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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Indiebound, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 22 of 22
1. Top AudioFile Reviewer Praises Tavia Gilbert’s ‘Maggie’

There’s more great news in Grain Valley, Kansas! Voice actress Tavia Gilbert’s performance of Maggie Vaults Over the Moon has earned high praise from one of the world’s most respected reviewers at AudioFile, the standard of excellence in the audiobook … Continue reading

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2. Reviews: Aspiring Vaulter, Mom, Relish Road Trips with ‘Maggie’ on Audio by Tavia Gilbert

There’s a 40-minute, 31-mile stretch of Kentucky highway between Katie Wright’s home in Prospect and her pole-vault practices at Fuzion Athletics in Shelbyville, but the round trips were over waaay too soon for Katie and her mom Jennifer as they … Continue reading

0 Comments on Reviews: Aspiring Vaulter, Mom, Relish Road Trips with ‘Maggie’ on Audio by Tavia Gilbert as of 9/9/2015 7:09:00 PM
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3. More Praise for Maggie Storyteller Tavia Gilbert!

How did you spend your summer vacation? A huge highlight for Margaret (Maggie) Wheatley was her dream visit to Grain Valley, Kansas. The South Florida resident traveled there by listening to Maggie Vaults Over the Moon on audio book performed … Continue reading

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4. ‘Mississippi Maggie’ Cheers Historic River Barge Vaulters!

Paddle-wheels and pole-vaulters shared the Mighty Mississippi on July 4th at the LaCrosse River Vault. Adding to the excitement at the 6th annual event was the fact that it was the very first time that a pole-vault competition had ever … Continue reading

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5. Maggie to Join the Fireworks at La Crosse River Vault

Fireworks will light up the sky this 4th of July and so will the pole-vaulters at the 6th Annual River Vault competition in La Crosse, Wis. Thousands of spectators are expected to watch some 65 athletes from all over the … Continue reading

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6. Take Flight this Summer with ‘Maggie’ on Audio!

Thanks to superstar voice actress Tavia Gilbert, every month is Audiobook Appreciation Month here in Grain Valley, Kansas! To honor Tavia and all the awesome voice actors and actresses out there, we’ve been giving away Downpour.com downloads of Tavia’s performance … Continue reading

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7. ‘Maggie’ Shares Limelight in KSHSAA’s Annual Report to Kansas Board of Education

1 Comments on ‘Maggie’ Shares Limelight in KSHSAA’s Annual Report to Kansas Board of Education, last added: 12/22/2013
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8. You Can Inspire Them With a Maggie Christmas!

Looking for a motivational gift this holiday season? Inspire them with a Maggie Christmas! Maggie Vaults Over the Moon is the story of a courageous teen, Maggie Steele, who finds the strength to overcome a tragedy and rise to new … Continue reading

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9. Maggie Welcomes Thousands of Visitors Worldwide

Maggie Steele, the storybook heroine who vaults over the moon, has been attracting thousands of visitors from around the world. So many visitors, in fact, that she’s using a time zone map to keep track of them all.* People are … Continue reading

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10. BOOKSELLER SUNDAYS: An invitation to writers from Meryl Halls at the Booksellers Association

This is the first in our new series of guest blogs by booksellers. These blogs are designed to show life behind the scenes of a crucial but neglected relationship – the one between writers and booksellers. Here Meryl Halls shares news of some exciting initiatives and invites writers to participate in the events such as ‘Strictly Come Bookselling’ during the fifth Independent Booksellers Week, which this year takes place between 30th June and 7th July.

My main responsibilities lie in working with independent booksellers, and over the last five years we have established a thriving Independent Booksellers Forum, which organizes events and campaigns for the 1000+ indie bookshops still operating in the UK and Ireland.

I’ve always been a book-lover, and my earliest and most vivid childhood memories revolve around our annual trips from Scotland to visit family friends in Meldreth, near Cambridge. A trip to Heffers Children’s Bookshop was the highlight of every trip (for me, if not for my brother!). I can hardly put into words the excitement of walking through the door and smelling ‘that’ smell.

