Indies First/Small Business Saturday: Last-Minute Reminders, Author Photos

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More than 400 bookstores across the U.S. will be hosting Indies First celebrations on November 28, Small Business Saturday, including hundreds of authors who will be working as guest booksellers for the day, as well as unique authorless events.

At last weekend’s Miami Book Fair International, close to 75 authors were photographed with an Indies First tote bag to help kick off this year’s celebrations. And at the November 20 launch of her new book, Brave Enough (Knopf), at New York City's Housing Works Bookstore, Cheryl Strayed, the official spokesperson for Indies First 2015, was photographed with Isaac Fitzgerald of Buzzfeed Books and Ashley C. Ford.

(Top row, L to R) Isaac Fitzgerald, Cheryl Strayed, and Ashley C. Ford at NYC's Housing Works Bookstore. All others at Miami Book Fair International: Adam Johnson and Ross Gay; Andrew Kaufman; Ian Lendler and Maris Whicks; Bill Griffith. (Bottom row, L to R) Garth Risk Hallberg; Cristina Favretto; Chip Kidd; Lauren Groff; Les and Kimberly Standiford.

Booksellers and consumers alike can find the hundreds of stores hosting authors or authorless events on the interactive Indies First store map on

Among the notable bookstore-author pairings are Mac Barnett appearing at Rakestraw Books in Danville, California; BJ Novak at An Unlikely Story Bookstore & Café in Plainville, Massachusetts; Jon Scieszka at Community Bookstore in Brooklyn, New York; Ethan Hawke at Left Bank Books in St. Louis, Missouri; and Sherman Alexie, Sonya Lea, Nicole Hardy, and Peter Mountford at The Elliott Bay Book Company in Seattle, Washington.

Any bookstore wishing to appear on the map must enter their events in the Indies First Activity Registry or contact the American Booksellers Association by midnight on Thursday, November 26.

ABA is also encouraging booksellers to send out a final reminder to the authors who have signed up to work at their stores to let them know the time they’re expected at the store and what they’ll be doing, be it hand-selling, gift wrapping, or greeting shoppers at the door. Indies First authors should also be reminded to add a buy button for indie bookstores as the top purchasing option on their websites.

(Top row, L to R) Nathaniel Sandler; Mary Gaitskill; Marlon James; Martha Hodes; P.J. O'Rourke and son. (Bottom row, L to R) Lily King; Kelly Link; Scott McCloud; Ilyasah Shabazz; Nell Zink.

Booksellers should be sure to snap photos of participating authors holding one of the Indies First tote bags that were mailed to members this month, and to post these photos on social media using the hashtag #IndiesFirst. Photos should also be sent to ABA with the subject “Indies First bag photo.” Authors should be asked to sign this downloadable release form, giving permission for photos to be used for marketing and publicity purposes.

Resources available in the Bookseller DIY’s Designs & Downloads to help booksellers promote Indies First events include press release templates and Indies First logos, including images sized for use on Facebook and Twitter. Booksellers can also follow #IndiesFirst on Twitter to watch as the excitement unfolds online.

The IndieBound Facebook page features author photos and videos as well as links to local press outlets covering the Indies First movement. Stores are encouraged to post links to their local media coverage, news of their Indies First successes, and photos of participating authors and staff on Small Business Saturday. Afterward, booksellers should be sure to provide ABA with a full list of the authors who participated in Indies First at their store.

Promotional materials for Small Business Saturday, including a new Shop Small heart logo, are also available in the DIY’s Designs & Downloads.

(Top row, L to R) Enrique Hernandez; Edwidge Danticat; Dennis Dunaway; Cindy Chinelly and John Dufresne; Padgett Powell. (Bottom row, L to R) Sy Montgomery; Sloane Crosley and Pamela Paul; Sonia Manzano; William Finnigan; Thrity Umrigar.