The American Booksellers Association is pleased to announce Lena Dunham as the 2016 official spokesperson for Indies First, a national campaign of activities and events in support of independent bookstores that takes place on Small Business Saturday, the weekend after Thanksgiving.
Dunham is the bestselling author of Not That Kind of Girl (Random House, 2015) and creator and star of the critically acclaimed HBO series Girls, for which she also serves as executive producer, writer, and director. Dunham has also written and directed two feature-length films (including Tiny Furniture in 2010) and is a frequent contributor to The New Yorker. Earlier this year, Random House announced a new publishing imprint called LENNY, which will be a home for the kinds of exciting, emerging voices—in fiction and non-fiction—that Dunham and Jenni Konner are already attracting and publishing so successfully in their feminist newsletter of the same name.
On Small Business Saturday (November 26)—a day dedicated to supporting the local businesses that help create jobs, boost the economy, and preserve neighborhoods—independent bookstores will host authors as honorary booksellers to celebrate Indies First, to help handsell their favorite titles, sign books, give readings, and more.
In a letter linked here and included below, Dunham calls upon readers and her fellow authors to join in her support of independent bookstores. She urges authors to link to a local indie bookstore for book sales and to sign up to be booksellers at their favorite independent bookshops on November 26. Dunham, who will spend Indies First day in Los Angeles at Book Soup, says: “I wouldn’t be who I am without independent bookstores…[they] are at once cozy and mysterious, comforting and strange. The universal feeling of making a weird and wonderful discovery is something you can count on in any indie across the country, from Book Soup in LA to Oblong Books & Music in Rhinebeck, NY.”
Indies First was created by author Sherman Alexie in 2013; other authors who have spearheaded the campaign include Kate DiCamillo, Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer, Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket), and Cheryl Strayed. Fans can follow Indies First on Facebookand Twitter, as well as the hashtag #IndiesFirst, and search for store events nationwide on IndieBound.org. Inquiries about Indies First can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the American Booksellers Association (www.BookWeb.org)
Founded in 1900, the American Booksellers Association is a not-for-profit trade association devoted to meeting the needs of its core members—independently owned bookstores with storefront locations—through education, information dissemination, business products and services, and advocacy. ABA exists to protect and promote the interests of independent retail book businesses, as well as to protect the First Amendment rights of every American. The association actively supports free speech, literacy, and programs that support local and independent retail shops. A board of 10 booksellers governs the Association. ABA is headquartered in White Plains, New York.
A Word From Lena Dunham
I wouldn’t be who I am without independent bookstores. It might seem bizarre to make a commercial enterprise a cornerstone of your identity, so let me explain. Indie bookstores are like college and a nightclub combined—places for learning, community-building, and falling in love with strangers. Every time I go to McNally Jackson in NYC, I’m a heartbeat away from proposing marriage to at least eight different shoppers, convinced that a shared love of Diana Athill and an endless supply of buttered scones from the store’s cafe are all we’ll need for a beautiful life together. They’re at once cozy and mysterious, comforting and strange. The universal feeling of making a weird and wonderful discovery is something you can count on in any indie across the country, from Book Soup in LA to Oblong Books & Music in Rhinebeck, NY. The community you find in these stores is unique because it’s about feeling seen in the most surprising of places. It’s the same moment of recognition which makes a good book great. It’s when you suddenly catch in somebody else—a bookseller, a shopper, or visiting author—some lovely, secret thought, or dream, or feeling that you were sure was yours alone. Independent bookstores let us find one another. That’s something worth celebrating.
In support of these wonderful bookstores, I’ll be joining with the American Booksellers Association for Indies First 2016. Even though my professional comfort zone tends to extend no further than my own bed and personal stash of carbohydrates, I’ll be emerging from under my comforter to hit the floor of Book Soup in Los Angeles on Saturday, November 26 to join the bookselling fun. I strongly encourage everyone to join me in support of independent bookstores, putting Indies First on November 26!
It couldn’t be simpler: Readers can find a local independent bookstore here: www.indiebound.org/indie-
With love and gratitude,