With Thanksgiving just two days away, Shelf Awareness is taking another look at plans for Indies First/Small Business Saturday.
"A good bookstore is your friend. And I hope you're a good friend to your favorite independent bookstore by supporting them on Small Business Saturday, November 24, 2018," wrote poet and professor Ross Gay in an essay published last week entitled The Laboratory: Delighting in Independent Bookstores.
Available as a PDF and recorded on YouTube, the essay celebrates independent bookstores, including New York's Three Lives & Co. and The Book Corner in Bloomington, Ind., while also spreading the word about Indies First/SBS. Published last week, Gay's essay has been widely shared among indie booksellers.
Kelly Justice, owner of Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Va., wrote on Facebook that she watched the video after a morning of "gut-wrenching work stress," and "...burst into tears. And I [remembered] why it's all worth it."
Vroman's Bookstore in Pasadena, Calif., will be welcoming a slew of authors on Indies/SBS to serve as guest booksellers, including Doug & Susan Segal (Struck), Phoef Sutton (From Away), Lynell George (After/Image), Kwei Quartey (Death by His Grace), Lilliam Rivera (The Education of Margot Sanchez) and Jervey Tervalon (Monster's Chef). Jenifer Lewis will also make an appearance at the store to discuss her memoir, The Mother of Black Hollywood.
In South Hadley, Mass., Odyssey Bookshop is celebrating Indies First/SBS with a day of refreshments and free gifts with every purchase of $50 or more. Customers will also be able to choose between receiving 20% off their purchase or having the bookstore donate that amount to the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. The day's guest booksellers will include librarian Jordan Funke and Jamie L.B. Deenihan, author of the picture book When Grandma Gives You a Lemon Tree.
At Bards Alley Bookstore in Vienna, Va., there will be raffle drawings and visits from local authors throughout the day, among them Katy Upperman, author of The Impossibility of Us, Eugenia Kim, author of the Kinship series, and Anna Whiston-Donaldson, author of the memoir Rare Bird. Bards Alley will also donate a box of special-edition copies of Ghost by Indies First spokesperson Jason Reynolds to the literacy nonprofit Reading Is Fundamental of Northern Virginia, as part of the #IndiesGiveBack campaign.
In Washington State, Village Books and Paper Dreams will be hosting guest authors at both its stores. In Bellingham, children's book author Barbara Davis-Pyles will be on hand from 11 a.m. until noon to sign copies of her book Grizzly Boy, while John Hoyte will stop by from noon until 1 p.m. to discuss his book Persistence of Light. And in Lynden, local author Susan Colleen Browne will discuss her memoirs Little Farm Homegrown and Little Farm in the Foothills from 1 to 3 p.m.
In Wichita, Kan., Watermark Books & Cafe will host a special storytime session and make-your-own gingerbread ornament activity. Customers wearing Watermark T-shirts will receive 10% off their cafe lunch orders, and there will be a variety of other special promotions throughout the day. Purchases of $50 or more will come with a free SBS tote, while purchases of $100 or more will come with a tote and a quarter-pound of Watermark's house coffee. And purchases of $150 or more will come with all of the above, plus entry into a contest to win a tote full of free books, along with Watermark gear.
At Bookends & Beginnings in Evanston, Ill., some SBS highlights will include visits and tastings with Ellen King, author of Heritage Baking: Recipes for Rustic Breads and Pastries Baked with Artisanal Flour from Hewn Bakery, and Carrie Schloss, author of The Asheville Bee Charmer Cookbook: Sweet and Savory Recipes Inspired by 28 Honey Varietals and Blends. And later that evening, Steve Dolinsky will discuss his book Pizza City, USA: 101 Reasons Why Chicago Is America's Greatest Pizza Town, complete with some pizza samplings.
Malaprop's Bookstore Cafe in Asheville, N.C., will host a long list of guest booksellers, including Wayne Caldwell (Requiem by Fire), Jennifer McGaha (Flat Broke with Two Goats), Constance Lombardo (the Mr. Puffball series), Adair Sanders (the Allison Parker mystery series) and Allan Wolf (Who Killed Christopher Goodman?). Malaprop's will also be taking part in the #IndiesGiveBack campaign to distribute copies of Jason Reynolds's novel Ghost to children in underserved communities.
At Brazos Bookstore in Houston, Tex., there will be a coffee pop-up in partnership with Southside Espresso and the store will be offering 15% off a selection of the its "Brazos Best" titles published this year. Customers who spend more than $150 will receive a newly designed Brazos tote bag, and Lilah Sturges, author of Lumberjanes: The Infernal Compass, will serve as a guest bookseller.
On Friday, just in time for Indies First/Small Business Saturday, the Snail on the Wall, which describes itself as "a full-service indie bookstore without a storefront," is opening a permanent location for the holiday season inside a local boutique, Roosevelt & Company, on Clinton Row in downtown Huntsville, Ala. The store has special events planned, including Saturday book signings with local authors each week. YA author Heather Kaczynski (One Giant Leap) will appear for Small Business Saturday.
Owner Lady Smith said, "I handpick every book I sell, and I make it my mission is to find hidden gems readers are sure to love. Since we opened last year, we've sold 5,000 books, delivering them to doorsteps in Huntsville and shipping them all over the country. I've heard that my young customers get excited when they see a Snail package at their door, but I think my grownup customers have the same reaction about getting a great new read."
|River Dog's Ghost gift package.
And finally, BrocheAroe Fabian, owner of River Dog Book Co., a bookmobile slated to open in Beaver Dam, Wis., in spring 2019, will be participating in the #IndiesGiveBack promotion by partnering with a local youth services librarian and middle school. Beginning on November 24, children and their families will be able to pick up copies of Ghost at the library, complete with a copy of the Kids' Indie Next List, a bookmark, a sticker, a River Dog Book Co. postcard and a book discussion guide provided by the library. On January 19, Fabian will lead a bookclub discussion on Ghost at the library.