Where do bestselling authors want you to buy their books from?
SHOP LOCAL Amor Towles The third novel, “The Lincoln Highway,” is at No. 4 in its 13th week on the hardcover fiction list. Here’s a small but notable fact about former Wall Streeter turned full-time writer: He’s one of the few best-selling authors whose website sends potential readers to buy books from Indiebound before Amazon. If you’re a publishing geek like me, you’ll notice how many popular writers say they’re grateful to independent bookstores for the success of their novels, memoirs, thrillers, picture books, and self-help guides – but skip to their pages and you’ll find purchase links that will take you straight to Jeff Bezos’ All store (don’t walk past a neatly organized front window, hear the bells ringing as you walk through the front door, do not pick up a bookmark near the cash register). Yes, ordering your next reading with your paper towels is easy with one click; yes, if you present the buy buttons in alphabetical order, Amazon will arrive at the top of the list. But if you’re an author, like Towles, who claims to enjoy local bookstores for “hand-selling” your work, why not direct your readers directly to Indiebound, which helps keep those stores light? John Grisham, Mitch Albom, Nicholas Sparks and Diana Gabaldon, I’m looking at you.
ENVIRONMENT Good luck finding an author’s website where you can purchase Stacey Abrams’ debut picture book, which makes the list this week at # 1; you’re more likely to land on a page where you can donate to the campaign for Democratic Governor of Georgia. Abrams is certainly not the first political insider to come into contact with readers on the ground floor: former President Barack Obama, Vice President Kamala Harris, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Governor Gavin Newsom and the Former Second Lady Karen Pence have all published picture books of their own, covering patriotism, feminism, a bird’s eye view of the capital, superheroes and dyslexia. Once you get your hands on “Stacey’s Extraordinary Words,” exuberantly illustrated by Kitt Thomas, you can expect a solidly bipartisan reading experience. The story is a celebration of language, told through the eyes of a girl who is invited to participate in a spelling contest. “Stacey loved words,” writes Abrams. “She loved funny words, long words, unusual words. Words with wonderful stories and strange combinations. Every time Stacey learned a new word, it was like making a new friend. Who is with her?