#HarperCollinsLovesIndies Facebook Live Program to Return in 2019

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American Booksellers Association member bookstores can sign up now to participate in HarperCollins’ Facebook Live program for its return in 2019, though there are several changes in store for next year’s program.

Facebook Live logoFor the 2019 season, booksellers will livestream videos from their stores every Thursday, a change from 2018’s Saturday schedule. In addition, #HarperCollinsLovesIndies will train the program’s focus on hand-selling.

“It’s undeniable that one of the greatest arts inside America’s vast array of independent bookstores is the good old-fashioned hand-sell,” said Lisa Sharkey, senior vice president and director of creative development at HarperCollins. “Beginning in January 2019, HarperCollins and Book Studio 16 will celebrate the art of the hand-sell and the independent bookstore salespeople who have perfected it.”

Every Thursday, a new participating store will create a streaming Facebook Live video featuring their bookstore staff, who will then recommend titles via personal pitches. While HarperCollins still encourages bookstores that have never participated in the program to include a walkthrough of their stores, HarperCollins asked that videos made in 2019 focus more on hand-selling the new titles that booksellers are excited about.

In the videos, said Sharkey, “a potpourri of booksellers from urban, rural, and suburban independent stores will convince you to read America’s great works of fiction and nonfiction from the frontlist to the backlist, from the hardback to the paperback, from new poetry to beloved classics, from graphic novels to literary masterpieces.”

“We’re looking forward to a year of the best reads from coast to coast and everywhere in between,” she added.

The move to Thursday streaming dates will allow booksellers to pitch the books they are enthusiastic about heading into the weekend, with a focus on “What’s new this week” and “What I’m reading.” HarperCollins has even created a new hashtag for the purpose, #TheHandSellLive, which booksellers can use to tag their videos on Facebook and use when reposting them to other social media platforms.

So far in 2018, 48 different independent bookstores have created streaming Facebook Live videos as part of the #HarperCollinsLovesIndies initiative. Every Saturday in 2017 and 2018, the program featured a new bookseller giving a 20-minute virtual tour of their store, providing a behind-the-scenes view, introducing staff, discussing upcoming events, sharing staff picks, and answering questions posed by commenters.

Next year, just as in 2018, ABA will publicize booksellers’ videos by sharing them with its 44,000 followers on its Facebook and IndieBound Facebook pages. HarperCollins will also continue to help bookstores plan their Facebook Live videos by sending a “best practices” guide prior to taping.

Booksellers who would like to sign up for a Thursday in 2019 or who have questions about the program can e-mail [email protected]. To see the Facebook Live videos that were posted throughout 2017 and 2018, browse the #HarperCollinsLovesIndies hashtag on Facebook. Here are all of the videos from 2018 so far: