HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: Just got back from Book Expo America, and it was quite--what? Daunting? Spectacular? Overwhelming? Hilarious? I can say that my shoulders ache--no exaggeration--from lugging around tote bags of give-away books that are somehow irresistible. I was determined to be selective, though.
Look at just some of the ARCs from authors I snagged! Talk about summer reading.
(The Reds are chatting today--scroll past the photos to get there!)
And I did NOT pick up the book by this person. Recognize her?
|Does she need a caption?|
I can't resist saying it was the launch of the ARC of THE WRONG GIRL--thank you to my agent for taking this nice photo--
|Happy Author...even though it was NINETY DEGREES|
and this one of the line of people waiting to get one. Amazing.
|I love every one of these people...|
at the American Booksellers Association luncheon (!)
with Geraldine Brooks and Jon Scieszka and Richard Russo
|Richard Russo says--his daughter is an independent bookseller!|
and more..) and it was a room full of owners and employees of independent bookstores.
And I have to say--there were smiles on their faces! Someone told me there are more new bookstores opening now than in the past-however long. I talked to one happy camper who works at a store outside Washington DC--and she said people are buying books like mad.
A couple of years ago, it was all about the demise of bookstores, and how books were going to rule the world. What do you make of this?
What's your sense of independent bookstores? How're they doing?
LUCY BURDETTE: I'm lucky to have one of the best indy bookstores in the country right in my town, RJ Julia Booksellers in Madison, CT. They thrive, but I know it's a battle because they are fighting the draw of lower prices at Amazon and other online bookstores. They count on customer loyalty and events and amazing service and location.
There is only one bookstore left in Key West, and that's Key West Island Books. They sell a mixture of new and used, with an emphasis on local authors. I'm thrilled to have the Key West mysteries carried there--it's a small shop but they will order anything a customer wants.
While Hallie and I were touring the Raleigh area with Jennifer McMahon, Molly Weston set up an event at McIntyre's Books in Fearrington Village--another fabulous little store. They seemed to be quite busy and our event was well attended.
All that to say Hank, I sure hope there will continue to be a groundswell of support for bookstores. There is no place else I'd rather spend time and money!
RHYS BOWEN: I'm also lucky enough to have two of the best thriving indies in the places where I live: Book Passage in Corte Madera, CA and Poisoned Pen in Scottsdale, AZ. Both of these stores have weathered any storms because they have owners who are business savvy as well as loving books. Both have huge mailing lists, events every night, draw the biggest name authors... in fact when I sign at Book Passage it always seems to be after Hilary Clinton and before Tom Brokaw, which is daunting to say the least.
HANK: I know--and they always say, oh, you should have been here last night, Hilary Mantel had thousands of people. Sigh. Anyway, we persevere! And it's so reassuring that people till come to bookstore events. BEA was phenomenally reassuring, too, long incredibly long lines to get books! Nelson DeMille's went up one side, down the other, and around the block! Were any of you there?
|He was signing the six six chapters of his new book! Which is an old book, re-written...|
DEBORAH CROMBIE: Hank, I'm thrilled to hear that indie bookstore owners are feeling so positive! I love the indie stores where I get to sign on book tours, especially Murder by the Book in Houston, Poisoned Pen in Scottsdale, and Book Passage in Corte Madera. But I think Rhys is right--it take more than just loving books. The successful stores have owners with real business savvy. They know their customers, and most do a really good mail order business.
HANK: Rhys and Hallie and Rosemary are off on exotic vacations! So we will have to demand photos when they get back. SO--how's your local bookstore doing? And what do you think about that?
And yes, one savvy insider told me he thought the absolute key was bookstore owners who know their stuff--what do you think that means?
And hey..why not--an ARC of THE WRONG GIRL to one lucky commenter!