Take Center Stage: Add Your Activities to the Indies First/Upstream Registry

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Last year’s Indies First activities on Small Business Saturday garnered a lot of attention for independent booksellers, and more of the same is expected for this year’s celebrations on November 29.

However, to keep the momentum going, stores need to add all of their Indies First and Upstream plans for Small Business Saturday to the activity registry on BookWeb.org in order for them to appear on the national consumer map on IndieBound.org.

Hundreds of authors have signed up to become guest booksellers on Small Business Saturday, but time is running out for booksellers who have yet to reach out to them. Don’t delay: Contact authors on the list on BookWeb.org or invite authors in your community to become booksellers for the day. Just remember to add your plans to the registry. Even if your plans for Small Business Saturday are in flux, register what you do have. An Indies First activity listing can be updated at any time; instructions will be provided in the activity listing’s confirmation e-mail.

And be sure to bring your story to the attention of local media outlets. Issue press releases and use your store newsletter, website, and social media outlets to highlight the authors who will be working at your store. Encourage visiting authors, illustrators, and local celebrities to do the same. Use the hashtag #IndiesFirst.

“The national press has begun to recognize the resurgence in indie bookstores and on Small Business Saturday your store can be a vibrant showcase of the power of independent bookselling, your unique ties to your community, and the special relationship you have in connecting authors and readers,” said ABA CEO Oren Teicher in last week’s letter to ABA members. Put your store center stage for local coverage of the holiday season: Make your Indies First plans and publicize them widely.

More on Indies First is available here; and on Upstream, here. Send questions to indiesfirst@bookweb.org.

For details about Small Business Saturday, visit the American Express OPEN SBS page for small businesses; read BTW’s archive of recent articles; and watch for ABA’s 10-day e-mail countdown to Indies First on Small Business Saturday, the first of which arrived in your inbox on November 19.

There is also a great Holiday Shopping infographic created by Advocates for Independent Business that stores can download and use to promote shopping locally. To access the full image, click here; then click on the image to enlarge.