Happy Independent Bookstore Day

“One Day. Hundreds Of Bookstores. Fifty States. Join The Celebration! Independent Bookstore Day is a one-day national party that takes place at indie bookstores across the country on the last Saturday in April. Every store is unique and independent, and every party is different. But in addition to authors, live music, cupcakes, scavenger hunts, kids events, art tables, readings, barbecues, contests, and other fun stuff, there are exclusive books and literary items that you can only get on that day. Not before. Not after. Nowhere else.” – Indie Bound

Buy Local

“Small-scale, locally owned businesses create communities that are more prosperous, connected, and generally better off across a wide range of metrics. When we buy from independent, locally owned businesses, rather than national chains, a significantly greater portion of our money is then cycled back through our local economy — to make purchases from our friends’ businesses, to aid our neighbors in need, and to support our local farms — ultimately strengthening the base of our whole community.” – Sustainable Connections

My favorite dark humor cartoon showed an independent bookstore next door to another local store. I believe the manager was standing on the sidewalk ready to welcome customers. Meanwhile, at the store next door, a staff member was outside on the sidewalk taking an incoming order of books from an Amazon truck.

We seem nearly brainwashed to buy from Amazon. It’s just as easy to buy from a local bookstore or, if there isn’t one, from a local store that sells online, including Powell’s and The Strand. (The Strand has a sale today.) Indie Bound (click on the graphic above) has a store finder. If they’re too far away, check their websites: many of them sell online. Just type in your zip code to see what’s near you. The displayed stores usually have website links.

As an alternative to Indie Bound, check out Bookshop. Order books online from them and you’re supporting local bookstores.

If you still feel a deep need to support the Amazon Empire, I’m sure there’s a Twelve-Step program to set you free.

–Malcolm

Malcolm R. Campbell

Publisher: Thomas-Jacob Publishing

Website

Facebook Author’s Page

Amazon Author’s Page

Available from Bookshop

An Indie Alternative to Amazon? 

The past few years have been rocky for Chris Doeblin, owner and cofounder of Book Culture, four beloved independent bookstores in New York City. “Before Amazon we had a viable company. I made a decent living in New York City. We bought an apartment,” he says. “Twenty-five years later I’m on the verge of bankruptcy. Our stores can go out of business any minute.”

Source: An Indie Alternative to Amazon? | Poets & Writers

The website is already up, perhaps as a teaser or a priming-the-pump-before-launch kind of thing at https://comingsoon.bookshop.org/signup

I hope these folks can make their plan work because Amazon, while it has provided a service to indie authors who can’t get their books into bricks and mortar stores, has become a big problem: a monopoly.

I link my books to other online sites as often as possible, but I think people just read the books’ descriptions and then go buy them at Amazon. (I do appreciate the people who buy them.)  But we need alternatives in addition to Powell’s, B&N.com, and even IndieBound.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed about this venture.

Malcolm