Thursday, July 10, 2014

Independent Bookstores

Today I’d like to talk about something different.

Not that different, but different.

I’d like to talk about independent bookstores.

Everyone talks about Barnes & Noble, or Books-A-Million, and how their brick-and-mortar stores are great places to go.  There’s been discussion about the fact that B&N and BAM won’t carry Amazon-published books on their shelves.  Other stores won’t offer them for fear of antagonizing the “Noxious Gods Of Publishing” that reside in New York.

Well, that’s not entirely accurate.

You can order many Amazon-published books from these places online, or even in their stores.  You just won’t find them on the shelves.

Same thing with independent bookstores.  You know, those quaint stores with local owners that actually make their stores fun places to visit, be it for a few minutes, or an hour, or an afternoon.

Now, not all independent bookstores will order Amazon-published books for you, and that’s unfortunate. 

I live in Tennessee, and there’s one bookstore in Nashville that I’d like to use to make a point.  Parnassas Books is co-owned by “bestselling author Ann Patchett” and “publishing veteran Karen Hayes”.  Of course, if you’ll read the signatures on Douglas Preston’s infamous open letter putting down Amazon in the dispute with Hachette, you’ll find Ms. Patchett’s name listed under the P section.  The above link is a PDF download of Preston’s letter.

Now, I find it funny that a bookstore, co-owned by an author that signed Mr. Preston’s letter, offers Amazon-published titles by independent authors…especially J. A. Konrath, one of the most vocal supporters of independent authors!  Why would Ms. Patchett sign this petition?

I wish Hachette would leave the authors out of the equation, and offer more money to them.  After all, they ARE the people that produce the product that Hachette sells.  Maybe, one day, those authors will realize that they can make more money by being independent.

Also, I found a site that allows independent authors to list all of the places that offer their titles.  That way, a reader can click on the button for their favorite place to purchase their books.  Of course, the usual places are there – Amazon, Kobo, iTunes (I haven’t figured out how to link to iBooks yet…Apple keeps opening my iTunes app on my desktop), and Barnes & Noble.  But, I found three independent bookstores that offer to order my print titles, and a couple of them offer my stories in eBook editions!

So, let me sing their praises here!  They are:

Northshire Bookstore, 4869 Main Street, Manchester Center, Vermont
The Raven Book Store, 6 East 7th Street, Lawrence, Kansas
The Community Bookstore, 143 Seventh Avenue, Brooklyn, New York

If you live close enough to any of these three places, please visit them, and spend a little money.  Tell them that you appreciate that they offer titles by independent authors.  If you don’t live close enough to visit them in person, by all means, click the links and order something from them…or just email or call, and tell them that you appreciate independent authors.

The place that allows authors to list all of the places that sell an author’s titles?  It’s called, but that will be a blog for another day…I’m still working on that, adding more stores as I find them.

But you can bet on one thing:  I’m surely going to…

Keep reading!

Michael (T. M. Bilderback)

No comments:

Post a Comment