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Keep Indies First! Sign Up to Hand-Sell on Small Business Saturday

“Indies First” is set to kick off its third year on Small Business Saturday, which falls on November 28 (that’s Thanksgiving weekend).

The event began in 2013, when author Sherman Alexie penned a letter encouraging fellow writers to help out their local indies by becoming booksellers for a day. This year, authors will once again step in and hand-sell some of their favorite titles. They’ll also be signing and selling their own books, giving readings and participating in other activities planned for the day.

This year’s spokesperson is Cheryl Strayed, who will spend Indies First at Broadway Books, her local independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon. Right now, however, she is encouraging authors to participate by contacting their local bookstores to start planning, and by including a link to the bookstore on their personal website. Indiebound provides instructions on how to add a link to your favorite indie bookstore here.

In a letter released last Wednesday, Strayed emphasized the role that bookstores play in hand-selling books:

“There are so many ways that a rich and vibrant network of independent booksellers contribute to the betterment of book culture in America, but perhaps the most important one is the support they give to authors and illustrators by hand-selling their books… [Hand-selling] reminds us that humans are involved, humans with a passion for language and stories and pictures.”

Publishers are also showing their support for Indies First this year; booksellers will be able to take advantage of special offers on frontlist and backlist titles during the month of October. Booksellers will also have a host of promotional materials to work with.

Even if you’re unable to participate in person at your local bookseller for Indies First, spread the word to your writer friends and encourage your readers to support their local indies—on Small Business Saturday and every day.