As a teenager and student, I worked in the local indie bookshop in my small Scottish home town, though it is now sadly long-closed. Whenever I am home visiting family, one of the biggest pleasures for me, my husband and my two teenage children is to visit the wonderful Main Street Trading Company in St Boswells. So, you could say I have the perfect job – and you’d not be far wrong!

At the BA, our umbrella brand for our indie activity is IndieBound, a marketing campaign begun in the USA, which focuses on the importance of shopping locally, shopping independently and creating a strong community. When we introduced the campaign into the UK, it immediately resonated with UK booksellers and it has provided both the BA and our members with opportunities to start a meaningful conversation with customers about how important their consumer behaviour is in keeping retail areas diverse, bookshops thriving and high streets healthy.

We have migrated our IndieBound messages about community engagement and shopping locally into our more recent ‘Keep Books on the High Street’ campaign, which is currently entering a new phase, and is reaching out to authors for support. You can see more here.

We will be back in touch with SAS members about the campaign, but in the meantime if you are interested in providing us with a quote in support of indie or high street bookselling, or – even better – if you are prepared to record a short spoken piece on the same subject, we would love to hear from you – email us here. The American BA has just launched a very similar initiative called ‘Why Indies Matter’, and you can see some of your fellow authors talking about indie bookshops on this link to the US IndieBound site.

The main reason, though, that I’m deligh

10 Comments on BOOKSELLER SUNDAYS: An invitation to writers from Meryl Halls at the Booksellers Association, last added: 6/4/2012
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11. IndieBound E-Reader

This is an odds and ends day! Lots of illness in my family, so I’m just trying to hang in there and get my 750 words written today.

Independent Bookstores Get Branded eBook Reader

IndieBound Mobile APP (only for Android right now, but soon for iOS) was released this week. It is a branded ebook reader, The IndieBound Reader™, that allows you to order shop local bookstores’ websites and purchase books. Read more here.

Children’s Book Character Costumes

Oliver is available to visit your school.

Having a Christmas party? Invite a children’s book character. Of course, we think you should invite Oliver K. Woodman, who is famous for crossing the country by himself (Yes, this is my picture book!). Well, you might want to invite the Grinch, so he can give you some writing tips.

Nominations for Top Writing Blogs

Write To Done is having its “Nominate Your Favorite Writing Blog: 6th Annual Top 10 Blogs for Writers Contest”. Would you nominate Fiction Notes for this contest? Or, nominate your favorite blog?

Here’s how:

  • Leave a comment with Darcy Pattison’s Fiction Notes at http://www.darcypattison.com. (Cut and paste, if it helps.)
  • You must include a comment on why Fiction Notes deserves to be in the Top 10 Blogs for Writers, or the nomination doesn’t count.

DEADLINE: December 10, 2011.
Yes, I need you to nominate this blog, because to be considered, a a blog must be nominated more than once and the more the merrier. Hey–thanks. I appreciate each and every one of you.

How to Write a Children's Picture Book by Darcy Pattison


Available on
For more info, see writeapicturebook.com

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12. Thanking Indies who care

A quick entry... life is almost back to normal, I swear.

Thank you, Children's Book World, for showing the love to THANK YOU, SARAH!!

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13. Bestseller list

I love Google Alerts. Any time an article that contains my name gets posted on line, I get an email with a link so I can see what's being said about me. This one came today - IndieBound children's bestseller list for August 20, 2009 - and The Night Before Kindergarten is number 12!


1. Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak, Harper

2. Goodnight Moon, by Margaret Wise Brown, Clement Hurd (Illus.), Harper

3. Goldilicious, by Victoria Kann, Harper

4. The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle, Putnam

5. Night-Night, Little Pookie, by Sandra Boynton, Robin Corey

6. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, by Bill Martin, Eric Carle (Illus.), Holt

7. Good Night, Gorilla, by Peggy Rathmann, Putnam

8. Pat the Bunny, by Dorothy Kunhardt, Golden

9. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, by Judi Barrett, Ron Barrett (Illus.), Simon & Schuster

10. Gallop!, by Rufus Butler Seder, Workman

11. First Day of School, by Mercer Mayer, HarperFestival

12. The Night Before Kindergarten, by Natasha Wing, Julie Durrell (Illus.), Grosset & Dunlap

13. Fancy Nancy Tea Parties, by Jane O’Connor, Robin Preiss Glasser (Illus.), Harper

14. Make Way for Ducklings, by Robert McCloskey, Puffin

15. Barnyard Dance!, by Sandra Boynton, Workman

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14. A letter of condolence to former Amazon Affiliates


Dear Jilted Amazon Affiliates Everywhere,

Boy, it sure sucks to be dumped.

There you are, doing a great job of recommending awesome books, handing Amazon the sales, and they just up and leave the party.

To add injury to insult, I’m sure it didn’t feel good to hear from the Wall Street Journal that collective sales from your sites only *account for a relatively small slice of Amazon’s traffic, so the move isn’t likely to cause major damage to the company’s business.*

It’s like the morning after the prom, when in wrinkled dress and wilting corsage you realize they’re just not that into you. At least, not when they may have to collect millions in state sales tax that could help fix bridges, keep schools open and fund libraries at a time when your states are truly suffering.

And they seemed so nice.

Well, I want to invite you to the indie party. While the flashy prom has been happening at the country club, we’ve been holding our own get-together in the gym. What we lack in glamour, we make up for in charm. Like you, we love to recommend books. We think it’s cool that you’re recommending books, and with us there’s no such thing as too small. We won’t marginalize you. And we all pay our local taxes.

Best of all we have an affiliate program too! It’s called IndieBound, and we’d love to have you be a part of it. You’ll get a reward for using it, your readers can keep getting their books off your site, and your state will benefit in the end. Everyone wins.

Again, we’re sorry that you lost your date. (We never really liked them anyway.) We promise we won’t leave you hanging.


Indie Booksellers Everywhere


From Kristen:

Since I wrote this
, there’s been a pretty big kerfuffle. Amazon has notified affiliates in Hawaii, North Carolina, and Rhode Island that they are terminating their agreements. It’s all over Twitter, and quickly spinning out of control.

I have to believe that in their hubris, Amazon really believes that the bad PR this will generate on the part of the thousands of mom and pop affiliates out there is outweighed by their not having to collect those taxes and yield the competitive advantage they have built their model on.

I don’t believe that the aggregate sales from the hundreds of thousands of affiliate partners that may be affected represents an insignificant number regardless of what they say. Especially when you consider the marketing value of those millions of little Amazon links on websites everywhere. I think they are throwing their weight around to get their way but they better be careful.

Hell knows no wrath like a knitter scorned.

Andy Ross, former owner of the wonderful bookstore Cody’s in Berkeley, CA and now the principal of  The Andy Ross Agency has been following the issue in relation to a similar initiative in his state. He has long been fighting for e-fairness.

He had this to say via an e-mail response earlier today:

When I was a bookseller out here, I worked for about 10 years with Hut Landon and Bill Petrocelli to get a law passed like the NY law. It got thwarted by the Tech industry.

So Hawaii has a similar bill. And Amazon threatened the same thing (as they have done in North Carolina). I just heard that the Gov of Hawaii vetoed the Amazon bill. So they are having an impact.

The affiliate program with Amazon is huge (I think) not just because it is driving sales to Amazon, but because of the huge promotional factor that this creates.

But I suppose that Amazon’s ability to evade sales tax gives them such a competitive advantage over local businesses that it trumps the affiliate programs. Really, it is like the state of California (and most other states), giving a tax break so that an out of state company can get a competitive advantage over a local company. This is like jumping down the rabbit hole.

I’ve been following this story closely for about 10 years. Amazon has, protean-like, changed their excuse why they should be excused from collecting these taxes.

First they said that they shouldn’t have to collect sales tax because the Internet was a frail and delicate bird  and should be given a break to build this new economic engine. At the same time they said that the Internet was the economic juggernaut that was driving the new economy. (How Internet commerce could be both a frail bird and an economic juggernaut has always been puzzling to me.)

