How to Support Indie Booksellers

A few weeks ago, I attended Writer’s Coffeehouse hosted by author Jake Bible at Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe in Asheville. If you’re local, don’t miss the next one. This event is where writers of all kinds come together to discuss the business aspects of writing, publishing, and selling books. I want to share some of what I learned with you in today’s post. Some of you may remember that Malaprop’s is the store that launched Flashes of War in May 2013 to the beautiful, smiling faces of this crowd:

A year later, it was the energy and support of that night at Malaprop’s that kept me going, finishing up a 52-event book tour that taught me more than I ever thought I’d know about selling books and reaching book buyers.

But there’s always more to learn. Case in point, the most recent Writer’s Coffeehouse featured Malaprop’s staff members who presented tips. These small actions have a big impact. If you’re reading this now, I encourage you to follow through, then let your local indy bookseller know what you’ve done and see if you can get writerson board. As Lauren at Malaprop’s says, “Nobody in this business is getting rich,” which means that everybody in this business loves books for the sheer pleasure and goodness they can bring. Here’s how to show it:

  • Set your email signature to link to your favorite bookseller. Here’s what mine looks like:

Flashes of War from my fave indy bookseller, Malaprop’s!

Events, blog, & course info: opt-in via email here.
Visit website:
Follow @kateyschultz


  • Link to your indy bookseller on the “book” or “buy now” pages of your website (check out the upper left corner of this site, and also right here, for examples.) I also like how author David Abrams tackles this–hitting indys and biggies. Here’s a partial screenshot:
  • Follow your indy bookseller on social media and share their upcoming author events. (Here’s Malaprop’s on Twitter and Facebook) And guess what? You now have the power to help make someone’s day by showing up to their book launch. Check out Catherynne Valente this Saturday, if you’re in the area.
  • Don’t want to limit yourself to just one indy bookseller, or have a hard time choosing a favorite? Make all your links to go IndieBound instead.  This is a community of indy booksellers that makes a movement out of book buying, and has all kinds of useful facts to entice others to join that movement, such as: Spend $100 at a local and $52 of that stays in your community. Spend the same $100 at a national chain, and your community only sees $43.

That’s all for now, because small change is real change and real change is possible RIGHT NOW. Change a few links, tag a few folks, and pat yourselves on the back. Then stay tuned for more tips in the coming months…

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