December 2, 2020
Small Business Saturday – Persisting in Celebration
by Jessie Stratton
As we gear up to celebrate the end of this most… trying* year, one thing is for certain: 2020 has forced individuals and companies worldwide to think out of the box and devise creative ways to engage with consumers, to surpass the challenges that have loomed all year. The book industry is no exception and with an abundance of creative professionals “on the inside,” they persisted, despite the obstacles that COVID-19 imposed, to celebrate the annual Small Business Saturday on November 28th the best they could.
From live musical performances (Kona Stories in Kailua-Kona, shared by Shelf Awareness) to fun reels promoting early buying for the holiday season (Bards Alley in Vienna, Virginia), indies utilized all their resources to get the word out about Small Business Saturday. For many, the beautiful weekend weather was a godsend as many set up shop outside their stores to adhere to CDC guidelines and encourage readers to not crowd the stores.
As always, we in publishing wouldn’t be here without our readers and fellow book lovers. We give special thanks to all who encourage supporting indie shops. Among those who showed up to give support were the beloved Michelle and Barrack Obama. Following the release of A Promised Land, which sold nearly 835,000 copies in its first week according to Bookscan and Publishers Weekly, the Obamas were already at center stage among consumers and used their spotlight to support indies by stating:
“One thing I’ll always remember from my #IAmBecoming tour is seeing the crucial role that independent bookstores play in so many communities. On this Small Business Saturday, show your support by ordering a book from an independent bookstore online.”
For indie bookstores all around the country, the holiday season is of utmost importance. Maintaining those sales ensures that they can continue to give readers the books they want and love. If you’re looking for a gift for your loved one in this holiday season, consider buying from an indie, and doing so early! Many independent bookstores encourage you to place orders as soon as you can to be able to fulfill orders in this season of delays and backorders. In a completely unrelated and shameless plus, why not check out our fabulous holiday gift guide?
‘Tis the season to be reading, fa la la la la la la la la… Happy reading!
* understatement of the century
Jessie Stratton is an intern at Melville House.