Buy Indie Day

>> Friday, May 1, 2009

May 1st is the American Booksellers Association "Buy Indie Day," in which they encourage everyone to support their local bookstores by making a point of buying books there today. IndieBound, the ABA's "brand" for its indie affiliates, has undergone a real makeover from its old BookSense days, and for the better. Their online book sales links, in particular, are much improved, and as such Wendi and I are trying to move away from Amazon links to our books and books we talk about. I've already eliminated the Amazon widget I had in the sidebar, and will soon be adding special IndieBound links, as well as links to how you can buy autographed books directly from me. More changes are coming to the blog and our websites as we have time to update them.

Independent bookstores have been very supportive of me, and while we always end up dropping far more than our monthly book allowance at Malaprop's Bookstore in Asheville when we visit, we're going to make a concerted effort to send more business their way--and the way of all indies. Barnes and Noble and Books-a-Million have been supportive of my work too, so I don't mean to villify them--but without independent voices beyond the chain stores, we wouldn't have anywhere near the amazing variety of books available to us that we have now. The chain store in the mall doesn't need our help to survive; the independent bookstore downtown does. It's time to show them the love.

Here's the ABA's case for shopping locally, in books as in everything else:

Why shop Indie?

When you shop at an independently owned business, your entire community benefits:

The Economy
  • Spend $100 at a local and $68 of that stays in your community. Spend the same $100 at a national chain, and your community only sees $43.
  • Local businesses create higher-paying jobs for our neighbors.
  • More of your taxes are reinvested in your community--where they belong.
The Environment
  • Buying local means less packaging, less transportation, and a smaller carbon footprint.
  • Shopping in a local business district means less infrastructure, less maintenance, and more money to beautify your community.
The Community
  • Local retailers are your friends and neighbors—support them and they’ll support you.
  • Local businesses donate to charities at more than twice the rate of national chains.
  • More independents means more choice, more diversity, and a truly unique community.
It's over an hour to our favorite local indies (Malaprop's and Accent on Books) and we're not going to get to Asheville tonight, but I called today and put a book on hold at an indie we'll be visiting tomorrow-and I'm sure that won't be the only book we walk out of there with.

Get out and buy a book from an independent bookstore!


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