(Urban Garden Center in New York City is an inspiring force in their East Harlem community. I’m honored to be standing with the second and third generations of the Gatanas family, who literally built this business from the ground up. The first generation, Mama Gatanas, took this picture for us!)
One of the most rewarding experiences of being an author is meeting the actual people who are selling your book. I think it’s an underrated opportunity, as authors tend to focus on relationships with readers and journalists, but booksellers have just as much impact on the success of a title.
And independent booksellers, in particular, work incredibly hard to market new books to their customers, plan meaningful events for their communities, and bring in authors to foster the type of camaraderie you can’t find online.
A well-curated bookshop is truly a gem if you’re lucky to have one in your neighborhood. And while it’s easy to hop online, browse for a book, and have it shipped to your house for less than the list price, there’s something to be said about wandering the aisles of a brick-and-mortar. Meeting the proprietor behind it. Even asking a real person a question, a basic interaction that all too often involves Google or Siri these days.
My book tour gave me the rare opportunity to connect with a small (but undeniably important) segment of the wonderful people involved in getting my book into the world. Being able to chat with the owners, buyers, and sales folks on the retail end really made me appreciate what they do for their communities. I occasionally hear babble that books are a dying breed, but I don’t believe that’s true. There will always be a part of human nature that craves a tangible connection with a printed page. But as time moves on, that in-person experience may just be harder to find nearby.
(BookBar in Denver not only has the nicest people working there, it’s also a novel concept for a business: an independent bookshop and wine bar in one!)
If you’ve been meaning to buy a copy of The CSA Cookbook (or you want to buy another as a gift), may I suggest you support a small business in your town? In fact, all independent bookstores are able to order my book from their distributors, even if they don’t currently stock it. It’s a win on many levels!
And if you live in or near one of the areas below, I’d be deeply grateful if you supported your closest retailer. Many of them carry signed copies of my book, but if they’re out, I’m happy to send you a signed bookplate as a thank you for shopping local. (Just email me your receipt.)
All of these retailers have hosted events for my book, and I’m thankful for their support. I hope you’ll consider buying a book the old-fashioned way, and possibly discover a local business you haven’t seen before.
If you’re aware of an independent shop carrying The CSA Cookbook in your town (but is not listed), please add them in the comments so other people may find them. (And who knows… they could very likely be part of my next book tour!)
Greater Los Angeles Area
The Book Frog (signed copies)
25357 Crenshaw Blvd.
Torrance, CA 90505
Special note: The Book Frog is my local bookshop, so if you would like your book inscribed with a personal message, please let them know when you place your order.