ABA to Introduce “Why Indies Matter” at BEA

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The American Booksellers Association has launched a new video campaign that captures unscripted and impromptu testimonials about independent bookstores from authors, customers, and indie supporters around the country. The initiative “Why Indies Matter” will debut under the IndieBound marketing umbrella during BookExpo America.

The campaign’s short, catchy slogan, which can be heard as a question or a declaration, is both versatile and inclusive. The crucial role of indie bookstores to their communities, to publishers, and to the book world as a whole is front and center, however the campaign also allows leaders in community Local First movements to spread the “Why Indies Matter” message beyond the book world.

ABA members can find out more about “Why Indies Matter” in the Booksellers Lounge at BEA (Room 1E07/08 of the Javits Center). In January, at this year’s Winter Institute, a number of authors shared their thoughts on why indies matter. Their responses are featured in a video clip online now at the “Why Indies Matter” webpage on IndieBound.org and on a new YouTube channel. The clip will also be featured in the Booksellers Lounge at BEA where booksellers will be able to pick up a “Why Indies Matter” button and a flier that explains what they can do to spread the word.

On Monday, June 4, at 11:00 a.m., ABA’s Day of Education will kick off with the opening plenary “Why Indies Matter.” Broadcaster and author Lynn Sherr will interview gifted novelist and keen industry observer Richard Russo about his New York Times opinion piece, “Amazon’s Jungle Logic” and the role of independent bookstores. 

On Tuesday, following the Celebration of Bookselling Author Awards Luncheon, ABA will capture on video some of this year’s honorees offering their thoughts on why indies matter during a reception in the ABA Booksellers Lounge, from 2:00 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.  In addition, ABA’s friends at Black Dog and Leventhal will be adding to the videos by asking visitors to their booth at BEA, which will be decorated to resemble a bookstore, why indies matter. 

WhyIndiesMatter.com, featuring videos, videography tips, a release form, and more; a Why Indie Bookstores Matter Facebook page (the brainchild of Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance Executive Director Wanda Jewell, who was instrumental in the initiative’s launch); and the Why Indies Matter YouTube channel are all part of IndieBound.org

To grow the campaign organically and exponentially, ABA is encouraging booksellers at the show, and in their stores, to capture videos of more authors, as well as customers, offering their thoughts on why indies matter and to post them to the YouTube channel — then spread the word in store newsletters and e-mails and via Facebook and Twitter.

 A special section of the Booksellers DIY on BookWeb.org features designs for buttons and banners, and the video clips will be available individually or grouped together for online use.