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Wiley Cash’s Offer Has Readers Asking, ‘Which Way to the Nearest Indie Bookstore?’

Wiley Cash’s second book, This Dark Road to Mercywon’t be published until January. But it already has readers thinking more about their local booksellers, thanks to an incentive he is offering for pre-ordering the novel from an independent.

“What is really cool is that readers have gone on Twitter and Facebook and asked, ‘Can you direct me to an independent bookstore in my area so I can take advantage of this offer?'” Cash said Wednesday.

In a blog post on his website last week, Cash wrote about what indies have meant to him throughout his life as a reader and an author. He also noted how they embraced his 2012 debut novel.

“I was honored that A Land More Kind Than Home was a summer 2012 IndieNext Pick and an Okra Pick of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance. I was even more honored that the novel was a 2013 SIBA Book Award Winner for best fiction and a finalist for a 2013 Indies Choice Award from the American Booksellers Association.”

His offer to readers: Email him a scanned receipt showing they’ve bought This Dark Road to Mercy from an independent between now and the novel’s Jan. 28 pub date and he’ll email them “an exclusive excerpt of the novel as well as an unpublished scene from A Land More Kind Than Home.”

During a phone conversation Wednesday, Cash pointed out that the importance of supporting local booksellers may not always be obvious to readers.

“Sometimes they don’t know the difference. They know the difference between shopping at an independent hardware store where you can buy a single nail and shopping at Home Depot, but they might not know the difference between shopping at Malaprop’s in Asheville and shopping at Barnes & Noble.”

That is, until someone like Cash reminds them.