Many of you who follow me on Facebook know that I post Kindle specials on a regular basis. Why you might ask am I encouraging more dollars into the pocket of Amazon and Jeff Bezos when independent book stores have struggled, especially after 15 months of a global pandemic?
First, there’s the bargain hunter in me I cannot quell. When I see an amazing deal, I want to share it. Second, not everyone has the means to buy recently released hardcovers nor paperbacks at $10 and up and wait times for library copies can be months long. Third, a high number of purchases (because the price is low) helps an author’s ranking in sales. Amazon looks at volume with their algorithms. This pushes authors higher on lists and gains more exposure for them.
However, when I splurge and treat myself to a hardcover or paperback to hold it in my hands and be able to pass along to a friend, I shop local. Even better, when I’m traveling, which I do often with our nomad life which is back on track (thank you, Pfizer and Moderna), I love discovering hidden gems of independent book stores. Recently, I put a call out through Facebook to celebrate those stores and gather recommendations from readers across the country.
How wonderful to see the passion so many have for their local store. Seventy-three submissions yielded 68 stores in 31 states (there were a few duplicates). If you’re planning any travel this summer, I’ve got plenty of book recommendations in my favorite genre, historical fiction, before you check out one of these shops – owners and authors will thank you!
While you’re traveling around, don’t forget Little Free Libraries. They are also a fun way to discover new-to-you books. There’s a handy online map to help you find these hidden gems.
LOCAL BOOK STORES ACROSS THE UNITED STATES
When I posted the call for suggestions, I asked folks to use an online form to help me organize the information. I also requested email addresses (optional) to encourage sign-ups for this blog, as well as to reward one lucky person for sharing their recommendation. I pulled the winner on June 1st. She had recommended Content Book Shop in Northfield MN. I promptly ordered a $25 gift card for her and a copy of The Social Graces by Renee Rosen for me. Even if the store is hundreds of miles away, you can still support them through on-line ordering, or Bookshop.org.
I’m sure there are tons of other stores out there to support. What’s your favorite? Add it to the list. Another way I’ll use this list is early planning for when my novel publishes. I’ll want to make sure your favorite local shop has copies on hand for you, and your book club, to buy. Maybe I can even schedule an event. Now that would be cool and I could meet you in-person. Win-win!
Until then, I hope your summer days are filled with sunshine and pages.
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