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Author Events in Indie Bookstores

Author Alexander McCall Smith's Book Signing at Powell's Books in Oregon

This Saturday, the indie bookstore where I work is hosting a sold-out author event. This is a huge deal for us and for our customers. Fans of the author (Mercury Stardust, a home improvement/social media celebrity) have pre-bought copies of her book from our store, which acts as a ticket to the signing. This is a huge influx of sales to help our indie, but also just great for the community.

This week, our store also hosted the founder of a local dance company. The company has been active for decades and is a huge part of the Denver arts community. We hosted their fundraiser, where they sold dance-themed coloring books. This fundraiser helped our store with an influx of shoppers, but also helped the dance troupe, and by extension, our community.

When you shop local and attend local events, you support your community.

These unique, in-store events, are not something that you get when you shop at Amazon. Additionally, if you limit yourself to shopping at the "Big A," you might not even be aware of awesome events that are happening at your local stores. Correction, not only bookstores, but local libraries and community organizations also host special book-related events. I'm encouraging you to be an active part of your community and become aware of event offerings. They are often free or the price might be the cost of a book that you were already planning on purchasing.

Expand your search to find events outside of your local area. Sometimes, bookstores host virtual author events for greater reach. These events are usually ticketed ( the price of the book) and an autographed copy of the book will be mailed to customers after the event. Although it might not be in your community, you are still supporting a small business and helping your favorite authors.

The picture above is from a 2016 event at Powell's Books in Oregon. Powell's Beaverton location at Cedar Crossing, hosted Scottish Author Alexander McCall Smith to promote his book, Precious and Grace, part of his The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency Series. I'm a huge fan of Smith's writing, especially his sense of humor and charming characters. It was a thrill to hear him speak and to have him sign two copies of his latest- one for me and one for my mother-in-law, who was also a Smith fan.

I've been fortunate to meet many of my favorite authors and every time, it is a special experience. I encourage you to seek out these opportunities.

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