Thursday, May 13, 2010

And a good time was had by all...

I had the best time last Saturday at Beaverdale Books in Des Moines Iowa! I was there for a signing and gave a little talk (Little? I yammered on for about an hour, but at least I didn't put anyone to sleep!! *g*).

What made this event so special (other than the very nice group of women who attended)? Well, it was at an independent book store, one of my favorite places to be. Beaverdale Books, owned by Alice Meyer, is located in the Beaverdale area of Des Moines. To me Alice's store harkens back to a time when everything wasn't part of some chain, wasn't located in a mall, and each business had their own ambience. In a store like Alice's, they not only knew your name, but probably knew better than you what books you might like to read.

That last statement brings me around to a very important point, and one I've talked about before...the importance of independent book stores. There are thousands of books published every year and if you're a new author, it's difficult to stand out from the pack. Your publisher might do a little marketing by featuring you in their catalogue, your website might generate some buzz, and you might get a few print reviews, but other than that, it's very hard to get your book in the hands of interested readers. That's where independent book sellers come in-they "handsell" your book! It's like dropping a rock into a pond-thanks to them, a reader buys your book, then that reader recommends you to a friend who recommends you to another friend, and well, the ripples from that first sale can go on and on. But it takes the independent book seller dropping that rock to get it started!

Let's face it-we live in a world where "bigger" seems to be "better." Independents, as with all small businesses, have a tough time surviving in such an environment. I for one, not only as an author, but as a reader, would be sorry to see them go. Their role in this whole "author to reader" process is too important for them to fade away. So please, if you have a local bookstore, I encourage you to support them as loyally as you support your favorite authors! If you don't have a local bookstore, many independents such as Beaverdale Books have websites, and they are more than happy to take online orders.

So here's to you, Alice, and to all the other independent book stores!! Thanks for the terrific job you do and long may you prosper!!!

Take care and have a good one!! Next week, I promise...pictures from DemiCon!!!

Best,
Shirley

5 comments:

Casey said...

Let's hear it for the indees! Brave people, one and all, and real book lovers. I, for one, am grateful for each and every one of them.

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin said...

My favorite bookstore is an independant. (The) Book Galler(y/ies) has been in Hilo as long as I can remember. Best of all, Barbara is happy to order anything I want that she doesn't carry, and she'll almost always get it in in a week or two. And if she doesn't, she'll let me know anything she finds out about what is holding it up. You don't get that kind of service from a chain. {Smile}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

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Casey said...

If that's Hilo, Hawaii, Anne Elizabeth, I'd be happy to hand deliver those books you want!

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin said...

Yes, Hilo Hawai'i. I think we're the only Hilo in the world. {Smile}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin