Indies First: Get on the Map and Get Free Publicity

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With Indies First on Small Business Saturday less than four weeks away, bookstores that are planning to participate are encouraged to submit their event details to the Indies First Activity Registry so their plans appear on the searchable Indies First map on IndieBound before November 26.

Many booksellers heeded the American Booksellers Association’s October 25 call for event detail submissions, but there is still room for more booksellers to submit their activities to the registry to ensure the Indies First map is as full as in 2015. Stores that provided event details for last year’s map were not automatically included on this year’s map, as author and event lineups will have changed.

The Indies First map serves as a central source for customers, media, authors and publishers to see what’s happening in bookstores nationwide on Small Business Saturday. Last year, thousands of people visited the Indies First map daily during the month of November; making sure your store is represented helps all those visitors see at a glance just how vibrant the indie channel is.

Customers can also browse participating stores alphabetically by store name or by state; links to these lists are available on the Indies First map page.

Booksellers can visit the Indies First Activity Registry to share details about their plans for Indies First on Small Business Saturday; booksellers whose event details are not yet finalized can still add their store name to the map now and fill in details at a later date. Those still looking for authors or illustrators to host on November 26 can consult the Indies First Author and Illustrator Registry.

In addition to hosting authors and illustrators as honorary booksellers for the day, stores are planning other creative Indies First events, such as:

  • Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh, North Carolina, will do hourly drawings for a bag of books, plus grand prize drawings of 25 percent off purchases for a year and a free three-month subscription to its signed first editions club.
  • Casa Camino Real in Las Cruces, New Mexico, is holding a half-price sale and will also be serving Abuelita hot chocolate, homemade biscochos and posole, and spiced Mexican coffee.
  • Postmark Books in Rosendale, New York, is offering 50 percent off all holiday picks and will be serving up hot cider and donuts.
  • Green Apple Books in San Francisco is inviting customers in to collaborate with illustrator Wendy MacNaughton to make custom bookmarks.
  • Wicker Park Secret Agent Supply Co. in Chicago will host live acoustic music during the afternoon of the 26th.

To help booksellers prepare for Indies First, ABA will be sending out daily Indies First countdown e-mails beginning November 16. The e-mails will each include a quick reminder about how to make the most of Small Business Saturday.

There are also a variety of downloadable resources available for booksellers looking to promote Indies First and Small Business Saturday. Booksellers can find digital Indies First logos and poster designs in BookWeb’s Designs and Downloads, as well as the new Small Business Saturday marketing toolkit. Additional Small Business Saturday marketing materials are available for download from American Express.

Stores can also take advantage of specials on a wide array of frontlist and backlist titles from publishers that are showing their support for Indies First. On BookWeb, booksellers can find promotional codes for special offers as well as a downloadable Excel spreadsheet listing the offers (a BookWeb username and password are required to log in).

Follow Indies First on Facebook and Twitter for up-to-the-minute news about the event, and share Indies First updates with customers using the hashtag #IndiesFirst.

Questions about Indies First should be directed to indiesfirst@bookweb.org