These days, pretty much everyone knows about
Authors and booksellers across the nation will be celebrating the Saturday after Thanksgiving with the second-ever "Indies First" day. The event aims to bring together writers and readers by having authors volunteer as booksellers at their local independent bookstores.
Indies First day started last year, the brainchild of author Sherman Alexie ("The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven") and Janis Segress, owner of the Queen Anne Book Company in Seattle. Alexie had missed a reading at the store ("It was Little League season and I completely spaced out"), and Segress urged him to atone by working at her store for a day.
Alexie and Segress realized they had a good idea on their hands, and brought it to the American Booksellers Assn. Last year, Hector Tobar wrote about participating in the event by working at Vroman's in Pasadena for a two-hour shift. "The idea that we authors would guide customers to our own books was part of the idea of Indies First," Tobar wrote. "There were big holiday crowds at Vroman's, but they weren't necessarily swarming around us authors. I sold and signed a handful of my own novels." Tobar also ended up selling books by the late Oscar Hijuelos to curious customers.