The Scoop from Brad & Lissa
The owners and operators of independent bookstores have never been above stealing a good idea. Having repeatedly survived premature predictions of their demise—whether as a result of big chains, giant discount stores or internet retailers—indies are constantly on the prowl for fresh approaches and ready to adapt them to the book business.
So it is that bookstores around the country have decided to borrow an idea from the record business. Each spring, music enthusiasts line up outside their favorite indie record stores for a chance to buy limited edition recordings produced for that day only.
After witnessing the boost in sales that these annual Record Store Days have generated over the years, bookstores are now preparing to launch their own version. The first national Independent Bookstore Day is scheduled for Saturday, May 2, a celebration featuring the sale of exclusive books and special literary items as well as author appearances and other festivities in hundreds of bookstores, including Politics and Prose.
California tested the concept last year with a statewide bookstore day that proved a big hit with customers. Now America’s nine regional bookseller associations have joined to support a nationwide effort, with help also from the American Booksellers Association.
Many publishers and authors are backing the initiative as well, contributing a range of items just for this day. Included are limited edition box sets of books about books, essays by Roxane Gay, tote bags by Roz Chast, prints by Chris Ware and Allie Brosh, joke books from leading illustrators, cotton “I Love to Read” onesies, and more. [For a complete list, click here]
Why have many in the book industry rallied with indies for this cause? Because independent bookstores play a unique role in local communities and in the broader book market. When indies get behind a title or author, they can make a difference, turning a previously little known work into a bestseller. We know our communities and what our customers like to read. And we know how to embrace social media and employ various marketing strategies to promote books we hold dear.
As Independent Bookstore Day approaches, keep an eye out for a detailed itinerary of special events being planned for P&P. And on May 2, we hope you’ll be able to stop by to celebrate with us and show your support for independent bookstores.
— Brad and Lissa