I reached out to graduating project managers Grace Hansen, Cole Bowman, and Bailey Potter who oversaw the successful launch events for LAUREL EVERYWHERE, FAULTLAND, and FINDING THE VEIN, respectively. I asked each of them about advice for planning future virtual events. Within a few hours, I had struck gold. Synthesized below are their replies and some guidance to get started when it is time to plan a celebration of your new book.
COVID-19 continues to change lifestyles and restrict in-person contact. People may not be able to shop at their favorite bookstores (or any stores) without potentially waiting in a line outside the brick and mortar or needing to proactively set an appointment. A box of books and other goodies being delivered can bring the bookstore vibes to readers’ homes, and can keep us consuming the titles that flood our wishlists and the titles we had no idea we needed.
From posting funny quips to sharing ideas for family-friendly reading activities, these stores have been going above and beyond to reach their communities, all while fielding business in a challenging new way.
This project has taught me what the greatest powers of small presses are: focused attention on a few projects (instead of hundreds each year), strong author relationships, and intimate knowledge of a book’s story and content.
Independent bookstores have historically served as community landmarks and valuable resources throughout the world. The experience of shopping at a bookstore that is genuine, individualistic, and an asset to the local community cannot be matched by shopping at chain stores or online. Moreover, a book is no ordinary item to shop for. Whether it is a picture book for preschoolers, a fantasy series for dreamers, a biography for devoted fans, or a nonlinear peregrination for intrepid readers, a book has a singular ability to illuminate one’s intellect and imagination.
We are blessed with many choices of independent bookstores, each with its own personality. Here are seven less-tourist-clogged stores worth exploring and supporting.