this Indie challenge on FaceBook to usher in the new year.  I’ve since seen some very creative ways of supporting local bookstores, including some friends who offered to help with their local bookstore’s annual inventory. (Bravo! and how fun must that have been!)

There’s a lot a stake. Be creative. Be vigilant. Get your Indie on!

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indie booksellers · road trip

Road Tripping | Indie Bound

IMG_0973I’m only four days into this 10-day Indie Bound road trip and I’m already filled to the brim.  Good Indie booksellers are some of the busiest people on earth, and yet the ones I stopped to see—even those who didn’t yet know me—found ways to be gracious with their time and attention.

I am deeply gratified (but not at all surprised) by the kind reception I have so far received. Sellers have listened attentively as I shared my vision for Danielle Dufy Literary— for the work I will do to promote short-form literature, to grow its readership, and to support Indie Bookstores. Each one asked good questions, provided helpful information, gave judicious advice, and offered encouragement. I feel so lucky.

So let me tell you this: when I say “Indie Bound,” I never only mean I am bound for Indie Bookstores. I also always mean I am bound to them. And I want to be. Independent bricks and mortar bookstores have always felt like home to me. I was a regular customer, friend, and loyalist long before they became an endangered species; and in recent years I have kicked up (by many notches) my support, my evangelism, my activism on their behalf, even to a fevered pitch. I cannot imagine a world without these bookstores or these booksellers. Nor do I want to.

Indie sellers themselves are a such special lot. They’re genuinely friendly, engaged, upbeat, helpful, committed. They love books, of course– and talking about books, recommending books, helping you find books. But they also love people, ones they know and ones they don’t know, buyers and browsers, regulars and tourists. And they love their communities. They want them to get better and stronger and more self-sufficient; they want their local economies to blossom and thrive. And Indie Booksellers do their part–more than their part–to make it so. What’s not to love? What more could they do to earn our strong support?

Judith.Mollie
Judith Kissner (Scout & Morgan Books, Cambridge, MN) and Mollie Loughlin (The Book Vine, Cherokee, IA)

I wish I were a reliable photographer. It would give me such pleasure to show you the many faces of independent bookselling I’ve come to know on this trip, not even to mention how much I’d love to show you all their one-of-a-kind, off-the-chart stores. Instead, I’ll let these two warm, welcoming, smiling faces –two I know well–typify the many others who could just as easily have represented Indie Bookstores here.

The stakes are high. The time is now. Join me and get your Indie on!