Tips for Passing on Thanks for Shopping Indie Holiday Cheer

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Thanks for Shopping Indie (TfSI) kicks off on November 30, Small Business Saturday, and continues through December 31, giving booksellers an entire month to extend a special offer or gift to customers as a thank you for their continued support. Here’s both a look at some of the clever and creative ways ABA members rewarded customers during last year’s inaugural Thanks for Shopping Indie celebration and a peek at a plan or two for this year.

All participating stores will be mounting displays that invite customers to share in celebrating the indie spirit with a wide range of bookseller-chosen TfSI titles and will be promoting sales of their picks, each with a bit of holiday cheer, in newsletters, on websites, and via social media.

When Jill Hendrix, owner of Fiction Addiction, participated in Thanks for Shopping Indie last year, she offered a “buy two get one free” special on featured titles. This year at the Greenville, South Carolina, bookstore, Hendrix will be putting a raffle ticket in each TfSI book that makes the purchaser eligible for any number of prizes, including a free tote bag, a dollar off the purchase, and other discounts. One or two big discounts will be secreted in TfSI titles, possibly granting an unsuspecting customer a free store T-shirt or $40 off a $100 purchase.

Last year, the staff at Maria’s Bookshop in Durango, Colorado, selected 25 children’s and adult TfSI titles to promote and displayed them prominently at the front of the store with a sign declaring them “Books We Love.” Customers purchasing a featured title received a 15 percent discount. The store also ran an ad in the town’s newspaper, noted the promotion in its newsletters, and featured several TfSI titles on its Facebook page during the promotion period.

Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café in Asheville, North Carolina, displayed its TfSI titles at the front of the store and placed a TfSI bookmark inside each book. Customers received a $5 gift card for each Thanks for Shopping Indie title they purchased.

Customers at Green Apple Books in San Francisco, California, chose a free gift to go with their purchase of a TfSI title on Small Business Saturday, selecting either the store’s canvas book bag or a ceramic coffee mug.

Children’s bookstore Storybook Cove in Hanover, Massachusetts, featured a range of TfSI kids’ books that offered customers double credit on their loyalty card and a miniature Christmas stocking. 

And in Farmington, Maine, Devaney Doak & Garrett Booksellers saw the promotion as an opportunity to extend a 20 percent discount to customers on its entire selection of TfSI titles.

Booksellers are invited to share with us their ideas and inspirations for passing on special discounts, offers, or gifts to customers as part of Thanks for Shopping Indie.

Newly designed logos, web banners, posters, and other marketing materials for Thanks for Shopping Indie are available in BookWeb’s Designs & Downloads. Signup for Thanks for Shopping Indie is closed.