Last year, the Obamas spent Small Business Saturday pursuing a local bookstore, and a number of indie stores held events to celebrate. This year, a more official celebration of independent bookstores will take place nationwide: Indies First Day.
Sherman Alexie, author of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, among other bestsellers, has become a sort of spokesperson for the event. In a letter addressed to other writers, he wrote, "This is a great way to fight for independents—one that will actually help them. It’ll help you as well; the Indies I’ve talked to have told me that last year Small Business Saturday was one of their biggest days of the year."
"It's independent booksellers that have created the momentum for most of the surprise bestsellers we've seen," Alexie says in the above video, citing his own, book, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven as an example. "A first book of fiction by a Native American writer would not have fit in anyone's algorithm," he said.
Alexie isn't the only well-known writer to actively show his support for indie bookstores this year; scores of authors, including Daniel Handler and James Patterson, will volunteer as staff members at their local shops.