Then they said that they were totally flummoxed by the complexity of having to collect so many different amounts of sales tax from the 5000 discrete tax districts in America. This from the company who had no problem keeping track of the reading habits of 20,000,000 consumers.

Then they said that the laws were unconstitutional. Hmm. I always thought that it was the Supreme Court who made that determination.

As Tennessee Williams famously said: “I smell the smell of mendacity in this room”.

Amen, brother.

1 Comments on A letter of condolence to former Amazon Affiliates, last added: 7/23/2009
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15. The first of May

Holy cow, there is way too much to celebrate today! Let's get to it.

1. It's May! This weekend we shall hide the winter coats and corduroy and pull out the open toe shoes.

2. It's Buy Indie Day! Go buy a book from your local indie. Even if you don't go buy, consider linking to the IndieBound site instead of or addition to Amazon at your blog or website. I am going over to Nicola's later to get a few things. Hmm. What shall I buy? Maybe...

3. ... Moon Zoo, by England's first female poet laureate, Carol Ann Duffy. After passing over Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Christina Rossetti, it's nice to see they now have their heads screwed on straight. Has anybody read Moon Zoo? It looks gorgeous.

4. Or maybe I will buy Catch-22, which I have never read. It's Joseph Heller's birthday. Imagine if you wrote a book that was so good that the title became a widely-used idiom. Crazy. Also, he was a pretty good writer, I hear (begins list for next project involving books she should have read a long time ago).

5. But the biggest thing to celebrate today involves a writer far more brilliant and dedicated than Heller or Duffy. Yes, it's me. Today marks the one year birthday of this blog. Read here to see how it all started, and for directions on starting your own blog. I considered doing BIG BIG BIG things here in Jacqui's Room to celebrate, but...

6. ... I have only three more chapters to write and Ant's first draft will be done, so I am writing madly. Of course, some of it is, um, all "This is where they find the thing and then something happens." And you know how I feel about revising. But still!

Have a happy first of May.

9 Comments on The first of May, last added: 5/18/2009
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16. A Word from IndieBound at 1 year

I'm posting here an email announcement from Paige Poe, the liaison for IndieBound at the ABA, and Meg Smith, the marketing guru. Bloggers, booksellers, and readers: spread the word, and share your ideas! (You can click on their names below to email them directly, or share ideas on the forums they mention.)


It’s hard to believe IndieBound is nearly a year old. But in that time it’s been adopted by hundreds of indie bookstores, recognized by thousands of consumers, and commented on by countless bloggers and others. Check out the attached stats and examples for the evidence!

IndieBound has potential to grow even more, and so much of that growth can—and should—come from you and other ABA members. We would love to visit every store in person, see how we can help, explore the DIY, but it’s just not possible. (We do hope to offer a series of webinars to chat with members…)

Booksellers like you are talking—whether online, at conferences, even visiting each others’ stores. All of you I’ve spoken with before have been tremendously helpful in getting us this far, and the few of you I haven’t met or spoken to I’m very eager to get to know. So I’m asking for your help.

A few requests and questions:
- Perhaps you know about stores using IndieBound that are under our radar? Who are you talking to? As you talk with each other, keep us in the loop, and if you can, bring us in on the conversation.
- Do you know any stores who are struggling, that could really use marketing help? We’re attempting to find these stores and give them personalized help with DIY, community integration, and social media.
- One thing I’ve stressed this past year is that IndieBound is always open to new ideas, new features, new everything. What is your ideal IndieBound? Send us your ideas.
We started a forum on IndieBound.org that we’re opening up to all of you (http://www.indiebound.org/forum). Come here to discuss anything IndieBound-related, share news, ask questions—anything! Feel free to start discussions on topics you feel need some extra light. If any booksellers you talk to want to be part of the forum, let me know.
- One idea we’ve been discussing is a bookseller-only/trade-only group on Facebook, to disseminate info and get you guys talking. Would you participate in such a group? Or would the IndieBound.org forum be sufficient? If you’re already spending time on Facebook, maybe that would be the place to meet. Let me know!
- We’re always available through email, and you can call us anytime at our office numbers. Of course you’ll run into us on Facebook and twitter, too. The point is, get in touch with us!

