Archives for independent booksellers

Northern Michigan’s Traverse City has long been known for its wineries, but now the vacation hot spot is making a name for itself nationally in something else: books.

The local Borders may have closed, but we’re betting book lovers in that region didn’t bat an eye. If you’re ever in the area, take a day to check out the full-service bookstores in downtown Traverse City: Horizon Books, Brilliant Books, and Books-A-Million. Wandering through town, you’ll find other niche and used bookstores, too.

Also based in Traverse City is literary nonprofit organization National Writers Series, which is pushing local government to brand Traverse City as a “book city.” The move would not only officially recognize the impact books have on the region’s economy, but also ideally draw in more book tourists (who may or may not have a penchant for wine).

For a glimpse from your own couch, check out the National Writers Series, Horizon Books, or The Bookie Joint.

It’s hard to resist the pull to e-readers, which are getting cheaper and more functional by the minute. These new devices allow bookworms to carry around as many titles as they want, without risking that pesky back strain associated with lugging a twenty-pound bag.

But…

How does the poor soul who prides himself on buying books at his local, independent book store reconcile the use of his shiny new toy?  How will that independent bookstore ever survive if everyone’s buying ebooks online?

Well, the American Booksellers Association has found a way to fight back. They’ve launched an ebook reading application that allows customers to purchase ebooks from their local, independent bookstores’ websites. Customers can purchase and read Google eBooks on any Android device, and they are able to read them later on their computer and many e-readers.

To check it out for yourself, search the Android market for IndieBound Reader. Then hit up the indie bookstores selling Google eBooks.

The best part about this app is that it allows readers to support independent bookstores anywhere, even if they live in an area that no longer has any.

We love this story about a tweet that literally saved an independent bookstore in Portland from closing its doors.

It would have been cool even without the burrito bribe… but with it? Amazing. And genius. Burritos should be used in all marketing efforts (writers working on proposals: take note).

Note to self: visit Portland.

The name “Espresso Book Machine” sounds cool, and is cool, although sadly, has nothing to do with the sweet taste of espresso, as far as we can tell.

An Espresso Book Machine (EBM) is a print-on-demand machine gaining popularity with libraries and book stores. It prints, collates, covers and binds a book in a few minutes, meaning that customers can get what they want, when they want, provided the book is listed in the EBM network. Take that, Amazon! (Just kidding. We love Amazon). But the good news is, these machines might be the leg up on Amazon that independent bookstores need. And the even better news? Scribe Publishing books will be in the EBM network.

In case any EBM developers are listening… we do request that the next generation of EBMs also deliver a shot of espresso with your completed book. Heaven. Otherwise it’s just false advertising.

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