Yesterday, the American Booksellers Association announced the launch of a fundraising and promotional campaign to raise money for indie bookstores and to increase awareness about the vital role the indies play in supporting authors, books, and ideas, and in contributing to our communities. Look for #SaveIndieBookstores on social media and SaveIndieBookstores.com online.
The ABA’s CEO, Allison Hill (who was previously the President and CEO of CA independent bookstore Vroman’s and still has the heart of a bookseller) emailed:
“It will come as no surprise that the list of helpers and heroes who helped make this possible begins with James Patterson and his $500k donation to support independent bookstores. We are grateful beyond words for his ongoing generosity to our community.
“Patterson has said about this cause: ‘In these uncertain times, it’s up to all of us to do our part and to help those in need however we can. The White House is concerned about saving the airline industry and big businesses—I get that. But I’m concerned about the survival of independent bookstores, which are at the heart of main streets across the country. I believe that books are essential. They make us kinder, more empathetic human beings. And they have the power to take us away—even momentarily—from feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and scared. I hope that the funds we raise keep bookstores alive at a time when we need them the most.’
“We are also thankful to Binc for their partnership in this campaign and their ongoing support of booksellers and independent bookstores, as well as our other helpers: a small focus group of booksellers, the ABA Board, Reese’s Book Club, and a dedicated ABA team who worked so hard and so passionately on this initiative. And these helpers are only the beginning.
All details can be found at SaveIndieBookstores.com. Donations will be accepted beginning today. Bookstore applications will be accepted April 10–27. Funds will be distributed the first two weeks of May 2020.”
Buying shopping and buying a gift certificate to use later from your favorite local independent store are direct and significant ways to help your indie make it through difficult times. Donating to this new fund, participating in the #SaveIndieBookstores campaign, and asking folks who might otherwise link to a certain impersonal online giant that has deprioritized book shipments to Bookshop.org instead are ways to benefit the larger independent bookselling community and bookstores around the country, keeping a healthier environment for small businesses, authors, publishing, and booklovers everywhere.
(Bonus fun: Look for Country Bookshelf’s Jessica Hahl from Bozeman, MT and Queen Anne Book Company’s Tegan Tigani from Seattle in the SaveIndieBookstores.com pages. It’s like “Where’s Waldo?” but easier.)