HarperCollins Publishers is showing its love for indie bookstores by highlighting a different independent bookstore from around the country on Facebook Live each Saturday in 2017. The publisher’s aim is to share 50 indie booksellers’ Facebook Live videos in 50 weeks.
During their Facebook Live videos, booksellers can introduce themselves and the store’s staff, show off how the store works behind the scenes, discuss upcoming special events, share current staff favorites, answer questions posted by commentators, and more.
Now more than ever, people on Facebook are looking to escape into new and interesting worlds while on the social media site, said Lisa Sharkey, senior vice president and director of creative development at HarperCollins. “We thought, wouldn’t it be really fun if we could highlight and showcase a different, wonderful independent bookstore every Saturday for a whole year? It sounded daunting but it’s been amazing,” she said. “People who work in independent bookstores have great personalities, so it’s not farfetched to think they could walk around and talk about their stores. They’re having a good time with it.”
Booksellers that sign up to record their own Facebook Live video will receive a set of best practices and guidelines for how to conduct the event. HarperCollins will also help each bookstore promote the event by creating a sharable image that lets social media followers know when and where to watch.
Participating bookstores will go Live for 15 to 45 minutes on the store’s Facebook page; HarperCollins will amplify the reach of each video through its own social media channels, including Book Studio 16, which has had more than 10 million views of its Live content. The program is using the hashtags #HarperCollinsLovesIndies and #HarperCollinsLive.
Bookstores featured so far this year include R.J. Julia Booksellers in Madison, Connecticut; Book Culture in New York City; Liberty Bay Books in Poulsbo, Washington; Sparta Books in Sparta, New Jersey; and The King’s English Bookshop in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Mary Beth Thomas, vice president, deputy director of sales at HarperCollins, said that booksellers’ Live experiences “really do come naturally to them. They’re proud to show off their stores to a broader audience.”
Booksellers who would like to participate should contact Thomas.