This is a note about independent book stores otherwise known as: Indie Book Stores. These stores have flourished recently with news articles about them, and a new surge of folks wanting to “buy local”. Despite the big box books stores, and mega-mouth-(that’s the name of a shark, too)-Amazon, indie bookstores are getting by. I predict they will do more than get by in the future.
A lot of the big-box book stores have bitten the proverbial dust with Barnes and Noble struggling to stay open all over the country. There are probably many reasons for this. One reason I believe B & N is struggling now is because I’m not sure most of the B & N’s have plans in place for coping with Amazon’s cut price sales tactics. I’ve heard it said that Amazon will continue to slash their prices on books until its competitors are gone and then they will raise prices. I don’t know, seems alarmist.
Some Barnes and Nobles do good things like run specials and encourage local authors, such as myself, to set up book signings in their stores. I say some. Apparently there are B & N stores that just don’t get it. Barnes & Nobles are often autonomous machines, run by machinist managers who perhaps don’t have a pulse on their local community. My local Barnes & Nobles is not one of these. The manager there is always looking for local authors to give presentations and signings. She is at present setting up a “meet & greet” for local authors. The Barnes & Nobles in Pasadena employs one of the most amazing people in the world. Shawna (the Zombie Queen) Stringer is a champion for writers. Kudos, Shawna!
This past week I had my first official book signing at a book store. River Oaks Bookstore has been in continuous business for 35 years. Jeanne Jard is one of the most knowledgeable book people around. If you walk into River Oaks Bookstore you’ll see cushiony couches and cookies. If you get there between 5 and 7 in the evening there is wine available. And look at all the books!! The store is classy, timeless, and has just the right touch of southern hospitality. Plus, if you go now you can get a signed copy of my book Deadly Thyme. It’s right there for you! (buy it. you know you want to)
My book signing was a huge success. I sold out of The Dry within the first hour and I have very few copies of Deadly Thyme left. That’s a good thing, no, that’s a fantastic thing! Go NOW and pick up a copy for you or for that hard-to-shop-for relative who just loves British murder mysteries.