Small Business Saturday occupies an intermediate position between two days of shopping frenzy: Black Friday and Cyber Monday. While the former is dedicated to large distributors and the latter to looking through the Internet for good deals, Small Business Saturday is aimed at helping your local businesses, thus allowing the money you spend stay in your community. And this year about 1,000 authors all over the USA used it to help their local bookstores.
Indies First is a fascinating new initiative carried out as a part of Small Business Saturday by the American Booksellers Association. In short, it encourages publishing authors to help bookstores that previously helped them sell their books by volunteering to work as booksellers for a day, thus attracting more attention to bookstores and to this kind of business in general.
In addition to simply being an interesting initiative, Indies First seems to be a perfect addition to Small Business Saturday – on the one hand, it is the one day of the year when small bookstores are going to see the most business, and on the other hand – what better way to attract new clients than to say that they are likely to meet their perfect authors selling books to them?
Authors and small-time bookstores seem to be a perfect match, especially some of them, like Malaprop’s Bookstore and Café that regularly support new and self-published authors. And Indies First turned out to be a perfect way to help them in return.
Started by the writer Sherman Alexie it quickly spread out and very shortly more than a thousand publishing American writers expressed their wish to take part in this enterprise, working in about four hundred bookstores across the country. And it wasn’t limited to the United States – several other cities across the world joined in, like Geneva, Switzerland and Venice, Italy. And it gives us hope that this initiative won’t be limited to just this one year and become a usual practice for every Small Business Saturday in the future.
Perhaps Indies First will repeat the history of Black Friday itself, which gradually spread even to the countries where it wasn’t customary in the beginning. With a number of cities all over the world joining in the first time it was carried out, there is a possibility that next year it will attract even more attention.
But this, of course, is not a reason not to visit your local bookstore any other day of the year!