Booksellers: Get Ready for Indies First

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With Indies First on Small Business Saturday fast approaching on November 25, there are many ways indie booksellers can take advantage of the day, when stores will host hundreds of authors as guest booksellers and stage a variety of unique indie-centric events.

Shop Indies First SweepstakesTo help booksellers prepare, here is a list of helpful reminders about the many ways to participate in and promote the event:

  • Add your store’s Indies First events to the Indies First Activity Registry so that they will appear on the Indies First map on; this step is necessary even if a store appeared on the map last year. Booksellers can consult the Indies First Author and Illustrator Registry for a list of authors and illustrators who would like to participate.
  • Take advantage of the variety of special terms and offers are available on the Indies First page from mainstream publishers and university presses. Stock up on any titles visiting authors plan to hand-sell. Visit Edelweiss to check out a collection of university press titles recommended by ABA member booksellers.
  • Publicize the upcoming Shop Indies First Sweepstakes: Between November 15 and November 26, Twitter and Instagram users who tag a U.S. independent bookstore and use the hashtag #shopindiesfirstsweepstakes will be entered to win $1,000 worth of books from Penguin Random House. A drawing in mid-December will select five grand prize winners, each of whom will receive $1,000 worth of books; additionally, the indie bookstores named in the winning posts will also receive $1,000 in books, to be donated to a local nonprofit.
  • Follow ABA on Facebook and Twitter and IndieBound on Facebook and Twitter. ABA will be using social media to bolster excitement for Indies First by posting a picture of an author taken during a previous Indies First every Friday leading up to the event.
  • Promote, publicize, and photograph events to post on social media using the hashtag #IndiesFirst. Prior to the event, use store newsletters and websites to further the Indies First message. Booksellers can also encourage visiting authors and illustrators to do the same on their social media.
  • Retweet Indies First spokesperson Jason Reynolds’ posts. Reynolds has already been tweeting about indie bookstores through his #LocalStacks campaign.
  • Check out the new images and promotional materials available for 2017 in BookWeb’s Designs & Downloads DIY to help ramp up publicity efforts in advance of Indies First. Booksellers can make use of American Express Small Business Saturday materials such as logos, web banners, and other promotional images, also to be found in BookWeb’s Designs & Downloads DIY section.

Learn more about Indies First on BookWeb.