Just days ahead of the November 29 celebration of Small Business Saturday, more than 1,200 authors have signed on to show their support for independent booksellers by partnering with their local stores for Indies First events, well surpassing last year’s total of 1,000 authors.
More than 400 bookstores nationwide will be welcoming authors, who will work alongside booksellers to share their favorite picks for the holiday season. Among the big-name author-volunteers are Indies First spokespeople Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer, who announced this week that they will be making appearances at three stores in upstate New York on Saturday: The Golden Notebook in Woodstock, Oblong Books & Music in Rhinebeck, and Spotty Dog Books & Ale in Hudson.
From coast to coast, readers will be treated to bookstore appearances by favorite authors, including:
- Diana Gabaldon, Dana Stabenow, and Rhys Bowen at The Poisoned Pen Bookstore in Scottsdale, Arizona
- Jane Smiley and many others at Pilgrim’s Way Community Bookstore in Carmel-by-the-Sea and Dennis Lehane, Rick Reilly, and others at pages: a bookstore in Manhattan Beach, California
- Sara Gruen, joining more than a dozen authors, at Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café in Asheville, North Carolina
- Mo Willems, Holly Black, Jarrett Krosoczka, and others at Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley, Massachusetts
- Chris Van Allsburg at Book Beat in Oak Park, Michigan
- Sara Zarr, Shannon Hale, and others at a multi-day event at The King’s English Bookshop in Salt Lake City, Utah
- Wally Lamb at UConn Co-op in Storrs and Roz Chast at Books on the Common in Ridgefield, Connecticut, both joined by others
- Sara Paretsky and two fellow authors at 57th Street Books in Chicago, Illinois
- and Sherman Alexie, who will once again appear alongside many other authors at Queen Anne Book Company and The Elliott Bay Book Company, both in Seattle, and at Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park, Washington
In addition to the record-breaking number of authors participating in this year’s Indies First celebrations, more than 250 authors are partnering with their local stores under the Upstream initiative, launched in October by author Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket), who is teaming with The Booksmith in San Francisco to keep signed copies of his books on the shelves of the store.
Among the many authors who are partnering with indie bookstores to provide signed copies of their works for pick up or online ordering are: Lena Dunham, whose new book is available at Prairie Lights in Iowa City, Iowa; authors Mario Batali, Pat Conroy, and Jim Gaffigan, who are working with Rainy Day Books in Fairway, Kansas; Pseudonymous Bosch, whose signed books will be at Once Upon a Time in Montrose, California; and Joe Hill, who will sign copies of his books for customers at Water Street Bookstore in Exeter, New Hampshire.
As plans come together for Indies First, Small Business Saturday, and Upstream, booksellers are encouraged to review the Indies First Publicity Map and to add any new events and partnerships. Updates can also be made to stores’ existing event listings; instructions for doing so are provided in the activity listing’s confirmation e-mail. Booksellers still looking for authors to join them at their stores on Small Business Saturday should reach out now to any of the interested individuals on the Indies First Author and Illustrator Index.
Additions and updates to the Indies First Publicity Map must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. EST on Thursday, November 27, to guarantee inclusion on the map.
With Indies First just days away, be sure to share event details with the media and with customers through press releases, newsletters, social media, and the store website, and encourage visiting authors and illustrators do the same. And as events kick off in stores on Saturday, snap and share photos of authors in action and toting their Indies First bags on social media, using the hashtag #IndiesFirst, and with email@example.com.
Questions about Indies First can be directed to the Indies First team at firstname.lastname@example.org.