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Brooklyn authors and bookstores join nationwide ‘Indies First’ movement

Authors become booksellers to support independents on November 30

November 11, 2013 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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This Nov. 30, Small Business Saturday, Brooklyn authors will show up for work at their local independent bookstores and become booksellers for a day. Bookstores in DUMBO, Fort Greene, Greenpoint, Park Slope and other neighborhoods will play host to their favorite authors, offering customers a chance to talk books with their literary neighbors.

Initiated by acclaimed author Sherman Alexie, Indies First is a grassroots movement that calls on authors to show their support for independent booksellers by signing up to work at their favorite indie bookstore on Small Business Saturday, celebrated this year on Saturday, Nov. 30 (the Saturday after Thanksgiving).  

“Here’s the plan,” writes Alexie in an open letter to authors, “We book nerds will become booksellers. We will make recommendations… Maybe you’ll sign and sell books of your own in the process. I think the collective results could be mind-boggling (maybe even world-changing)… The most important thing is that we’ll all be helping independent bookstores, and God knows they’ve helped us over the years.”  Sherman also suggests that authors add a “buy” button linking to an indie bookstore on their website.

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

In a borough well-known as a haven for writers, Brooklyn bookstores have the chance to work with many of the award-winning writers who are their neighbors, customers, and friends. Participating bookstores include Bergen Street Comics (Park Slope), Community Bookstore (Park Slope), Greenlight Bookstore (Fort Greene),powerHouse Arena (DUMBO) and powerHouse on 8th (South Slope), and WORD Brooklyn (Greenpoint).

“This is a great opportunity for local bookstores and authors to work together to spread the word about the books that they love, and celebrate the literary culture of Brooklyn,” says Jessica Stockton Bagnulo of Greenlight Bookstore. “We’re also extending the project online with our new Author Affiliates page, so even more local authors can handsell through indies using “buy” links on their website.”

“I often say that Brooklyn has an embarrassment of literary riches — there are so many amazing writers throughout the borough. We’re delighted to welcome them behind the counter for a day,” says Jenn Northington, events director for WORD Bookstores. “Writers are some of the most intelligent readers I know, so I’ll be eavesdropping on their recommendations to our customers!”

“The dirty secret of comics is that Brooklyn creators know way more about this stuff than I do,” says Tucker Stone, events coordinator for Bergen Street Comics. “My plan is to convince our guests to turn these brief appearances into a 40-hour-a-week commitment.”

“It’s incredibly generous of our author friends to give up time with their families over Thanksgiving weekend to help out at our stores,” said Stephanie Valdez, co-owner of Community Bookstore. “We think our customers will appreciate it as much as we do!”

Participating authors include:

Nick Abadzis, author and illustrator of “Laika & Hugo Tate” (Bergen Street)

Jami Attenberg, author of “The Middlesteins” (WORD Brooklyn)

Jennifer Keishin Armstrong, author of “Sexy Feminism” (WORD Brooklyn)

John Bemelmans Marciano, author of “The Nine Lives of Alexander Baddenfield” (WORD Brooklyn)

Stefan Merrill Block, author of “The Storm at the Door” (powerHouse on 8th)

Amy Brill, author of “The Movement of Stars” (Community Bookstore)

Michael Buckley, author of the “Sisters Grimm and N.E.R.D.S.” series (Greenlight)

Mike Cavallaro, artist of “Foiled, The Shield & Mega Man” (Bergen Street)

Myke Cole, author of the Shadow Ops series (WORD Brooklyn)

Emily Jenkins, author of “Water in the Park and Five Creatures” (powerHouse on 8th)

Jodi Kantor, author of “The Obamas” (powerHouse on 8th)

Ayana Mathis, author of “The Twelve Tribes of Hattie” (Greenlight)

Sarah McCarry, author of “All Our Pretty Songs” (WORD Brooklyn)

Leigh Newman, author of “Still Points North” (powerHouse Arena)

Tim O’Mara, author of “Crooked Numbers” and “Sacrifice Fly” (WORD Brooklyn)

Yuko Ota, illustrator of “Johnny Wander” and “Lucky Penny” (Bergen Street)

Ananth Panagariya, writer of “Johnny Wander” and “Lucky Penny” (Bergen Street)

Matt de la Peňa, author of “The Living” (Community Bookstore)

Jeffrey Rotter, author of “The Unknown Knowns” (Greenlight)

Jon Scieszka, author of “Battle Bunny” (Community Bookstore)

Amy Shearn, author of “The Mermaid of Brooklyn” (WORD Brooklyn)

Emma Straub, author of “Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures” (WORD Brooklyn)

Brendan Jay Sullivan, author of “Rivington Was Ours” (WORD Brooklyn)

Justin Torres, author of “We The Animals” (Greenlight)

Teddy Wayne, author of “The Love Song of Jonny Valentine” (powerHouse Arena)

Paul Zelinsky, author of “Z is for Moose” (Greenlight)

For more about the Indies First project, visit

For more information from bookstores, contact:

Bergen Street Comics

Community Bookstore

Greenlight Bookstore

The powerHouse Arena / powerHouse on 8th /


WORD Brooklyn


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