Indies First


    Indies First is a national campaign of activities and events in support of independent bookstores, first envisioned by author Sherman Alexie in 2013. It kicks off each November, on Small Business Saturday (November 28, 2015), when independent bookstores host authors as honorary booksellers throughout the day to help sell books, share recommendations, sign stock, give readings, and more. Many publishers offer Indies First specials to ABA member stores.

    A major aspect of Indies First is authors linking to local bookstores, or to IndieBound.org, for book sales, and all stores should request that visiting authors, for Indies First or other events, link to an indie from their webpages.

    Cheryl Strayed, the bestselling author of Wild, Tiny Beautiful Things, Torch, and the forthcoming Brave Enough, is the 2015 official spokesperson for Indies First. (See her appeal to authors here.) Other authors who have spoken on behalf of the campaign include Kate DiCamillo, Neil Gaiman, and Amanda Palmer. In 2014 Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket) began Upstream, a bookstore-author partnership that connects authors with their local independent booksellers to offer signed books.

     

    Bookstore and Author Information for Small Business Saturday 2015

    Author Azar NafisiBooksellers

    1. Contact a favorite local author or illustrator to come to the store on Small Business Saturday, November 28. Stores that don't know or have an author nearby can consult the Indies First Author and Illustrator Index for a list of who would love to participate, and then reach out directly.
    2. Add your Small Business Saturday and event details to the Store Indies First Activity Registry so that it can be publicized on the Indies First map on IndieBound.org. Please allow 48 hours for the Indies First map to reflect your submission.
    3. Promote, publicize, and photograph! Use store marketing newsletters, websites, and social media outlets (#IndiesFirst) to further the Indies First message and highlight your event. Encourage your visiting authors/illustrators to do the same.
    4. See publishers Indies First specials for the month of October!

    Authors and Illustrators

    1. Please join the Indies First Authors and Illustrators Registry by completing this form. Names will remain in the Registry for all future Indies First activities. If you're friends with your local indie then contact them directly and volunteer to come to the store, or find a store local to where you will be on Small Business Saturday.
    2. Link to an independent bookstore for the online sale of your books. Ask your local store if it has an affiliate or linking program and how you can join. Or link to IndieBound.org and tap into a national network of e-commerce sites.
    3. Use your social media outlets and tell your readers about #indiesfirst, @indiesfirst.

    Upstream for Bookstores and Authors

    Booksellers
    1. Read Daniel Handler’s letter to booksellers about Upstream, then contact a favorite local author or illustrator to sign stock for your store. Stores that don't know or have an author nearby can consult the Indies First Author and Illustrator Index for a list of who would love to participate, and then reach out directly. Keep in mind that an author may contact your store. There are no guarantees or obligations for either the store or the author to enter into an Upstream partnership.
    2. Promote, publicize, and photograph! Use store marketing newsletters, websites, and social media outlets (#indiesfirst) to further the Indies First message and highlight your Upstream partnership. Encourage your Upstream author to do the same, and to link to your store from their website.
    3. Add your Upstream partnership information to the Store Indies First Activity Registry so that it can be publicized on the Indies First map on IndieBound.org. Please allow 48 hours for the Indies First map to reflect your submission.
    Authors and Illustrators
    1. Please join the Indies First Authors and Illustrators Activity Registry by completing this form. Names will remain in the Registry for all future Indies First activities. If you're friends with your local indie then contact them directly about being an Upstream partner. There are no guarantees or obligations for either the store or the author to enter into an Upstream partnership.
    2. Link to an independent bookstore for the online sale of your books. Ask your local store if it has an affiliate or linking program and how you can join. Or link to IndieBound.org and tap into a national network of e-commerce sites.

     

     Questions or comments? Please be in touch with us: indiesfirst@bookweb.org