You Learn Something New Every Day

There’s just no way for me to keep up with every book and writing and indie publishing site on the internet. There are too many, to begin with. And stuff on the internet tends to be transient. It’s in its nature. So I don’t have time to follow every blip on the screen. I tend to follow crowds of people here or there (like to Facebook or Twitter or Goodreads) and then check on things when they are pointed out to me, say in a Writer’s Digest article. Saves me time.

The other day, I was randomly reading writing blogs (which I am told I should be doing much more regularly) and I noticed that the person listed their book for sale at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Indiebound. Huh. What is theese–how do you say–“Indiebound?” (That was in a French accent.) And listed right up there next to Amazon and Barnes and Noble! Seemed to me this author must have found it important, to list it. So I clicked on the link to their book and discovered something really pretty cool.

INDIEBOUND 1Maybe you already know all about it? Maybe I’m that last lady on board? For those of you as slow as I am on the up-draw, Indiebound is a website that doesn’t exactly sell books, but points you to where you can buy books locally. And it’s a big site. I, of course, immediately looked up my own book, Benevolent, and there it was, listed at all the local bookshops. Click on the store of your choice, and Indiebound re-directs you to the bookstore’s website, where–at least in the case of my closest bookstore–I can order the book online or check on its inventory in the store. Worst case scenario, I suppose you might have to make a call.

Oh, and I had to use author name to search when it didn’t pop up under title. So you might want to try that if at first you don’t succeed.

I am extremely thankful to Amazon for providing such an enormous and accessible platform for selling both my Kindle and paperback books (as I am to Barnes and Noble and Smashwords and Diesel and Apple and a few others). But at heart, I have always pulled for the locals. I buy from my local bookstore, regularly. I launch there. Back in the day when they had a cafe, I wrote at a table there. (Alas. They have cut back over the years.) I mention their name when I list my availability…

INDIEBOUND 2…but so far, that has only been important to people who live near me. Now, I’m happy to say, I will be able to list Indiebound with my book’s availability, and the reader will have the option of purchasing the book locally. Of course, the book is still printed with Createspace–which is Amazon’s printer–but I notice that even the snootiest bookstore in the area (they won’t let me read there because of the “affiliation”) carries by book in theory.

And I say in theory because I want to make it clear that there is no way all these local bookstores are carrying the book you might be looking for on their shelves. But these days, they have access to whatever book you might want. They are linked to either Amazon’s or Diesel’s (Kobo’s) stock. so they can just order it for you. Of course, this makes them the beneficiaries, sharing in the profits that otherwise Amazon would keep as the retail seller of the book. (Amazon still gets paid for being the printer, obviously, and the wholesale seller.) Eyes wide open, folks. But it’s still a cool thing, I think.

Oh yeah; my point. You might have a bit of a wait. Unless the book is in stock (and using Benevolent as an example, I believe it is in stock at only one brick-and-mortar), the store will have to order it for you. Seems to me this should take no time at all, and my experience with my local bookstore is just a few days for a book. However, I know of at least one person who ordered my book at a different local bookstore and after a few weeks I asked her to cancel the order and I sold her one direct and discounted. (That’s me doing customer service. Or damage control.) In the case that you are still reading another book or you have a month before your beach vacation, ordering local and waiting a week can be perfect. But when you forgot all about it until you read that last page of Sherlock Holmes Volume I in the dead of night, and now it’s a new (bleary-eyed) morning and you need a fix? Indiebound can tell you if the book (Sherlock Holmes Volume 2) is already on the ground somewhere within a car’s drive (if you follow a few rabbit trails). If it’s not, you’re left hanging. Patience is a virtue.

Also, the site contains a blog, a bestsellers list, an “Indie Next” book recommendation, and Indiebound posters and tee shirts, for starters.

I encourage you to check out Indiebound HERE, and to consider purchasing some of your books locally, supporting (a little) your local economy, looking into an actual face once in awhile, hitting the pavement with the soles of your feet. While you’re at it, you could even walk amongst the bookshelves, running a finger over all the pretty spines, pausing over the employee’s recommendations, and breathing in deeply that book glue and paper smell.

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