The Indie 100 Tour - New England

Another Indie 100 Tour update from Marc Fitten. This time he's traveling through New England—specifically visiting Trident Booksellers & Cafe in Boston, MA.

I should have studied more in high school. 

I should have studied and then gone on to a university in New England.  Then I could have spent weekends at the Cape.  I could have learned to sail and ski.  I could have gone on to marry a Kennedy…or maybe a Westinghouse…or perhaps a General Electric…or one of the Amway girls.  Or maybe I’d have gone another route and married a plucky girl from a small village.  

Although, in thinking of skiing, I imagine New England winters suck.  It’s May and trees are only just starting to bloom.  That scares me.  After years of winter in Eastern Europe, I decided I hate winter.  I couldn’t really live here for that reason.  So, I guess it’s fine I didn’t study after all.



The Indie 100 Tour - Atlanta

Paige's note: I'm very happy to bring you a guest blogger, author Marc Fitten. He's got a cool independent bookstore project that I'll let him explain:

I'm going on an extensive book tour in support of my new novel, Valeria's Last Stand. Only, to spice things up, I've decided that while I'm on the road, I will visit 100 independent book stores and blog about what I think makes them unique. It's a road trip, from city to city—100 stores, as long as it takes.

Marc's first stop on the Indie 100 Tour is A Capella Books in Atlanta, GA. He sets the scene for us here.

ATLANTA - A city is never one thing. Atlanta is a corporate town, a college town, a gay town, a black town, a southern town, and a transplant town. The reason it works is because above all else, it’s utilitarian. It’s just so freaking convenient. Have you seen the airport? It’s a metaphor for how the city works.

Of course, traffic sucks. There might be chain pharmacies, chain restaurants, chain discount stores, and a mall within one mile of every citizen, but none of it matters as they usually take forty minutes to reach.



Buy Indie Day

May 1st has been declared Buy Indie Day. The idea: buy one book—paperback, hardcover, audiobook, whatever you want!—at an independent bookstore near you.

I think writer Kevin Guilfoile said it well when he posted:

"There's an opportunity here to make something very cool happen—near simultaneous, informal meet-ups of readers and writers in independent bookstores all over the country—and it can happen with practically no effort at all."

You can RSVP, invite friends and discuss with other indie shoppers on Buy Indie Day's Facebook page, and find an indie bookstore near you on the Indie Store Finder map.

Where you will be buying indie on May 1st?



April is Genocide Prevention Month

The Genocide Prevention Project and the American Booksellers Association have partnered to help commemorate April as Genocide Prevention Month, and developed the Books of Conscience list.

The books selected testify to the historical realities and human tragedies of genocide—and the acts of courage and commitment of those dedicated to fighting genocide.

Browse through the list here and look for a Genocide Prevention Month display at your local, independent bookstore.

For more information and to get involved, visit GenocidePreventionMonth.org.



Emma and Gina Shop Indie & Local

Another indie video! This one's from Gina in Berkeley, CA, and features lots of indie businesses, like Pegasus Fine Books. Thank you, Gina (and Emma)!!



IndieBound Affiliate Program

We've made some major updates to our Affiliate Program! In addition to the awesome ability to link to indie bookstores nationwide, here's what else is new:

  • Use your Affiliate ID in a link to any page on IndieBound.org, like the Indie Next List or a Wish List (or my Wish List)
  • Simpler linking syntax (see here)
  • Affiliate links now set session cookies, so you'll reap the benefits of continued user shopping—on IndieBound and indie bookstore websites

And coming soon: online sales tracking through IndieBound, and customizable blog widgets for Indie Bestsellers, Wish Lists, or any list of books you choose!

Use IndieBound.org to link to books and you:

  • Support indie bookstores
  • Support local communities nationwide
  • Support choice, diversity, and free expression

Any questions? Let me know!



April is National Poetry Month

Horace wrote in his Ars Poetica, "A mediocrity in poets neither gods, nor men, nor even the booksellers' shops have endured." Never fear, Horace—booksellers have recommended some decidedly non-mediocre titles for the 2009 Poetry Indie Next List.

National Poetry Month is upon us! As usual there are many ways to celebrate, first and foremost by reading some poetry. Check out the titles above and find a bookstore near you at which to browse.

You can also check read a Poem-A-Day, put a poem in your pocket, and my favorite: take part in the Free Verse Project on Poets.org and flickr.



Record Store Day 2009

On Saturday, April 18, 2009, hundreds of independently-owned music stores across the country will celebrate Record Store Day. Record Store Day gives music stores and their fans a chance to celebrate the culture and unique place that they occupy both in their local communities and nationally.

What's Record Store Day all about? Check out this episode of Stuck in Vermont from RSD 2008 featuring Pure Pop Records to see what it's like.



Unchained success

The Boston Globe covered the Brookline Booksmith's recent growth and success in the face of recession, noting that most independent bookstores are "proving surprisingly sturdy in a stormy economy."

In addition to the Booksmith, several Massachusetts stores are doing well right now: Porter Square Books and Harvard Book Store in Cambridge, Newtonville Books in Newton, Buttonwood Books & Toys in Cohasset, Willow Books & Cafe in Acton, and Book Ends in Winchester.

"I do think there's a swing back to valuing local and independent," said Booksmith manager Dana Brigham. "Small and local can be good places to do business and very healthy for your community."

"There's a standard line that the independents are collapsing and they're all going to disappear soon. I think that's a little dated," said John Mutter, editor of the online newsletter Shelf Awareness.

Read the article here!



Aaron says Shop Local with IndieBound

Aaron of Aaron's Books explains exactly how and why to shop local! Thanks, Aaron (and Sam)!



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