I recently received a message from a conscious consumer momma named Tracy: "Currently, I order your CD on Amazon and I enjoy the free, fast shipping. BUT if there is a different place I could/should be ordering them from so that YOU get a bigger kick-back, I'm all ears. Educate me (and all of your fans)."
Dear Tracy, thank you for asking!! And the answer is, please shop indie! Here's why:
1. Better for Creators
Independent bookstores go the extra mile to support content creators, myself included. They host events, offer online support and promotion, and charge rates that keep the industry alive and well. If the prices of books plummeted, imagine what might happen to the QUALITY of books being created... We can best support writers, illustrators, and musicians by shopping small.
2. Better for Communities
Supporting local bookstores supports your local economy, which gives back to your schools, businesses, parks, libraries, and neighborhoods. In my dream world, bookstores (and libraries) are centers of communities because bookstores are spaces where we feel understood, safe, heard, and educated. Plus, indie bookstores are run by some of the strongest women and men I've ever met. PS- I also have a dream of being one of those strong bookselling women someday.
3. Better for You
Make new friends. Eat snacks. Cuddle a shop pet. Hear some music. Meet cool authors. Smell new books. Learn something new. Hang out with your kids. Buy a gift. You do all of that and MORE during a single visit to a bookstore.
But also, have you heard about the power of the page turn? Experiencing physical books vs. digital books is better for focus, comprehension, retention, and even improves memory and sleep. More on this topic to come.
Okay. So how can you shop indie?
To help support me as an indie musician, you can shop my WEBSITE where you can now pre-order "Storytime Singalong, Vol. 2" (launching April 7th!) and buy an Emily Arrow kazoo, kids t-shirts, sweatshirts, and tote bag and more!
More Common Questions about Shopping Indie:
Q: My local indie bookstore doesn't or probably won't have what I'm looking for. What now? A: You have a few options. First option, ask them to order it. They have the same database as any one else and can look it up for ya. You might have to wait, but it's O-K. Waiting is old school. Old school is cool again. Second option, go to IndieBound.org to look up any book and find a way to shop indie.
Q: My town doesn't have a local indie bookstore. What now? A: Again, check out IndieBound.org. Next, make Travel Book-ing a thing. Yes, I made this up. It's what I call hunting for books while traveling. When you travel, search out cool local indies. I never hit up a town without stopping in their local picture book store.
Q: Can you recommend some awesome indie book stores? A: YES! A TON. And you can shop all of their websites online. They'll be thrilled to get an order from...wherever you live!
- PARNASSUS and HER BOOKSHOP, Nashville, TN
- ONCE UPON A TIME, Montrose, CA
- GREEN BEAN BOOKS, Portland, OR
- STORIES BOOKSHOP + STORYTELLING LAB, Brooklyn, NY
- BLUE WILLOW BOOKS, Houston, TX
- ONCE UPON A STORYBOOK, Tustin, CA
- VROMAN'S BOOKSTORE, Pasadena, CA
- BOOK PEOPLE, Austin, TX
- BOOKS OF WONDER, Manhattan, NYC
- SECOND STAR TO THE RIGHT, Denver, CO