Thursday, July 30, 2009
Some Book Stores Are Small-Publisher Friendly
It's encouraging to hear good stories about the bookstores that are friendly and helpful to authors with the small publishers. In the current economy, some of the small independent stores are having a very hard time. Creatures and Crooks, one of the best-known and most-respected independent bookstores in Richmond, VA, is going out of business. Several years ago, Wendy Howell Mills (an Oak Tree author) and I had a signing there that was well-attended. I'll never forget the giant cat that lay across the table among books and cookies, provoking much discussion and added interest. The owner bought ten copies of each of our books--a welcome support since both Wendy and I were first-time authors.
Another independent, Minerva Books opened last year in Old Town Petersburg, near the art center where I have a studio/gallery space. Now, that store is closing before I had a chance to set up a signing there. The owner has taken a job with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (according to the store's web site) but is hoping someone else will open another bookstore in a more visible location in the Old Town. The owner is even offering help to anyone interested in undertaking such a project in the downtown that is now undergoing a lot of redevelopment.
My small town has no bookstore. The nearest ones are located in Williamsburg and in Gloucester. If you have an independent bookstore near you, be thankful, support it, and schedule your signings now--before another store vanishes from the scene.