More Than 50 Authors Already Signed On to Indies First Storytime Day

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Since the launch of Indies First Storytime Day just two weeks ago, more than 50 authors have signed on to read at independent bookstores across the country on May 17, as part of this year’s celebration of Children’s Book Week (May 12–18). Among them is Kate DiCamillo, the Library of Congress’ 2014–2015 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, who in a letter on February 18 invited her fellow authors to participate in Indies First Storytime Day.

DiCamillo has volunteered to read at Hudson, Wisconsin’s Chapter2Books. Sue Roegge, the store’s owner, said DiCamillo’s appearance at the store “will be greatly appreciated by the people of Hudson,” which is a suburb of St. Paul/Minneapolis and on the border between Wisconsin and Minnesota. “She really is honoring the spirit of the day,” said Roegge. “We get great events, but not to the extent the larger Twin Cities stores do. We are hugely honored that Kate DiCamillo chose us.”

DiCamillo is scheduled to be the subject of a feature segment on the NBC Nightly News at the end of March, her publisher, Candlewick, reported today. The interview is likley to delve into DiCamillo's recent successes, including her win of the 2014 Newbery Medal and her role as National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, and will hopefully help set the stage for Indies First Storytime Day.

In a twist on the inaugural celebration of Indies First started by author Sherman Alexie, rather than handselling books, this time around authors are being asked to read from a children’s book of their choice. “The point is to read aloud, to celebrate stories and to celebrate the indies who work so hard to put our stories in the hands of readers,” DiCamillo explained in her letter.

Indies First Storytime Day is a grassroots movement so bookstores and authors are encouraged to contact each other directly to make plans for the day. To facilitate their arrangements, the American Booksellers Association has created a number of resources. Authors who wish to participate but do not have a particular bookstore in mind can sign up via the Volunteer Sign-up page, and their names will appear in an index on BookWeb that bookstores will be able to access in order to make arrangements with the author.

Once a bookseller has scheduled one or more participating authors, they can complete the editable Event Detail Form on BookWeb, and the store’s location will automatically appear on IndieBound’s Event Map within a few days of the submission.

The Indies First Event Participation Guidelines outline the ways in which authors and illustrators can support the movement –– year-round and by participating in dedicated Indies First events. Links to all Indies First Storytime Day resources can be found on the ABA Promotions page on BookWeb.

Indies First Storytime Day is open to children’s and adult authors who are willing to read from a children’s book at an indie bookstore of their choice on May 17.