Going Indie

Thursday, August 01, 2013
Bookshelves at Robin's bookstore!
Ever since I saw the movie You've Got Mail, I've felt guilty walking into any BIG store or even buying something from Amazon or Barnes and Noble (and of course, Walmart, too). But I never let my guilt actually encompass me because even though I knew that big corporations really do take over small businesses, I didn't really know any small business owners, or so I thought; so what difference did it make?

Yes, I have the Kindle app loaded on my Toshiba tablet. Yes, I download books from Kindle all the time. Yes, I am an Amazon associate. And then I read this blog post: http://robintidwell.wordpress.com/2013/07/23/the-way-of-the-dodo/

Robin is a bookstore owner, and she is a friend of mine. We got acquainted in April at the Missouri Writers' Guild conference, and I visited her bookstore one month with my daughter for story time. I found this post of hers when a mutual writing friend told me to check out her blog; and for some reason, THIS TIME, I was like, "I can make a difference." I can stop promoting Amazon on my blog. I can order a book from her online. I can visit her bookstore to pick it up and buy another book--I can do my Christmas shopping there. I can become an affiliate of Indiebound.org instead of Amazon.com. I can do all of this, and I will.

I immediately purchased Divergent, the new, popular YA book, from Robin's store, All on the Same Page Bookstore; and I was able to do it online. It was less than $12.00, having it shipped to Robin's store! What a bargain and as easy as using Amazon. Plus then, even better, all the proceeds go to Robin's store.

That's when I decided that really, I could go Indie. I could buy my books at an Indie book store--in person or online. Yes, I would keep my Kindle app because so many authors offer FREE books for the Kindle; but if I'm going to purchase something, I decided that I would do it either in person in an Indie, local bookstore
or online through Indiebound.org.

I completely understand the ease and draw of Amazon! And I'm not telling you not to use them. I'm just asking you to consider visiting a local bookshop or searching online through a local bookshop to purchase your next book. As writers, we don't want bookstores to die. If it takes one behavior change to keep bookstores alive,  are you willing to do it? Are you willing to buy local and Indie?

Post by Margo L. Dill, http://margodill.com/blog/ 
Margo is the author of Finding My Place: One Girl's Strength at Vicksburg.


Eugenia Parrish said...

I like this idea. I've bemoaned the lack of Indie stores around here, but now I've bookmarked "Indie Store Finder"! Thanks.

Renee Roberson said...

I love indie bookstores and really need to help support them more often! Thank you for the nudge, Margo. Amazon makes it so easy sometimes (especially when you have a Kindle) but we bought some books for the kids at an indie bookstore at the beach last week and it was a great feeling.

Angela Mackintosh said...

I've always banned Walmart ever since I watched the documentary "Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price." I'm also a supporter of local mom and pop shops, and actually own a retail business in the city I live in. I occasionally visit local indie bookstores to look for vintage books with interesting illustrations I can use for art projects, and at stores that carry current titles, take a look at the front table to see what the latest traditionally published bestseller is that the store is promoting. But the majority of books I purchase for reading are self-published or small press, and they just can't be found at bookstores. So in that sense, I think Amazon is a blessing for authors who can't reach a vast audience any other way.

Sioux Roslawski said...

Margo--Great post. Yes, I get lured in by Amazon's ease, but if it's just as easy to get a book sent to me and get it from an independent bookstore, well...you've got me thinking, and you're causing me to shift my perspective (which is what great writers do).

Karen Wojcik Berner said...

Indie Bound is a great resource to find your local indie bookstores and/or order through them. Most self-published books are also listed there, so it's a win-win to help support indies all around!

Angela Mackintosh said...

Here's a question to make you think: For full support of indies, as an author, are you willing to stop selling your books on Amazon?

If authors took a stand together and only sold their books at indie bookstores or indiebound, it could change things, the same way consumers modifying their purchasing behavior could change things.

Margo Dill said...

See Angela, that's a great question. There's no way I can take my books off of Amazon RIGHT NOW--it's such a big seller. Even Robin the one who wrote the post has her books on Amazon. :) So, what to do? It would take a major revolution. And I'm not saying that I won't ever use Amazon--I have a Kindle app and you can get a lot of free books. ;) But what I am doing is signing up as an affiliate for Indiebound.org and then buying gifts, print books, etc from there. And I already did it. :) So, I'm off to a good start. :) I had a friend who last Christmas tried to buy most of her gifts from local stores or people who ran their own businesses like Tupperware, etc. Okay, I'm rambling. Thanks for the thoughts everyone!

Angela Mackintosh said...

Therein lies the conundrum. Have you read this post on Jane Friedman? "Should Authors Stop Linking to Amazon to Support Bookstores?" Very interesting and heated discussion.

LuAnn Schindler said...

I like indie stores, but let's face it, the closest indie book store that sells NEW merchandise is at least a two hour drive for me. And that's one way.

We do support a lot of indie businesses, but we live in a rural area so it's 60 miles to the nearest WalMart or Target. It makes sense.

I like Amazon because of all the free and inexpensive ebooks and since I received a Kindle, I think my book-buying habits have changed some. Instead of purchasing over 100 hardcover books a year,I may only be 25 now.

I think it would be tough to give up one buying from Amazon, in my situation. If I want to check out a book I may use for school, it's so much easier to pay a buck for a used copy to see if I like it instead of 50 bucks for a new copy - and that's on the low end of the spectrum if I'm considering it for class.

Margo Dill said...

I agree--it would be hard to totally give up Amazon, as Angela pointed out--it's a big debate among some authors right now. I guess what I'm trying to do is buy from an indie store if possible (and actually you can buy online and they do have an e-reader--I'm finding out more and more as I'm researching) AND I'm going to become an INDIE affiliate for my blog. I might do more as I go along, we'll see. It's just something I thought I would throw out there, get some opinions on, and maybe help out a few bookstore owners in the process. I am in NO MEANS judging anyone on their book buying habits. :) I'm happy that there is even a debate on how we are buying our books--because that means PEOPLE ARE READING! And honestly, I do get A LOT of my books at the library or ARCs because I do so many reviews. :) But I also believe in supporting your local library.

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