Therese here. It’s the second Thursday of the month, which means it’s #IndieThursday—a day dedicated to independent bookstores here at Writer Unboxed. When we first started this series, I thought of one person first. I wanted to bring this author over for a guest post, because–to me–she epitomizes what it means to support and develop a meaningful rapport with indie stores, and has a passion for them that is in no small way contagious. I’m thrilled she agreed and is with us today.
Many of you won’t be surprised to know I mean A.S. King, author of the highly acclaimed EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS, a 2012 ALA Top Ten Book for Young Adults and Andre Norton Award nominee, and the Edgar Award nominated, 2011 Michael L. Printz Honor Book PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ. Amy is also the author of the ALA Best Books for Young Adults DUST OF 100 DOGS and the upcoming ASK THE PASSENGERS (2012).
Prepare to be inspired. Take it away, Amy!
I’ve tried to start this post about a million times. It’s not so much that I’m failing at describing why authors and readers should value their local independent bookstores. It’s more like I can’t understand why anyone would have trouble seeing the importance of their own community businesses without me writing about it.
Look. I’ve heard plenty of talk about how paper books are going to disappear, and how bookstores are going to vanish along with them. Publishing is soon going to die! Jump ship now! I do a lot of work with libraries who will, for the foreseeable future, have use for paper books, and I hang out in a lot of independent bookstores and meet plenty of people who plan on reading paper books until the end of time. I can’t see traditional publishing dying any time soon, and I can’t see why anyone would want to forecast such a negative (and unlikely) thing.
But I should tell you now that I have nothing against e-books. I dig e-books. I have plenty of author friends who publish in e-book only format. Please don’t take what I’m going to say in this post as some crusade against doing whatever the hell you want. I am all for doing whatever the hell you want.
I’ve just come back from one of my favorite conferences, the American Library Association’s annual conference, this year in Anaheim. It’s always a real buzz for me to attend because librarians are a generous, loving and helpful group of people and they are very [very very very] important to authors. Obviously. Right? When I’m at ALA, I get to wear two hats. First, I’m an author who is there to meet fans, sign books, and connect with librarians. But second, I’m a library officer and I’m there to find the right shelving for our periodicals or talk to librarians from around the country about their e-book circulation solutions so I can share this information with my director and my board when I get home. Learning about how libraries run and about how they’re funded and what librarians really do has been one of the most eye-opening experiences for me as an author. [Read more…]