Sherman Alexie Proposes Author Handselling Day
|Sherman Alexie: Bookseller-for-a-day at Seattle's Queen Anne Book Company in April.|
In a letter to fellow authors, Sherman Alexie is urging all authors to handsell their books at their local independent bookstore on Small Business Saturday (November 30, the Saturday after Thanksgiving), one of the busiest days of the year for all retailers. On that day, which he's calling Indies First, he wrote, "We book nerds will become booksellers. We will make recommendations. We will practice nepotism and urge readers to buy multiple copies of our friends' books. Maybe you'll sign and sell books of your own in the process. I think the collective results could be mind-boggling (maybe even world-changing)."
The American Booksellers Association has enthusiastically embraced the Indies First idea with a website page where both authors and booksellers can sign up. The ABA called Indies First "brand new and moving fast."
Alexie said authors who participate in Indies First will "be helping independent bookstores, and God knows they've helped us over the years." Authors will also help themselves because "your books will get a huge boost, wherever you choose to be."
Alexie urged authors to "pick a bookstore, talk to the owner (or answer the phone when they call you) and reach an agreement about how to spend your time that day. You'd also need to agree to place that store's buy button in a prominent place on your website, above the Amazon button if you have one. After all, this is Indies First, not Indies Only, and it's designed to include Indies in our world but not to exclude anyone else."
Alexie said that Janis Segress, one of the new owners of Queen Anne Book Company in Seattle, "came up with this brilliant idea," when Alexie became "bookseller-for-a-day" after the store reopened in April.