Eagerly awaiting your response…

Paige Poe - IndieBound Outreach Liaison

Meg Smith - Chief Marketing Officer

3 Comments on A Word from IndieBound at 1 year, last added: 4/7/2009
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17. LinkIndie: Change Has Come to Book Linking

Lucky us that Bookavore has joined the ranks of booksellers and bloggers. She's kick-started a campaign I've been meaning to launch for ages:

Litblogs linking to indie bookstores.

It's long been a tenet of mine that bloggers and indie booksellers have a lot in common. We're the independent voice that's an alternative to corporate culture. We're beholden to no one but our own opinions of what's worth reading and recommending. We don't do it (just) for the money -- we do it for the love. So why shouldn't we support each other?

Now that indie bookstores have figured out that blogging and reading blogs is good for them, it's time for bloggers to return the favor. When discussing a beloved book, rather than linking to you-know-what behemoth of online retail, why not link to your local indie bookstore, or a network of indie bookstores, instead?

In the past, you could have linked to the book page of an indie store, but it would have involved a fair amount of HTML knowledge, and you wouldn't have gotten credit for the clicks that resulted. Then came the advent of IndieBound, and its wonderful affiliate program, which meant you could sign up to easily create links using text or book covers, and have the potential to make a little cash off of the resulting clicks. But your readers still had to go through another layer of clicking choices: once they clicked the book cover, they had to enter their zip code, then choose and indie store's website on which to view the books.

This was a decision the ABA, which runs these stores' e-commerce sites, had made in the past in order to avoid competition amongst its member stores -- a well-intentioned move that unfortunately made internet denizens less likely to click through to any store when they just wanted the information, and thus made bloggers less likely to use it.

But it's a whole new era now. IndieBound and its user-generated, responsive model means that we ask, we got. Now you can find a book on IndieBound (without having to first look up the ISBN) and create an affiliate link directly the book info page. When a reader of your blog clicks on the link, they get taken straight back to the book information page. Only when they decide they'd like to buy it do they need to choose a bookstore -- a much more logical path. This means that you can have a book cover image on your site that's a direct link to the publisher's information about the book, and you can get paid for it, and you can support an indie at the same time.

So there's no excuse anymore. Bloggers, you know you're indie. Step up and support your local bookstores by using IndieBound links in your book reviews. It's easier and better looking than ever. As President Obama, our first web-savvy commander-in-chief, observed, it's a new era of responsibility. If you care about having bookstores in your community, support them in the internet community.

I'm demonstrating and celebrating today with a link to my favorite contemporary novel, Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. Click on it! Check it out! Then get over to IndieBound and start making your own links.

Shop Indie Bookstores

(Update: Okay, so it looks like when I create an affiliate link, it still asks for a zip code and wants you to choose a store. In the link below, I pasted the book page link into the code, which eliminates my affiliate ID but goes directly to the book info page. So it's still a work in progress. But the ABA and IndieBound deserve major kudos for taking these steps. Here's hoping for more to come -- and the more of us are using these features, the more likely they are to be adapted to our needs.)

Shop Indie Bookstores

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18. Marketing Monday: Making the Most of Amazon

We have mixed emotions about Amazon.com, the behemoth online bookseller. But Fiona and I present some free ways to use it to market your books at Bubble Stampede. Come join the conversation!

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19. What Are You Talking About?: Optimism as Social Proof

Okay, I'm foregoing my usual link madness to get a little wonky this morning. Sarah Rettger at the ABA's Omnibus blog had a great link yesterday (what are you doing working Sunday, Sarah??) (Update: while Sarah noticed the link, it's Dan Cullen who deserves credit for posting on Sunday) that I think deserves some analysis and some action.

The link is to a site called Copyblogger, which has columns and advice about how to be a better blogger or online marketer. This particular column, "How to Change the World Using Social Media," seems especially timely after an exciting presidential election that used online media and social networking to make great things happen. It also has a lot to do with my optimism schtick around here, and I think it has the potential to be an inspiration to independent booksellers.

