Saturday, May 2 is Authors Support Indies Day. It’s a great chance for readers to meet and chat with some of their favourite authors, who will be hanging out as “guest booksellers” in their local independent bookstores.
Says one of Canada’s best known authors, Ann-Marie MacDonald,
“Independent bookstores enrich our communities. They provide gathering places for discovering new authors, sharing favourite books, and expanding our horizons. Store managers are thoughtful curators, bringing in books they know customers will love. Our neighbourhoods would be much diminished without our local bookstores.”
Many neighbourhoods have sadly seen the loss of their local independent bookstore(s). In a blog post on the Annick Press website, director of publishing Rick Wilks describes the current bookselling environment in a way that further explains why authors will be out there supporting their local indies on May 2:
“Independent booksellers are under siege in a market that is dominated by large chains and internet sites that can obtain, and in turn, offer discounts that render competition virtually impossible. While customers certainly appreciate a good discount off retail, this is costing us all… Environmentalists remind us that diversity is the key to healthy systems. So while a good price looks attractive on the surface, we’re left with less and less choice. And on the publishing side, there is more and more pressure to get on that bestseller list, or the project is not worth the investment. In fact, our bank manager once asked, “Why not just publish bestsellers?” We would love to, but there’s a lot more to reading and the love of literature and telling stories than “bestseller or bust.”
[I have to love a publisher who abides by this philosophy.]
“So hats off to those booksellers whose vision and commitment allow them to carry on. We value them deeply.”
More than 500 writers and 130+ bookstores across Canada will be participating in Authors for Indies Day! If you’re still lucky enough to have an independent bookstore in your community, why not come out on May 2 to join in the fun and at the same time lend your support. Chat with an author. Buy a book or two. (Or twenty?) And then, come back again soon!
Photo ©eternal / Crestock