This video comes to us from Lexie Smith, an NYU student from Westchester County, NY. Thanks, Lexie!
First entry in our video contest! This video comes to us from Guinevere of Los Angeles, CA, "where the streets are filled with independent businesses, just waiting for you to discover them."
Announcing the IndieBound Voices of Indie Consumers Contest!
It's really easy: make a video, no more than 3 minutes long, about why you shop at indie retailers, what resonates for you about the Shop Local movement, why you feel passionately about your community, and maybe even mention a local store or two . . .
Post it to YouTube or Vimeo or any video-sharing site, and send us an email when it's there. One videographer will be chosen to win a bunch of IndieBound swag!
Chosen entries will be posted here on IndieBound.org's front page. Send your email--containing your full name, address, email and phone number--to me by the end of April.
Author Joe Hill has officially declared March Love-Your-Small-Bookstore Month.
And to get even more people excited, he's throwing a contest: March-is-love-your-Indie-Bookstore-Month: The Contest.
From Joe: How to Play: Go to a local independent bookstore. Buy something. Save the receipt. Send a photo or scan of the receipt to this address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Make sure either your e-mail or your receipt includes the name and phone number of the bookstore in question.
Check out LEGENDmag, a magazine devoted to living independent. Not just about shopping local and independent, LEGENDmag's goal is to "help local, national, and international independent brands, the people behind them, the art that inspires them, and the causes that support them, become a part of the world's everyday decision making."
Get the latest issue here.
I'd like to start highlighting local and regional groups who are working in their communities to raise awareness of shopping locally. First up: Local First Arizona.
Local First Arizona is currently the largest group of its kind in the country, with over 1300 members, and they're aware of the growing movement. As their mission states, "an explosion of sorts is occurring here and everywhere, as people look to define a sense of place, community and quality of life for their families and their futures."
Why shop locally? The LFA site has a compelling list of reasons, such as "When you shop locally-owned businesses, your money is re-circulated over and over and creates up to 75% more tax revenue to our community and state." They also provide a few simple steps you can take to make a difference in your community.
We've been hard at work since our last update. IndieBound is proud to announce five major new features everyone can benefit from:
Info Pages for Books.
Now it's easier than ever to link to IndieBound and support independent bookstores on your own website. Just click on any book link or book result from our site search, and you'll be presented with a separate page with cover art and a brief book description.
A recent national survey revealed independent retail businesses are outperforming many chains, and the Shop Local movement is a big factor.
Holiday sales for the indies surveyed declined an average of 5% from the previous year. The number compares favorably to most competing chains, whose declines ranged from -7.7% to -24.2%.
The survey was conducted by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) and other independent business organizations.
"Many people are choosing to direct more of their spending to local businesses," said Stacy Mitchell, senior researcher with ILSR. "Study after study has concluded that locally owned businesses deliver more jobs and significantly greater economic benefits to their communities."
Indies in cities with active Shop Local campaigns did even better: their average drop in sales was 3.2%, compared to 5.6% decline in cities without local initiatives. 95% of the retailers said that being locally owned matters to their customers.
Read more about the survey here.
New England indie bookstores will be full of love Valentine's Day! February 14th is Kids ♥ Authors Day, and over 40 independent bookstores will host 170 authors and illustrators to sign books for little (or big) valentines.
Independent bookstores and authors alike hope to kick off a new tradition of signed literary valentines, spread some literary love to families and strengthen bookstores' connection to their communities.
My favorite part is this huge list of authors' quotes on why they love indie bookstores:
"A bookstore is the literary center of a community. It becomes THE place to shop, to browse, and to meet neighbors and discuss books. Independent booksellers become expert, both in the books they sell and in the tastes of their frequent customers. Their recommendations are priceless. Locally owned shops also keep a local economy strong. 'Brief quote,' you said? Sorry, but I'm a bubbly independent bookstore fan!" — Kathleen Kudlinski, CT