ShopTalk Recap: Indies First Brainstorm

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On Tuesday, October 5, ABA held a ShopTalk with the first 30 minutes dedicated to brainstorming for Indies First, which takes place in conjunction with Small Business Saturday on November 27.

The 2021 Indies First Spokesperson is bestselling author Roxane Gay; ABA has provided marketing assets announcing Roxane Gay as the Indies First spokesperson on We will also host a national virtual event with Roxane Gay in discussion about her new imprint and the importance of indie bookstores! Check BTW in the coming weeks for the details.

Logged-in booksellers can view a recording of the session on the Education Resources page on

Here are some key takeaways and ideas for promoting Indies First:

  • Make sure your customers know what Indies First is! Explain the day using displays, signage, social media, and newsletters.
  • Use hashtags such as #IndiesFirst #SmallBusinessSaturday #ShopEarlyShopLocal #ShopLocal #ShopIndie #NovemberIsTheNewDecember #IndieBound.
  • Send your event to local calendar listings.
  • Create a list of the top ten reasons to support an indie bookstore during Indies First and post it on social media/include it in your newsletter.
  • Display selections from the Indie Gift Guide for Genre Lovers and other stocking stuffers.
  • Spotlight bestsellers or hot books for the day.
  • Host giveaways for customers shopping on Indies First.
  • Connect with other stores to pool publicity efforts and reinforce the message.
  • Put the logo on your homepage and in newsletters linking to the 2021 Indies First landing page.
  • Add a banner to your websites to promote the national virtual event Roxane Gay. The banner should link to an event page on your store's site that includes the event registration link and/or a button to donate to the store.