Celebrate Indies First on Small Business Saturday

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The American Booksellers Association has announced that author, journalist, and former national evening news anchor Dan Rather will serve as the 2020 spokesperson for Indies First, ABA’s national campaign in support of independent bookstores that takes place on Small Business Saturday, November 28.

In recent weeks, legendary news anchor Rather has been promoting independent bookstores via his Twitter account. In a range of social media assets and accompanying text created to promote Indies First, Rather encourages everyone to visit their local indie bookstores on November 28 in honor of Indies First/Small Business Saturday. Rather will be tweeting in the days leading up to the celebration as well as throughout the day on Small Business Saturday.

Publishers have also joined in the celebration of Indies First. Log into BookWeb to see a range of special offers for booksellers.

A national Indies First event featuring Rather will take place on Wednesday, December 2, at 7:00 p.m. ET on Zoom. “In my many travels over the years, I have often sought out independent bookstores because you can learn a lot about a place from its bookstores,” Rather said. “These are often idiosyncratic and surprising places, the kinds of uniquely local institutions that tie communities together.”

Booksellers can share the registration link with their customers now and encourage them to purchase Rather’s What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism (Algonquin Books), a bestselling collection of essays. A graphic novel adaptation from First Second will publish in February 2021.

Assets to promote the event on social media are available on BookWeb. Booksellers can also add a banner to their websites, which should link to an event page on the store's site that includes the event registration link, a button to buy the book, and/or a button to donate to the store. For IndieCommerce stores, see how to create an event and add a book and donation product to the event using the book lists feature. (See an example here.)
Alternatively, IndieCommerce stores can watch for an IndieCommunication later this week with details on how to embed the event registration link onto their site. Stores that already know how to do this can see the accompanying text in Marketing Assets to retrieve the embed link.
Booksellers are encouraged to spread the message to shop indies first on Small Business Saturday. In previous years, stores have invited their favorite local authors, illustrators, or celebrities to visit their stores to hand-sell books or host events. This year, booksellers are encouraged to be creative, whether celebrating in-store or spreading the message on their websites, in newsletters, or across social media platforms. Additional holiday marketing materials can be found here.
Authors and illustrators who would like to support small businesses and the Indies First campaign are encouraged to reach out to their favorite local indie bookstores.
Learn more about Indies First on BookWeb, or send inquiries about Indies First to [email protected]. Booksellers and customers can follow news about Indies First in Bookselling This Week and via the hashtag #IndiesFirst on social media.