About Indies First

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Lena Dunham (photo by Autumn De Wilde)

Lena Dunham Named 2016 Official Spokesperson for Indies First

Bookstores, Add Your 2016 Indies First Plans to the National Map

Indies First is the national campaign of activities and events in support of independent bookstores that takes place on Small Business Saturday (November 26, 2016). On a day dedicated to supporting the local businesses that help create jobs, boost the economy, and preserve neighborhoods, independent bookstores will host authors as honorary booksellers to celebrate Indies First, to help handsell their favorite titles, sign books, give readings, and more.

In support of independent bookstores and Indies First, publishers offer special terms for many titles. Bookseller members can see the special publisher terms here.

Dunham is the bestselling author of Not That Kind of Girl (Random House, 2015) and creator and star of the critically acclaimed HBO series Girls, for which she also serves as executive producer, writer, and director. Dunham has also written and directed two feature-length films (including Tiny Furniture in 2010) and is a frequent contributor to The New Yorker. Earlier this year, Random House announced a new publishing imprint called LENNY, which will be a home for the kinds of exciting, emerging voices—in fiction and non-fiction—that Dunham and Jenni Konner are already attracting and publishing so successfully in their feminist newsletter of the same name.

In a letter linked here, Dunham calls upon readers and her fellow authors to join her in support of independent bookstores. She urges authors to link to a local indie bookstore for book sales and to sign up to be booksellers at their favorite independent bookshops on November 26. Dunham, who will spend Indies First day in Los Angeles at Book Soup, says: “I wouldn’t be who I am without independent bookstores…[they] are at once cozy and mysterious, comforting and strange. The universal feeling of making a weird and wonderful discovery is something you can count on in any indie across the country, from Book Soup in LA to Oblong Books & Music in Rhinebeck, NY.”

In addition to author Sherman Alexie, who first envisioned Indies First in 2013, authors Cheryl Strayed, Kate DiCamillo, Neil Gaiman, Amanda Palmer, and Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket) have been author spokespeople and supporters of Indies First. 

An archive of spokespeople's letters to authors about volunteering for Indies First is here.

Authors and Illustrators, Join the Indies First Registry

Bookstores, Add Your 2016 Indies First Plans to the National Map

Authors with Indies First bags

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

About ABA

The American Booksellers Association, a national not-for-profit trade organization, works with booksellers and industry partners to ensure the success and profitability of independently owned book retailers, and to assist in expanding the community of the book.

Independent bookstores act as community anchors; they serve a unique role in promoting the open exchange of ideas, enriching the cultural life of communities, and creating economically vibrant neighborhoods.


PRESS CONTACT: Dan Cullen (dan@bookweb.org)


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