On May 2, 2015, authors across Canada will be volunteering in independent bookshops to meet customers and hand-sell books. This initiative, called Authors for Indies, has been organized by author Janie Chang of Vancouver to help bookstores build sales and attract new customers. The list of participating bookstores and authors can be found at www.authorsforindies.com Over 120 bookstores and 500 authors have signed up and the day promises to be exciting and busy. I’ll be volunteering at one of my favourite bookshops, Kidsbooks in the Village, 3040 Edgemont Boulevard, North Vancouver, from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm, and look forward to meeting parents and children in need of new reading material. Edgemont has two bookstores and three fine coffee shops, so please drop by to enjoy the village! June Hutton’s photo appears on the Authors for Indies rotating banner and on May 2 she will be at Book Warehouse on Main, 4118 Main Street, Vancouver, where–should you be super lucky!–you might even catch a glimpse of the elusive Jen Sookfong Lee.
Why an Authors for Indies day? Ann-Marie Macdonald reminds us that things are tough for independent bookstores. “Year after year they support [authors]. They stock our books, invite us for readings, and put our titles on their ‘staff picks’ shelf. Let’s do something to support them back.” Janie Chang, who will be in Edgemont Village on May 2 at 32 Books, believes that Authors for Indies day will bring “traffic into the bookstores, and hopefully that means the stores will sell more books. I really hope it raises awareness of how important independent bookstores are in the community . . . . [Customers will] be able to walk into their local independent bookstore and get book recommendations from an author, and talk about books.”