By Dennis Abrams
Inspired by the Indies First campaign in the United States (spearheaded by Sherman Alexie), Vancouver-based author Janie Chang has launched a “north of the border” version called, fittingly, Canadian Authors for Indies Day.
Author Ann-Marie MacDonald (The Way the Crow Flies among other titles) has sent the following message out to all Canadian authors:
Dear Fellow Canadian Authors:
Let’s do something wonderful together on Saturday, May 2. It’s called Authors for Indies Day.
That’s when authors across Canada volunteer at local independent bookstores. We will talk to customers about the books we love. We will shamelessly urge them to buy. Not just our books, any books. Because the goal of Authors for Indies Day is to help Canadian independent bookstores sell a ton of books on May 2.
It’s really easy. First, read the “About” page on the Authors for Indies website. Then, sign up. Next, pick a bookstore (or two) from the list on your province and get in touch. Or answer their emails. Agree when and how you’ll spend your time on May 2. You might be invited to help hand sell books, give readings, or do signings.
We all know how tough things are for Canadian independent bookstores. Year after year they support us. They stock our books, invite us for readings, and put our titles on their Staff Picks shelf.
Let’s do something to support them back.
As of the beginning of this week, close to 100 independent bookstores and 270 authors throughout Canada had signed up for the event.
The purpose of Canadian Authors for Indies Day? According to the event’s website, it’s all about authors giving back to the bookstores that support them:
We all know how tough things are for our local independent booksellers. These are the folks who read our books, love them, and put them on Staff Picks shelves. They invite us for readings and recommend us to their book clubs. It’s time to give back.
So why not do the same thing to help Canada’s independent booksellers? And being modest Canadians, the booksellers say if we can just bring more traffic into their stores, they’ll be happy.
And the goal of course is simple: For authors to help bring in store traffic and make it a great retail day for the store. Participating bookstores are free to organize whatever activities they want: readings are one suggestion, as are book signings, or even just having the authors hang around and chat with customers about the books they love.
As the website says: We are there to help sell books. Anyone’s books, not just our own. We believe the novelty of having authors available to recommend books will intrigue customers and bring them into the store.
To learn more about the event and how you can become involved, click here.