The key term here is social proof, which Wikipedia defines as "a psychological phenomenon that occurs in ambiguous social situations when people are unable to determine the appropriate mode of behavior. Making the assumption that surrounding people possess more knowledge about the situation, they will deem the behavior of others as appropriate or better informed."

Translation: people are likely to do what they think other people are doing.

There are some fascinating examples of this: the Werther effect, in which a rash of suicides followed Goethe's novel of a suicidal hero The Sorrows of Young Werther in the 1700s, or the fact that if there is only one person on the scene when another person needs help, they're more likely to do something than if there are several people around, in which case they'll wait to see what other people are going to do, which is likely nothing.

The most relevant example for us, though, goes like this:

A well-intended statistic states, "42% of college graduates never read a book again.” (Dan Poynter’s ParaPublishing)

What people hear is “I don’t enjoy reading, and I’m in a lot of good company.”

This is the negative aspect of social proof: as Copyblogger puts it "it motivates people to do the opposite of what you want because you’re trying to change behavior already supported by social proof."

So, as Sarah wisely points out, "If you complain about how many books are sold through chains and online, it doesn't drive traffic to your store." In fact, it reinforces the message that "everyone" shops at chains and online, so if I do it, I'm just like everyone else.

Our first tendency as book people is probably to lament the herd mentality this represents; a lot of literature historically has been dedicated to individuals fighting against this sort of thing (remember the "Man vs. Society" segment in junior high English?) But in fairness, it's actually an effective evolutionary trait, that keeps us humans out of trouble for the most part, and gives us safety in numbers.

Our challenge is to be leaders of that herd, and to choose which way we want to steer. As my friend Susan and I say to each other, "You create the world you imagine." In terms of social proof, this may be literally true.

What if I tell you that bookstore sales rose 5.4% in August, to $2.43 billion, while the rest of the retail sector was flat in August? (It's true, right from the U.S. Census.) Even while book sales overall increased by only 0.6 percent , bookstore sales were up significantly higher! You'd think everyone must be buying books from brick and mortar bookstores, and that must be a good bet, and maybe you'd manage to get yourself to a bookstore to start your holiday shopping. There are other statistics you could quote that wouldn't be nearly as encouraging. But why would you steer people toward the trends you don't want them to follow?

This is one of the reasons why things like the NEA's depressing reports on reading habits make me so agitated. I understand that their goal is to get more funding for reading programs so they have to paint a desperate picture. But I can't help thinking that all this does is reinforce people in thinking that not reading is normal and to be imitated.

One of the best examples given in Copyblogger of effective social proof marketing is the bumpersticker slogan "Don't Mess With Texas." It was an anti-littering campaign, but it appealed to the tough guy types who would put it on their pickups, and who were then reinforcing non-littering behavior with their peers. It didn't lament the state of the highways and beg people to stop doing what they're doing -- it gave the target audience a way to reinforce positive behaviors among themselves.

I'm in no way advocating for dishonesty, for painting a falsely rosy picture. But I think we as booksellers should realize that we're not doing ourselves any favors by focusing on the negative. In fact, we're contributing to everything we worry about by reinforcing it.

Instead, let's get creative with ways to lead the herd -- to give tools for reinforcing the behaviors we want. IndieBound, with its cool-kid signage and slogans and social networking, is a brilliant example. (The ABA has done a brilliant job of making the IndieBound campaign pro-indie, rather than anti-chain.) The IBNYC's mission, focusing on the rich bookstore culture that exists instead of the perception that New York's bookstores have disappeared, is another. And we do it in our newsletters, in our store blogs, in our conversations with customers. Let them know what's going right, how many new email signups you've had lately, how many in the audience at your last great event.

Let's not talk about what people shouldn't do. Let's talk about the good stuff that they're already doing. Then watch our best instincts kick in, and let the good news go viral.

What do you think? How do you use social proof in talking to your customers? How have you seen it work in the negative? What do you think are some ways we can use social proof to help the cause of independent and local bookstores?

