Patrick Carman, author of Floors and many other good books, posted an appeal recently on Facebook, asking book buyers to please alternate their purchases between indie bookstores and Amazon. I’m in full support of this, because so often, those indie bookstores are in full support of us as authors. (Not to mention they’re so cool…)
Patrick is mourning the loss of Mrs. Nelson’s Toy & Book Shop in California. I’m still mourning over last year’s closing of Partners in Crime, here in New York – it was a great place and I bought from them when I could. (But not as often as I should have, obviously…)
Books of Wonder, Bank Street Books, 192 Books, and the Strand all get my patronage, both browsing and buying. And Inkwood Books in Tampa is a wonderful shop – if you’re in the area, stop by and enjoy an author’s reading or just browsing. I’ve also used Powell’s in Oregon for both buying and selling. Yes, they’ll accept used books for sale online, and you don’t even pay postage.
So it’s not just local shops you can support by thinking indie. Even if you live in the wilds of the far suburbs with nary an indie bookstore in sight, try IndieBound. I first came across this great organization as an iPhone app – great reviews, rankings, and yes, locations of indie bookstores selling the ranked and reviewed books.
But Patrick’s point is a good one. It’s not always possible to go out to shop – and let’s face it, Kindle makes buying books from Amazon almost instantaneous. (Not to mention that Amazon does good, too – when I use this link, my daughter’s school gets a portion of the money I spend.) But just like everything in life, moderation is possible. Make a special trip to your local store. Bookmark an indie’s website and order from them. For every purchase from Goliath, make one from an independent bookseller.
You might need them one day. So far, Amazon doesn’t sponsor author visits…
BONUS! I’m including a link to a fab Project Mayhem post. Chris Eboch posted some wonderful resources to help writers have a successful 2014.