During a book signing event Monday, the store owner was pleased to hear me speak about book store loyalty.
We can't just ask a store to carry our books. We also have to support the store. They are a presence in our communities, they foster literacy, provide jobs, pay taxes, and we need to be there for them.
So, attend events at local book shops, buy from independent stores more than you do online retailers, bring them fresh ideas for book signing events and partnerships with other local organizations.
My sister has a small book shop on the Oregon coast. She recently had a customer in the shop from Minnesota, attending a 2-day workshop on book collecting. He spotted one of her beautiful art books, Splendid Pages, price $65.
As she relates the story, "He had his back to me then I noticed him with pen in hand but decided not to get upset about that, though it is becoming a pet peeve when people reference buying books elsewhere to save money. So he hands me $2 and says nicely that he knows it's hard to be an independent bookseller and the $2 is a 'discovery fee' and that he had a shop in St. Paul that he uses. I said I would accept and am glad he understands the challenges to booksellers, etc. I also said that's why I ship books all over the country at no charge. He paused and said "...oh you ship for free?....well then I'll take it".