Indies First Background

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Indies First is a year-round campaign in support of independent bookstores by authors, publishers, and readers.

Sherman Alexie came up with the idea for writers to support their local indie by volunteering to work at the store on Small Business Saturday 2013. Alexie called the appeal “Indies First,” and entreated authors to link to an indie to sell their books online.

The day was a huge hit. Thousands of authors volunteered as guest booksellers across the country, and Small Business Saturday cemented its place as one of the biggest shopping days of the year.

Next, Indies First got behind Children's Book Week with Indies First Storytime Day, and again, authors and illustrators were encouraged to participate by one of their own, Kate DiCamillo. Hundreds volunteered as story hour readers. Bestselling author Neil Gaiman and musician-author Amanda Palmer are leading the call for their fellow authors to get behind Indies First for the 2014 holiday season. In conjunction with Indies First, Daniel Handler, aka Lemony Snicket, developed Upstream, an idea for authors to partner with local, independent bookstores to provide signed stock.

Throughout, publishers have created opportunities for indies to showcase titles, offering special terms, and helping to make independents the first place to turn for the next great read.

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.








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