Indies First — Add Your Store Activities to Map Today

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ABA bookstore members received an important e-mail update about Indies First on Small Business Saturday from ABA Vice President/Secretary Betsy Burton on Tuesday, November 11.

In her e-mail, Burton urged bookstores to partner with authors regarding in-store events for Small Business Saturday, November 29, and for Daniel Handler’s Upstream initiative — including authors in their communities and those they discover on the growing list on the Indies First Author/Illustrator Registry. And, as stores’ plans develop, Burton encouraged them to complete the Indies First Store Activity form, so that they can be publicized on the Indies First map on

The full text of the e-mail is included below.

Booksellers with questions or comments about Indies First on Small Business Saturday can contact





Dear Independent Booksellers,

We need you!

Indies First is a day ─ November 29, the same day as Small Business Saturday ─ but it’s also a movement.

The time is ripe for Indies First to snowball. Let’s partner with authors on November 29, like we did last year, asking them to sell books in our stores and link to us. But let’s get them into the habit of linking to us all year long. While other partners have let them down, we’ve given them unflagging support, and it’s becoming ever clearer that we need to begin putting each other first. If authors link to independent booksellers, and we link to authors ─ if publishers encourage their authors to link to us and do so themselves ─ we can slowly but surely change the way our industry works.

But it can’t happen without all of us; we’re in this together. Here’s how we can help:

Enlist authors as booksellers on the one hand; reach out to the media and your customers on the other. A growing awareness of our value to authors and publishers is what Indies First is all about.

We’re not asking any author or publisher (or for that matter any customer) to think only of Indies —  just to think of us first. Especially on Saturday, November 29, when, because of Small Business Saturday, the whole country will already be tuning into us community by community, just as they did last year.

Let’s all do our part. Let’s open our doors to authors and let’s join our voices. This really can be a movement: the time has never been better. Thanks to all of you (and to Sherman Alexie, and to Neil Gaiman, and to Amanda Palmer, and to Daniel Handler aka Lemony Snicket)!

Independently yours,

Betsy Burton
ABA Vice President/Secretary
The King’s English Bookshop
Salt Lake City, Utah