8 Comments on What Are You Talking About?: Optimism as Social Proof, last added: 11/13/2008
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20. waking up

posted by Neil
I'm getting over jet-lag and clock-lag but it's slower than normal. Woken up this morning by my assistant Lorraine. "I've put a cup of tea by your bed. The tree people are here. Do you want to get up and see them?" I think I must have conveyed somehow that I didn't, because the next thing I remember was perhaps five seconds passing and her saying, "The tree by the gazebo we cut down had white pine blister rust, but it doesn't seem to have spread. I've told them to go and look at the fungus on the apple tree." I tried to explain to her (without waking up, opening my eyes or anything) that it wasn't fungus, just some kind of fuzzy white insect-stuff, and she might have heard this, because five seconds later she said, "You were right, it was insects and we have to soap them off. Your agent's on the phone, and I'm bringing you a new cup of tea because that one must be cold by now." And the day had started.

The phones have begun ringing. The world knows I'm home. Tomorrow at midday Eastern Time I'm doing a Washington Post chat -- details at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/discussion/2008/09/09/DI2008090902030.html

Tomorrow, before the tour begins, in between interviews, we harvest honey. There may even be photos (And I have an NPR interviewer showing up at the house to interview me. Who may find himself putting on a bee-suit and helping. You never know.) . I suspect the pine rust comes from the gooseberries and red-currants that grow around the gazebo.

More later. But probably not about pine rust.

And The Graveyard Book will be published in the US in exactly a week. If you're wondering whether to buy a copy now or later, please buy it now. It actually will make a difference -- the first week's sales matter, especially in the most crowded publication week of the year (which is this week).

Hi Neil,

Not a question, just a belated 'welcome back'. Life in the midwest has been disappointingly normal and boring without you around, but now that you're posting about nearly-naked roller skaters and cats and the true cause for execution of small trees, all is satisfyingly weird again.

I'm a little disappointed that I won't be able to make any of the tour stops for the Graveyard Book, as all of the ones in my general vicinity are in the middle of the week. I've battled and fought and wriggled and attempted to reschedule things like sleeping, eating, and breathing, but the dates and times defeat me. I'm sure there are excellent reasons for having these things not on a Friday or Saturday, but, um... what are those reasons? I'm just curious. Thanks!

It's that thing about publication week. While it would be lovely for me to do a month-long author tour, going out on Fridays and home on Sundays, the publisher wants to squeeze their events into the first week or so. That's when reporters want to write about new books, that's when it gets the most attention. That's also when the publisher hopes to sell a lot of books, because if they move books in the first week it shows up on the bestseller lists, and then more places stock it and, it's whatever the opposite of a vicious circle is. A cuddly circle?

Publication day is this Tuesday, which is why I'm signing in New York on Tuesday evening, and, because I'm on the East Coast then, I do Philadelphia next. Then I drift westward, and Seattle and Palo Alto get the Friday and Saturday spot because that's how it worked out. Los Angeles is Sunday night.

And for those of you who've written in worried, no, I don't know why Amazon.com lists the paperback of The Graveyard Book as coming out Jan 1st 2020, but it's possible that their dates may not be entirely accurate, and that Harpers might publish it in paperback within the next twelve years. (Also, I know they list the Subterranean Press edition and have it with a terrific discount as their hardcover, which is a bit odd [Edit to add, ...and which you won't get if you order it. Bill Schafer at Subterranean Press says, "Amazon lists everything that has an ISBN, without regard to whether they'll receive it. I've posted to our site, and in our newsletter, and to thegraveyardbook.com that we don't expect to fill any copies for Amazon or wholesalers. I've also let Amazon know this. I'll email them again."]
This is the actual link to the Amazon hardback. And if I'm putting that up I should mention that it's even cheaper at Barnes and Noble online. But if you can, you should buy it somewhere local and nice, because it is A Good Thing to so do. Check out http://www.indiebound.org/ to find shops near you (and poking around on their site I found http://www.indiebound.org/kids-indie-next-list?edition=200808k which made me happy).

