Last night Kansas-Missouri Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators put on an awesome webinar with Emily Hall Schroen of Main Street Books St. Charles. Emily discussed how authors can build a relationship with booksellers. Not sure who your indie bookstore is? Think you should just pop over to Amazon to place an order. Here are 3 reasons to support your local indie.
An indie bookstore is locally owned. That means that the money you spend at an indie supports the local economy. There’s been a lot of talk about that during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic for good reason. These are the places that pivot quickly and look for ways to keep employees and customers safe while still meeting local needs.
Virtual author events. Speaking of trying new ways to do things, indie bookstores are featuring a wide variety of virtual author events. This one was to educate authors. Emily discussed possibilities for virtual signings, webinars, and more. This may not be the way things have always been done, but it is another way to sell books and the indies are game.
The people that work at indies are passionate about books. I’m not saying that everyone who works for a massive chain fails in the passion department. But Emily’s passion was clear and she spoke about the passion of her staff who hand sell the books they love. At the end of the webinar, Emily took us on a tour of the store, showing us various displays including books by black authors and anti-racist books. “These are among our best sellers right now.” When she was asked what books by black authors people should be reading, she paused. It was clear she was ordering her thoughts before launching into an passionate discussion of several authors and books including You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson and A Song Below Water by Bethany Morrow. What impressed me most about her recommendations is thta they were HER recommendations, not the same titles you see again and again.
This isn’t the first time that I’ve encouraged you all to support your local indie but it is definitely a message worth repeating. They’re local businesses. They are part of their communities. They are passionate about books. Support them.
Sad, sadder and saddest news. Just last week Vicki Erwin, co-owner of the independent bookstore Main Street Books in St. Charles, Missouri announced that unless a buyer can be found the store will close on January 31st, 2014. I have to say, this is not on my birthday list so I hope that they find a buyer.
My precious son offered to take out a loan (I think he was eyeing a particular relative) and run the store. Main Street Books is consistently in the black. How sad that we may loose a solvent independent simply because they can’t find a buyer.
Pass on the word to any and all, because, while I understand that Vicki wants to retire, I can’t imagine Main Street without this store. Find a buyer and you never have to get me a birthday present again. Promise.
As long as I’m talking about book buying, I thought I’d chat for a moment about my favorite book store.
Last Saturday my family popped across the river to our favorite independent book store, Main Street Books. Popped. As in 20 minute drive. Why do we make this trip? Better yet, why do we drive past the mall that houses a major discount chain store?
As we browsed the shelves, I realized that the man who had just entered wasn’t another customer. He was an author there for a book signing. It seems like most weekends this store hosts a signing or is taking part in some event such as the recent Missouri SCBWI conference for which they stock the sale table. This service is a huge help to conference organizers and one that many bookstores will not provide for us.
Sure, you have to pop out to another shop to get a cup of coffee but when you buy books, you are supporting someone who will support you. In my opinion, you can’t do much better than that.
Have you ever caught yourself wishing you knew a children’s author to invite into your classroom? Missouri SCBWI and Main Street Books has the answer.
Children’s Book Authors Event for Teachers Scheduled for May 1, 2009
The Missouri Region of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI) and Main Street Books of St. Charles, Missouri, will hold an Author’s Event from 4:00-6:00 p.m. on Friday, May 1, 2009 at Main Street Books, 307 South Main Street, St. Charles, Missouri.
Participating children’s book authors include Chris Stuckenschneider (Twist of Fate), Antony John (Busted: Confessions of an Accidental Player), Jeanie Franz Ransom (What Really Happened to Humpty, What Do Parents Do?, Grandma U, Don’t Squeal Unless It’s A Big Deal, I Don’t Want to Talk About It: A Story About Divorce), Donna M. Bateman (Deep in the Swamp), and Heather Brewer (The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod Series).
Each author will speak for 10 minutes about their books and school visits. All teachers who attend will be entered in a drawing for prizes and will receive a 20% discount on books they purchase that night. For more information, contact Valerie Battle Kienzle at firstname.lastname@example.org.