Huzzah to Indies

From Paige: IndieBound is just about a year old now—hard for me to believe, but true! To commemorate, we've drawn a winner for our points contest: Julie Hahnke of Marblehead, Masschusetts. Julie is the author of The Grey Ghost, a Summer Kids' Indie Next List pick. We've given her a gift certificate to her local indie bookstore, Spirit of '76 in Marblehead. She sent us a short piece on what indies mean to her—and what she's doing with the gift card!

Huzzah! to Indies all across the country! It’s your energy and excitement that has fueled The Grey Ghost’s success. I’m grateful for your enthusiasm, and my question is, what can I do for you?

In a scary economy where financial stability is as fragile as a spider’s web, it’s tempting to let the lowest price drive our purchase decisions. And yet, price isn’t everything. In many ways, it’s the least thing.

When bookstores support authors, when communities support their independent businesses, and when authors support communities, we create a web of mutual benefit for everyone that’s adamantine hard. It’s all about dreaming and our desire to realize our dreams. Our dreams are all different, but if we support others as they strive to realize theirs, we’ll find a community of mutual respect and gratitude circling around us, helping us realize our own.

That’s what IndieBound is about—building and sustaining communities one dream and one transaction at a time!

I thought it would be appropriate to use my IndieBound gift card to help support another community—one that’s far off geographically, but very close to my heart.

My dear friend and illustrator, Marcia Christensen, is the Queen Mother to an African village in Ghana. Marcia and her husband, Jim, have been supporting this community for years, building a church, creating a school, establishing scholarships, and developing a library at a nearby secondary school for girls.

With my IndieBound gift card, I’m purchasing children’s and teen books for the secondary school library in Mawuko, Ghana. I’ve chosen some of my favorites, picking titles that represent broad cultural diversity for a range of ages. Here’s what I’m sending them:

The Grey Ghost by me (I donated this)
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
If Not for the Cat by Jack Prelutsky
Under the Persimmon Tree by Suzanne Fisher Staples
Aleutian Sparrow by Karen Hesse
Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson


janet@bluebunny's picture

We've been selling Julie's

We've been selling Julie's book, The Grey Ghost, at our independent bookstore, The Blue Bunny, in Dedham, MA, since it came out this spring, and have had great luck handselling it. The mix of fantasy and medieval history is a winner. The great maps on the endpapers and the "gloss" of medieval weapons in the back doesn't hurt either! I love being able to get behind a local author and small publisher. We're all in this together.

Cornerstone Books's picture

Julie Rocks!

Julie is one of our favorite authors to work with, and has such a great understanding of all of the important subtleties in the relationship between authors and Indies. The way she has chosen to spend her prize is no surprise...she's a generous and kind lady, first class all the way! Congrats, Julie!

Cornerstone Books
45 Lafayette Street
Salem, Massachusetts 01970
(978) 744-1831

Corb21's picture

Huzzah Indies, indeed!

We little guys need to stick together! Indie pubs + Indie authors + Indie bookstores = Indie SUCCESS! The Grey Ghost is a terrific example of all these elements coming together and it couldn't have happened without Indie bookstores!

As a reminder of how much we love Indies, PublishingWorks is offering an additional 5% discount for orders placed through September. If you haven't met us, click here to see our virtual catalog:

Thanks again, Indies, you rock our world!

Carol Corbett
PublishingWorks, Inc.

rgfullerton's picture

Internet paydirt!

I'm so happy to have stumbled upon (from minal hajratwala's blog response to amazon's de-ranking policies) I have always supported my local booksellers, which I'm fortunate to have a few creative and committed sellers here in New Orleans, but now I can do so when browsing online as well! Great service! Thank you - and much luck!

Also fun to find a fellow Marbleheader - 20 years here in the deep south but I am still a 'header at heart, and a fan of the 76. Looking forward to picking up a copy of Grey Ghost. I know some young reading fans who i think will enjoy the fantasy.

Richard Fullerton

Julie Hahnke's picture

A fellow 'header!

Hi Richard,

I'm glad you've found IndieBound! It's a great resource for locating indepedent bookstores and other independent businesses. I'm going to do a video on supporting independent businesses, showcasing some of my favorites in Marblehead (including the Spirit of '76!), but I have to find some time!

I hope you and your friends enjoy The Grey Ghost! Thanks for your support and keep on reading!

All best,

Julie Hahnke's picture

Thank you, Suzanne Fisher Staples!

Huzzah to Suzanne, as well! She's sending me an autographed book plate inscribed to the students of Mawuko Girls Secondary School. That makes this gift even more special! And it makes it more from comunity to community: from our reading community to theirs! Thanks, Suzanne!

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