Bookseller Tips & Tricks: Using Twitter to Promote Linking to Indies

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Cathy Berner of Blue Willow Bookshop in Houston, Texas, had been excited to see that Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett Krosoczka (Graphix) was recommended by the TODAY show in December, as the author had visited her store just a few weeks prior. But when she went to the TODAY show’s website to get the full list of recommended books for the holiday season, she was disheartened to see that each book was linked to Amazon.

“I’m not sure exactly why I decided to reach out, but I wanted to do so in a professional manner that would hopefully resonate,” she said. “Also, indie bookstores are awesome, as we all know, and it’s a good day if we can raise their profile.”

Berner decided to send the TODAY show this tweet: “Dear @TODAYshow & @SavannahGuthrie Thanks for highlighting books to give this season! It would be great if you could have something OTHER than a link to Am****. Amazing indie bookstores across the country can find these books and other wonderful ones. #shopindie @ABAbook

While the network did not respond to the tweet, Berner recommends that booksellers reach out and promote IndieBound whenever they can. Blue Willow also encourages authors who are being hosted at the store to link to IndieBound instead of Amazon.

Berner shared three tips with Bookselling This Week for reaching out in a professional manner:

  • Keep it positive
  • Focus on the great things that indie bookstores do, such as providing author events, finding great gifts for friends and family, offering great customers service, etc.
  • Remind followers on social media that they can order books on IndieBound

Booksellers looking for more tips and tricks on social media etiquette can revisit this article on asking authors to link to indies or check out this handout on how to promote linking to indies.