Author Sherman Alexie is well known to Minnesota readers. In fact, he will be in Minnesota next week to speak at Minnesota State University Moorhead. (Thursday, September 12, 7:00 p.m.) His talk at Plymouth Congregational Church last fall drew an SRO crowd. He’s been on “Talking Volumes” and was interviewed on Bill Moyers’ show.
His fans may want to heed his recent brainstorm: Alexie is out with an idea that may resonate with Minnesota writers, readers, booksellers other “book needs”, as Alexie calls his colleagues.
The popular writer has proposed this week that writers enter the world of commerce by participating in Small Business Saturday, the national initiative of independent business; more specifically, Alexis suggested that writers – and presumably other bibliophiles, join ranks with independent booksellers. Small Business Saturday 2013 is November 30, Thanksgiving weekend– in the wake of Black Friday.
Alexie may be taking a lead from the Obama family who last year celebrated the day by shopping at One More Page Books in suburban Virginia. Or he may be buoyed by the fact that Oren Teicher of the American Booksellers Association has reported that 2012 sales by independent booksellers were ten percent ahead of 2011 sales.
In a letter to a small group of authors (http://www.bookweb.org/indies-first) sent over Labor Day weekend Alexie called on them to become “superheroes for independent booksellers“ by working at their favorite indie in whatever role is needed. “We book nerds will become booksellers. We will make recommendations. We will practice nepotism and urge readers to buy multiple copies of our friends’ books. Maybe you’ll sign and sell books of your own in the process. I think the collective results could be mind-boggling …The most important thing is that we’ll all be helping independent bookstores and God knows they’ve helped us over the years.”
Though the drive is just aborning, the mechanics are actually in place The ABA has created a webpage for those who wish to sign up. Authors sign up here: (http://www.bookweb.org/indies-first-author-sign) and booksellers can sign up here: (http://www.bookweb.org/indies-first-bookstore-sign).
Minnesota “book nerds” may want to call or stop by an indie bookstore to learn more, express support, even sign up to lend on hand to sell, shelve, hype, to get up and do what needs to be done to help out the Indies First cause on Small Business Saturday.