Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Book Cellar & Indie Stores

Borders is gone for most of us, though I understand a few remain around the country. I don't know if anyone remembers, but back in August, there was talk of Barnes and Noble going under. With the big boys out of the picture, that only leaves indies. For me, indies are more accessible right now anyhow. I'd have to drive a town over to go to B&N.

Indie stores tend to do a lot for writers/readers anyhow. They're more than just a bookstore. They host all sorts of events. I want to talk about the book cellar in Chicago, which isn't exactly local for me. I'm in Milwaukee, but they do have nice events and Wisconsin just really doesn't seem to attract much in the way of YA. So Chicago is less than two hours and this Texas girl's best friend.

I'd planned to run this post earlier, but life got in the way. A few weeks ago, I attended a YA workshop at the book cellar. I didn't really know what to expect from a workshop hosted by a bookstore. Don't get me wrong, I do workshops. But most of the events I've been to at bookstores have focused on an author or authors and are usually in some way expected to sell books. They're usually signings. I enjoy signings, but still wasn't sure what this workshop would entail.
Well, it was exactly what it said it was. Three YA authors came each with something to say. Participants engaged in writing exercises and listened to advice from published authors. And it was free. Now this was a workshop open to anyone, so a lot of the information provided was probably more useful for beginners. But it was a full blown two hour workshop and I got some good use of it. Writers don't make a lot of money, and honestly you can spend some money getting where you want to go in the form of conferences and such. A bookstore that offers free stuff for writers is a book store for me!
But lots of indie stores have cool things to offer, you won't find other places. There is a cute little store in Cedarburg that has a large selection of autographed stock. I know for many people that isn't a big deal, but in this area even YA autographed stock can be hard to find. And Next Chapter in Mequon has a great rewards program, so go check out your local bookstore. If you're not ready to buy any books today, leave them a shout out on your blog. There are lots of ways to support.

1 comment:

  1. I hear ya.
    I went to a great workshop and talk given by A.S. King, at an indie bookstore in Brooklyn a couple of months ago. It's a good way to build community, learn a lot, and sell books!
    Indi bookstores rock.