Making the Most of Indies First on Small Business Saturday: Some Final Reminders [4]

Indies First logo [6]With just a few days to go until Indies First [7] on Small Business Saturday [8], November 25, here are some last-minute reminders and tips on how to make the most of the celebration:

  • Put the finishing touches on Indies First and Small Business Saturday events. Check out the sortable list of authors and illustrators [9] who have volunteered their time to visit stores, sign books, or both for Indies First. In invitations to authors and illustrators, remind them — and any other guests you’ll be working with — to link to your store on their websites year-round.
  • Get on the Indies First publicity map [10], which features hundreds of stores — with room for more! Booksellers should submit their event plans through the Indies First Activity Registry [11] by 5:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday, November 22, to ensure their information appears on the map. Booksellers can view or edit previously submitted details here [12].
  • Encourage customers to participate in the #shopindiesfirstsweepstakes [13]. Through November 26, Twitter and Instagram users who tag a U.S. independent bookstore and use the hashtag #shopindiesfirstsweepstakes will be entered to win $1,000 worth of books from Penguin Random House. Five winners will be selected in a random drawing in December, and the bookstores named in the winning posts will also receive $1,000 worth of books to be donated to a local nonprofit. See the complete sweepstakes rules here. [14]
  • Encourage visiting authors and illustrators to promote collaborations on social media ahead of time with the hashtag #IndiesFirst.
  • Follow ABA on Facebook [15], Twitter [16], and Instagram [17] as well as IndieBound on Facebook [18] and Twitter [19] for up-to-the-minute news about the event, and share Indies First updates with customers using the hashtags #IndiesFirst and #shopindiesfirstsweepstakes.
  • Check out and share Indies First Spokesperson Jason Reynolds’ #localstacks [20] elevator pitches he’s been tweeting as he visits indie bookstores around the country.
  • Promote Indies First and Small Business Saturday celebrations with in-store and online signage. There are new image files for posters, logos, and web and newsletter banners available in both the Small Business Saturday [21] and Indies First [22] sections of BookWeb’s DIY Designs & Downloads.
  • Visit AmEx’s Shop Small Studio [23] for customizable downloadable marketing materials for social networks, websites, and storefronts, as well as free, downloadable signage for stores and websites [24] and free online ads [25].
  • Get listed on the American Express Shop Small map [26], a searchable map that helps customers find small businesses in their city or town. American Express Card-accepting merchants can sign in to their AmEx account [27] to learn more about how to get listed.
  • Snap photos throughout the day and post on social media or share with ABA by e-mailing indiesfirst@bookweb.org [28]. Authors should be asked to sign this downloadable release form [29], giving permission for photos to be used by ABA for marketing and publicity purposes; stores planning to use the photos for their own marketing and publicity should include their names on the form.
  • Take advantage of special offers from publishers supporting Indies First. Booksellers can visit the ABA Book Buyer’s Handbook [30] to see the special offers and associated promotional codes (a username and password are required to log in; e-mail info@bookweb.org [31] for login details). In light of these generous offers, booksellers should explore ABA’s new Backlist Buying Calculator [32], a self-calculating Excel sheet designed to calculate and analyze a store’s backlist buying savings.
  • Check out the exclusive content created by publishers especially for Indies First. Live links are now available [33] (a username and password are required to access the list of content) for downloadable items from Holiday House and Restless Books.

Questions about Indies First should be directed to indiesfirst@bookweb.org [28]