Indies First is Almost Here! Don’t Forget About Publishers’ Special Terms

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On November 30, indie booksellers participating in Indies First on Small Business Saturday will invite their favorite local authors, illustrators, and celebrities to their stores to participate in events or hand-sell books, and to promote their stores’ events via their websites, newsletters, and social media platforms using the hashtag #IndiesFirst.

Indies First logo

As in previous years, participating ABA member booksellers have the opportunity to take advantage of special offers for Indies First from more than 50 publishers, including traditional publishers as well as nearly two dozen university presses. The terms, which can be applied to a wide array of frontlist and backlist titles, are available during various periods between now and January 2020.
Jennifer Wills Geraedts of Beagle and Wolf Books & Bindery in Park Rapids, Minnesota, told Bookselling This Week she was very pleased to see Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on the list of publishers that were offering special terms for Indies First.
“I love this promo because it’s a significant discount and it’s easy with no minimum. So often, publisher terms are out of reach for small stores,” said Geraedts, such as a signed stock offer that requires a 48-copy order. “HMH has good titles to offer and some pretty solid backlist.” 
All special terms are currently listed on a downloadable Excel spreadsheet. Booksellers can use the promotional codes listed on the spreadsheet, which is accessible from the ABA Book Buyer’s Handbook and from the Indies First homepage on ABA bookstore members will need a username and password to access the spreadsheet; e-mail [email protected] for login information.
This year, science fiction and fantasy writer N.K. Jemisin is serving as the spokesperson for Indies First and has been tweeting about the event in support of indie bookstores throughout the month. In a video created to promote the event, the New York Times bestselling author Jemisin encouraged viewers to visit their local indie bookstores on November 30. 
For participating booksellers looking for resources they can use to help spread the word about Indies First 2019, available marketing materials currently include the 2019 Indies First press release template, which ABA created to help booksellers promote the event. Other Indies First materials can be found in’s Marketing Assets, including web banners, logos, and images sized and formatted for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Booksellers participating in Indies First on Small Business Saturday are also encouraged to sign up to be listed on the American Express Shop Small map, a searchable map created by Small Business Saturday sponsor AmEx that helps customers find small businesses in their city or town. American Express Card-accepting merchants can sign in to their AmEx merchant account to learn more.
In addition, independent booksellers looking to promote Small Business Saturday can visit American Express’ Shop Small Studio for a variety of marketing assets. AmEx also offers a downloadable Shop Small passport. Booksellers can follow @shopsmall and #ShopSmall on Instagram to keep up with the latest Small Business Saturday news and events.
Booksellers can learn more about Indies First on BookWeb, or send inquiries about Indies First to [email protected]. Booksellers and customers can follow news about Indies First in Bookselling This Week and via the hashtag #IndiesFirst on social media.