We briefly interrupt our celebration of indies to pass on some important information!
First off, I wanted to let readers Jen Robinson and Debbie Freedman know that I just discovered that they had also submitted recommendations for both Hicklebee's and The Alphabet Garden. The two of you are I-N the big raffle, along with Becky Levine and Jennifer Stewart, who were listed in the blog. Mea culpa for the oversight. The train is back on track!
Secondly, as we move into Week 2(.5) of our celebration, I want you to be thinking hard about potential nominations for the Bookseller of the Year. This special award goes to an individual who works at an indie, who in your opinion epitomizes all the best qualities of a bookseller-- a love of books, great customer service, expertise, and enthusiasm.
Does that sound like someone that works in your favorite haunt? And, if so, and you don't know their name, just call the store and ask. We'll do the rest! If your bookseller wins, we will do a blog all about them, and send them a dinner certificate for their favorite place to eat in their town. I'm going to try to nab an interview with our reigning Bookseller of the year, Kris Vreeland from Vroman's in Pasadena. And, if you bookseller wins, you'll recieve one of our classic Shrinking Violet coffee/tea mugs. So, get those nominations in!
We mentioned in a recent post about Book Sense and I want to make sure everyone knows what this is, and how you might use that to support your indies all year long.
Book Sense is a community of independent booksellers across the country who share five attributes that "... collectively distinguish them in the bookselling marketplace." The attributes are Knowledge, Passion, Character, Personality and Commitment to Community. Many of these stores offfer Book Sense gift cards, which is a wonderful alternative to-- let's say, oh, I don't know, a chain store gift card. If you want to send a gift to a friend in another town, or state, you can go on to the Book Sense website and enter their zip code. Booksense.com will send you to the indie local to their area, and you may be able to purchase them a gift card for their nearest store.
You can also sign up to become a Book Sense affiliate and put their logo and link on your author/illustrator website. Your customers can then purchase your books directly from an independent bookstore. This is a great additional option for you, instead of sending them exclusively from your site to a chain store that might start with the letter "B", for example, or a maybe even an "A". :-) I have both on mine so people can make a choice.
Lastly, for those of you that are in the West Coast area, the big news for us is that Book Expo America is being held in Los Angeles the last weekend of the month. BEA is put on by the American Booksellers Association, (ABA) which is the national trade association for independent booksellers. BookExpo America (BEA) is the industry's premier trade show. Held annually, it is a great opportunity to get a sneak peek inside the world of bookselling at their biggest national bookselling event of the year. In addition to the floor show, where exhibitors show their Fall titles, there are education and information sessions, author breakfasts and lunches, and a number of special events. Robin will be signing books their this year, and I will in tow wiping her brow and drying the sweat of her pen.
Lastlier, or lastliest, I am thinking that our reader TadMack should be voted Head Cheerleader for the Indies. Tad, are you game? Need a squad to help you? As HC, you get to pick. Get ready for try-outs, everyone!
Mary & Robin