Do you still have an independent bookstore near you? According to a recent article in the New York Times, only 2000 independent bookstores are left in the US. According to an article in the New Yorker, independents now only sell 10 percent of all purchased books.
I’m helping with the demise, in my own electronic way. I have Amazon links in my text, there’s a “Currently Reading” Amazon link on the lower right. At least I’ve got the Indie link (independent bookstores) under my books.
As e-books become more popular and as the Internet makes it so easy for us to stay home and order online, we authors and potential authors still need independent bookstores for at least three reasons:
1. We still love a pleasurable place to browse real books, particularly the new photo-heavy cookbooks. It’s just not the same experience online.
2. We love to hear and meet food writers we admire.
3. We need a place to host us when our own books come out.
Right now I’m counting on events at independent bookstores to get the word out about my new edition of Will Write for Food (note: there’s no way I’m going to put a link to Amazon here). This past weekend I was on a food blogging panel at Book Passage, probably the San Francisco Bay Area’s largest independent bookstore, as part of a Travel and Food Writers’ Conference. I’ll be teaching a class on cookbook writing there later this year. Here are a few other events I’ve arranged:
- On August 21, I’ll be speaking at Omnivore Books in San Francisco, a food-centric bookstore, where Sean Timberlake of Hedonia will interview me about blogging. (Hey Bay Area folks, there’s a street food festival nearby!)
- September 14 I’ll be at Barbara-Jo’s Books to Cooks in Vancouver.
- And September 28 I’ll be back at Book Passage at the Ferry Plaza in San Francisco.
I haven’t asked the owner of A Great Good Place for Books yet, but she would probably host me for the second edition as well.
When it comes to buying, I still purchase almost all my books from her. I just call up and place an order. (Sometimes I do my research on Amazon to get the title right!) The book arrives, ready for pickup, the next week. I don’t always pay full price either. Once I’ve spent $100, the bookstore gives me $10 off my next purchase.
So I’m suggesting: If you love to browse books, if you love to hear your favorite authors speak, and if you hope to have a signing at a bookstore one day: support an independent. Buy a book there this week.