All around the world, independent booksellers of the bricks-and-mortar variety are working hard to retain their place on the high street/main street/shopping mall. Part of their strategy is to join forces for nationwide campaigns to draw attention to what they can offer that online retailers can't.
Three Important National Campaigns
This week (20-27 June 2015), nearly half of the bookshops in the UK will be staging Independent Booksellers' Week, and this article in The Guardian newspaper shares some useful stats and optimistic opinions on the state of the national appetite for physical shops.
On May 2nd, the USA's first annual Independent Bookstore Day led to such strong sales – up an average of 70% compared to the same day the previous year – that 98% of participating stores are planning to support the American Booksellers' Association's second IBD in 2016.
Meanwhile preparations are under way for Australia's National Bookstore Day on 8 August.
Opportunities for Indie Authors
For all of these events, booksellers will be planning special events and activities which are likely to increase the demand for authors in store. While this doesn't necessarily mean they'll be more likely than usual to stock YOUR book, it's worth investigating early to see whether there are ways that you can become involved in their events, and at the same time raise the profile of your books.
Even if you can't or don't want to sell your books through physical shops, e.g. if you only self-publish e-books, or if you can't find a way to make shop sales profitable, it's still worth keeping an eye on campaigns near you and attending events that might inspire your own writing and book marketing. Attending other authors' and book-related events always offer great networking opportunities that might help your book promotion programme in others ways.
Inspiration from Great Bookshops
And if you're still not convinced that in this online age, physical bookshops can be inspiring, check out The Guardian‘s choice of top 10 independent booksellers around the world.
Wherever in the world you are based, ALLi's new #Authors4Bookstores campaign will help you build a better relationship with physical bookshops, and help keep these important ambassadors for the joys of bookbuying in front of the great shopping public. We'll be talking more about our campaign on the blog during the coming week.
OVER TO YOU
- What's your favourite independent bookshop in the world, and why?
- If you'd like to share details of any other country's national booksellers' campaign, we'd love to know about it!