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21. Cool News Day: Indie Bound, IBNYC, and the Brooklyn Book Festival!

Dude, it's a fun day in link land.

The IndieBound project has launched its social networking arm: the IndieBound Community. The beta tests were successful, and now anyone can sign up to become part of the community. Not only can you connect with other book lovers, you can also become a "fan" of your local indie stores (book and other), and start conversations around them. I'm on already as booknerdnyc, just like I am on Shelfari, LibraryThing, GoodReads, and LinkedIn -- so friend me already! Luckily, most of my "virtual friends" are also real-life friends/colleagues, so I don't feel like I have multiple social/professional lives to keep track of. And this one is especially cool as it lets me add stores to my network -- I'm excited about the possibilities, and I'll be reaching out to others to join up. And I can't wait until my own bookstore is one of those options!

Speaking of indie bookstore communities, the Independent Booksellers of New York City (known by the lovely acronym IBNYC) has officially launched! Here's the deal straight from the press release:

"Recognizing the common opportunities, virtues and values they share, New York City’s independent booksellers have united to raise awareness of the contributions their stores make not just to the local economy, but to the literary and cultural fabric of the city. Representatives from twenty stores met recently and formed the Independent Booksellers of New York City (IBNYC) – a group that is voluntary, non-exclusionary and cooperative in design. Member stores must primarily sell books, have a storefront that is open to the public, and be located within one of the five boroughs. The IBNYC’s primary goal is to encourage New Yorkers and visitors to patronize independent bookstores. The group will serve as a resource for consumers (producing events and tools like a website and printed maps); as a professional support group for member businesses both longstanding and brand new (a rare forum for sharing methods and best practices); and as an advocate to publishers and lawmakers on behalf of bookseller concerns."

They (or rather, WE) have a new website (still under construction) which not only has a list of over 60 awesome indie bookstores in the city (yes, there are that many, and more!), but also an online map that shows you where they are, so you can find the indie closest to you. And there are t-shirts, bags, and print maps available too! They'll soon be for sale at an indie bookstore near you, but even before that, they'll be available at the IBNYC table at the Brooklyn Book Festival this Sunday. (You can read more about this on the blog of Kelly Amabile, the fantastic events coordinator at Book Culture who has been coordinating the project.)

Ah, the Brooklyn Book Festival, when a borough's fancy turns to books! In addition to the IBNYC, there will be booksellers, publishers, authors and commentators from not only the five boroughs but all over the world: booths with everything bookish you could wish to buy, and a full day of programming including readings, discussions, writing contests, activities, and tons of thrills for bookish kids and adults alike. Yours truly will be moderating a graphic novels panel discussion on the Youth Stoop stage at 3:00 PM, and sporting the Book Nerd t-shirt so you can yell your comments at me if you happen to see me prowling the booths. It's a heck of a time in the old town -- hope to see lots of you there!

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22. First Aid for Writers!

Writer’s First AidDo YOU want to learn to write for children?

If so, then here’s a great little book that can help!

It’s called Writer’s First Aid: Getting Organized, Getting Inspired, and Sticking To It! by Kristi Holl.

Writer’s First Aid is divided into four sections for easy reference: “Getting Started,” “Work Habits That Work for You,” “Money and Other Practical Matters,” and “Creating the Writing Life You Want.”

When a writer is experiencing a particular problem, he or she can turn to the section of the book covering that topic and find 10 articles. These range from the very practical (in the work habits section) to inspirational and challenging (in the section on creating the writing life you want).

Articles in Writer’s First Aid fit the busy writer’s schedule: long enough to be helpful, yet short enough to be read during ten-minute breaks.

Think of Writer’s First Aid as a medicine chest, full of good things for what ails many writers. Medicine chests contain items that kill pain, bind up wounds, bring restoration, and increase vitality.

Order the book here.

Holl is the author of 35 books, both fiction and nonfiction. Visit her blogsite for writers called Writer’s First Aid: A Medicine Chest of Hope. Visit her website at www.kristiholl.com.

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