Magers & Quinn Celebrates Partnership With Self-Published Authors

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    Guests at the recent Magers & Quinn event proudly displayed their six-word reasons for supporting indie bookstores.

    Magers & Quinn Booksellers in Minneapolis, Minnesota, is no stranger to working with authors. The 18-year-old bookstore hosts or co-sponsors more than 200 readings and signings per year and often promotes these events to many local literary organizations with whom the store maintains close relationships.

    However, when John Capecci and Timothy Cage, authors of Living Proof: Telling Your Story to Make a Difference, approached Magers & Quinn to discuss a potential partnership, it was a different kind of arrangement. Since Capecci and Cage are self-published authors (their imprint is Granville Circle Press), they hoped to work with the bookstore more closely, in a way that would benefit all the parties involved.

    Living Proof — a manual on how to use personal stories to advocate change —  has struck a particular chord with many nonprofit organizations. To build on that appeal, Gary Mazzone, Magers & Quinn outreach and sales manager, suggested the bookstore serve as the sole local distributor of bulk sales to area nonprofits. The authors agreed to offer the bookstore a wholesale price and to help with marketing to a list of nonprofits within the store’s network. Organizations were instructed to contact Mazzone for ordering and discount details.  And, as a way to further build sales, Magers & Quinn matched Amazon’s bulk pricing.

    The authors have been involved in the entire process and handle the majority of the outreach, which has helped readers establish a connection to the title. “We are more than happy to promote the book through our means,” said Mazzone, “but it’s up to the author to go the extra mile.”

    Author John Capecci discusses his book, Living Proof.

    Last Friday night, the bookstore/author partnership was celebrated at a kickoff event based on an exercise in Living Proof called “My Six-Word Reason.” Participants were encouraged to answer the question “Why do you shop at independent bookstores?” in just six words and could have their photo taken with their reason. Capecci was on hand to talk about the book and how the exercise could be used to help advocates hone their personal stories.

    Magers & Quinn advertised the event in its newsletter, and the authors direct-mailed 500 postcards to local nonprofits. Additionally, the bookstore created a window display with staff members posing with their reasons for supporting independents.

    Many local organizations also promoted the event to their subscribers and staff members. When Mazzone delivered an order to Minnesota West Technical and Community College, the director told him that he was excited to have received the postcard, and shared his plans to bring his entire staff to the bookstore for the event.

    “The authors didn’t just want to do a reading and a signing,” said Mazzone. “It’s about making connections. They wanted to create a party, and involve the public, and we’re happy to help.”

    Guests at the recent Magers & Quinn event proudly displayed their six-word reasons for supporting indie bookstores.

    The event attracted 50 - 60 people, including representatives from United Way, the Bush Foundation, and other foundations and nonprofits. Minnesota state Senator Scott Dibble dropped in to say hello as well. The store served cookies in the shape of the book’s logo and captured several photos featuring attendees’ six-word reasons to shop indie.

    “The event was terrific and a good night was had by all,” said Mazzone. “Everyone was really happy to talk about supporting independent bookselling.”

    Capecci and Cage hope to replicate the event in other indie bookstores around the country as they travel to promote Living Proof. Interested booksellers should contact Kyle Carlson at Granville Circle Press.