Congratulations to all authors & bookstores, sponsors & publishers ! What a great day that was! I collapsed in a sofa before dinner and it finally all sank in. OMG. This really happened. All across Canada! I'm not sure what’s been better – the photos and anecdotes people have been sharing or the stats.
Rumours and anecdotes
Some stores want to hire their author-booksellers. Some had to force their authors to leave at the end of the day. Closet booksellers, all of us.
- We think Michael Hingston sold a copy of Knaussgaard to a child. "I told him it was the world's longest Berenstein Bears book."
- Steven Galloway threatened to show up in a cartoon bear costume but that was just a rumour started by Theodora Armstrong.
- Avid Reader Bookstore tweeted it was like Christmas over there.
- Kidsbooks on Broadway in Vancouver deployed the big guns - they had Vij's food truck out front. Best Indian food in Canada. Possibly the world.
- Ken McGoogan claimed he saw Ian Donker, general manager of the Book City stores in Toronto, reeling around, slapping his forehead muttering "I've never seen anything like it." It's not clear whether he meant store traffic or authors misbehaving.
- Two of Guy Gavriel Kay's fans drove across the border from Michigan to buy books and get them signed.
- Mary-Ann Yazedijian of Book Warehouse in Vancouver said "I'm so tired it's ridiculous. But I HAD SO MUCH FUN!" I think that sums up the day really well.
- Final count: 692 authors hosted by 123 stores in every province plus the Yukon Territory.
- Social media: A big round of applause to everyone who live-tweeted and especially to Terry Fallis and Robin Spano who worked the Twitter takeover from CBC Books.
- If not for a certain royal baby, #Authors4Indies would’ve been the top trending topic in Canada on Twitter that day.
- Aaaand ... our Facebook page hit 1,370 Likes!
BookNet Canada sales stats: "Participating indie bookstores saw an 18.5% increase in units sold the week of May 2, when compared to an average of three weeks prior." The Retail Council of Canada considers this a great result because it factors in a range of sales figures from stores across the country.
Kove Productions. We all loved (and some of us wept over) the video that Sam Kay of Kove put together for us. That guy is is doing my next book trailer. Please read the blog A Message from Kove Productions, Sam's letter to authors and bookstores. Such a generous offer!
One last rattle of the tin cup. Who did the data entry for 800+ authors and stores? Who corrected and updated your entries cheerfully and promptly? Who went into overdrive last week when last-minute entries came in? Margaret has kept the website machinery humming. Unlike those of us with a Day Job who can afford to work unpaid hours, she’s self-employed. Donate. Do what you can.
Share, share, share. If you’ve put up photos on your Facebook album or Flickr, post a link on our Facebook page and Lesley will share. Especially if you have photos of cake.
If you haven't, please LIKE theFacebook page and/or follow @authors4indies on Twitter. We will be using social media a lot to share news.
firstname.lastname@example.org This email account remains open.
A Final Word
There was something I didn't expect to get out of organizing this event. I feel as though we have become a closer community. More intimate and supportive, willing to pitch in for a good cause. Bookstores got to meet new authors, old friends reconnected, and new friendships took off. Someone expressed surprise and delight at how many authors pitched in to help. My response was that we all want indie bookstores to thrive, we just needed the right event to show how much we care. It's absolutely thrilling that Authors for Indies has turned out to be that event.
I know what you're all thinking. 2016. Ask me in a few months.
Again, a big thank you to everyone from our team of volunteers,Susannah Ames, Janie Chang, Kate Earnshaw, Lesley Fletcher, Margaret Reynolds, Mary-Ann Yazedijian