Skip to main content

Authors for Indies Day aims to increase support for independent bookstores

A display table at Café Books in Canmore, which will get temporary help from humorous parenting author Leanne Shirtliffe on Saturday.

Jocey Asnong/Café Books photo

As we move deeper into this next chapter of bookselling – where books are increasingly bought online and consumed digitally – consider taking a moment on Saturday to shop the old-fashioned way, with a twist. On the inaugural Authors for Indies Day, writers will volunteer their services at independent bookstores across the country – a little retail therapy for a bricks-and-mortar sector that has seen its share of struggles, first with big-box stores, and now with small screens.

At eight shops across Alberta, book buyers could be served on Saturday by any number of authors. They include Rosemary Nixon (Are You Ready to Be Lucky?) at Shelf Life Books in Calgary; Griffin Prize-shortlisted poet Leslie Greentree (go-go dancing for Elvis) at Sunworks in Red Deer; humorous parenting author Leanne Shirtliffe (Don't Lick the Minivan: and Other Things I Never Thought I'd Say to My Kids; Mommyfesto) at Café Books in Canmore; or Giller Prize and Governor-General's Award shortlisted author Marina Endicott (Good to a Fault, The Little Shadows) at Audrey's Books in Edmonton. She will be minding the store with other authors, including Todd Babiak (The Garneau Block, Come Barbarians).

"It was always one of my dreams to work at a bookstore, an independent bookstore, but I was never hired by one," says Mr. Babiak, who was turned down when he applied for such employment in the past. "So it's a fantasy."

Story continues below advertisement

Mr. Babiak says authors owe a lot to independent booksellers, which can get behind a book and hand-sell it to customers with strong, informed recommendations. "That can sell the majority of your novels. If one person in every independent bookstore in Canada loves your book, you're going to do well with your book. Because they have such passion," he says. "I don't think I've ever said no to a bookseller who really gets in front of me and convinces me to buy a book. I always buy it."

Mr. Babiak was not sure what his bookselling duties would be on Saturday, but he is looking forward to interacting with customers. "What I really hope to do when I see someone browsing is go and help them and change their life in some way. That's my dream."

For a full list of participating bookstores and authors, visit www.authorsforindies.com

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Comments

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

If your comment doesn't appear immediately it has been sent to a member of our moderation team for review

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.