On November 30, indie booksellers participating in Indies First on Small Business Saturday will invite their favorite local authors, illustrators, and celebrities to their stores to participate in events or hand-sell books, and to promote their stores’ events via their websites, newsletters, and social media platforms using the hashtag #IndiesFirst.
This year, science fiction and fantasy writer N.K. Jemisin, who serves as the spokesperson for Indies First, has been tweeting about the event in support of indie bookstores throughout the month. In a video created to promote the event, the New York Times bestselling author Jemisin encouraged viewers to visit their local indie bookstores on November 30.
Booksellers who would like borrow Jemisin’s words in order to promote Indies First on their own social media accounts are welcome to retweet Jemisin, who most recently posted on Monday, November 25: "Fantastic news for book lovers everywhere. Reminder: Small Business Saturday is coming up on Nov. 30th! Shop #IndiesFirst!" The post included a link to a CBS News story titled "Small bookstores are booming after nearly being wiped out." Booksellers should also keep an eye out for another Twitter post by Jemisin this week.
As in previous years, participating ABA member booksellers have the opportunity to take advantage of special offers for Indies First from more than 50 publishers, including traditional publishers as well as nearly two dozen university presses. The terms, which can be applied to a wide array of frontlist and backlist titles, are available during various periods between now and January 2020.
All special terms are currently listed on a downloadable Excel spreadsheet. Booksellers can use the promotional codes listed on the spreadsheet, which is accessible from the ABA Book Buyer’s Handbook and from the Indies First homepage on BookWeb.org. ABA bookstore members will need a username and password to access the spreadsheet; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for login information.
For participating booksellers looking for resources they can use to help spread the word about Indies First 2019, available marketing materials currently include the 2019 Indies First press release template, which ABA created to help booksellers promote the event. Other Indies First materials can be found in BookWeb.org’s Marketing Assets, including web banners, logos, and images sized and formatted for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. In addition, digital audiobook company Libro.fm is encouraging customers to show their support by for Indies First by visiting their local bookstores and purchasing audiobook gift memberships via the store’s Libro.fm partnership.
In addition, independent booksellers looking to promote Small Business Saturday can visit American Express’ Shop Small Studio for a variety of marketing assets. AmEx also offers a downloadable Shop Small passport. Booksellers can follow @shopsmall and #ShopSmall on Instagram to keep up with the latest Small Business Saturday news and events.
Booksellers can learn more about Indies First on BookWeb, or send inquiries about Indies First to email@example.com. Participating booksellers and customers can look out for a recap of this year’s Indies First celebration in the upcoming issue of Bookselling This Week and keep track on social media via the hashtag #IndiesFirst.