As titles featured in the Spring 2014 Indies Introduce New Voices/Debut Authors promotion begin appearing on bookstore shelves, booksellers are finding ways to not only promote the new books but also highlight their unique role in introducing customers to new authors.
Kenny Brechner at DDG Booksellers in Farmington, Maine, has been using his regular column in a local newspaper, the Daily Bulldog, to feature interviews he conducted with Indies Introduce authors prior to their books’ publication. His interview with Rohan Gavin, author of Knightley & Son, was published this week, and Brechner has already received requests from local schools to have copies held at the store.
In addition to the interviews, Brechner plans to create his own shelf-talkers for Indies Introduce titles and will feature a display table in a prominent area of the store.
Paul Hanson, general manager of Village Books in Bellingham, Washington, has created a sign that both describes the program to customers and emphasizes indie booksellers’ role in discovering new authors and introducing them to their communities.
“What do we take the most pride in as independent booksellers?” the sign reads. “Finding books so good that they take our breath away, showcasing those books, and then spreading the word… even more so for books from first-time authors.”
Hanson is using the Indies Introduce graphic –– which can be found in the Designs & Downloads section of Bookweb –– to tie the store’s promotional efforts together.
The graphic is featured on store signage and on shelf-talkers featuring booksellers’ recommendations of Indies Introduce titles. The most recent issue of the Chuckanut Reader, Village Books’ 72-page quarterly print magazine, which is distributed to about 2,000 customers, includes an article about the program that urges customers to keep an eye out for the Indies Introduce graphic –– in the store, on its website, and in its e-newsletter.
The store’s last e-newsletter, which is distributed to about 10,000 people, also included an introduction to the program and provided links for customers to find more information about each title, including the Q&As with Indies Introduce authors featured in Bookselling This Week.
Indies Introduce is prominently featured on the homepage of Village Books’ website, with links to the author Q&As.
“We’re trying to do a big push on it,” said Hanson, who added that, like most other indie bookstores, Village Books often struggles to get an audience to attend debut authors’ events. “This is one way to highlight their work,” he said, “so we’re very grateful for this program.”
Additionally, said Hanson, “if someone’s asking for recommendation, it’s something we can easily point to, since these are titles we’re always recommending.”
Booksellers participating in the Indies Introduce promotion are encouraged to use materials provided in the Designs & Downloads section of BookWeb.org, as well as Bookselling This Week’s series of Q&As with Indies Introduce authors for use in-store, in newsletters, and via social media.