This independent bookstore, Back Pages Books, is trying to sell out the first full print run of a new novel by local author Jon Papernick, called Who By Fire, Who By Blood, which is being published by something called Exile Editions (a Canadian publisher of "fine literature"). While it's a rather ambitious endeavor, I like the bookseller's attitude. The Globe article ends thus:
Green hopes the innovative effort will also inspire other independent bookstore owners not to give up in the face of Internet retailers such as Amazon.com.
"We've got absolutely nothing to lose," he said.
(The article has some other interesting publishing notes in it, btw.)
We can only hope more independent booksellers have such strength of conviction and support voices they like. Of course, there's more to it then that, as customers have to agree with the bookseller's opinion...
Booksellers need to team up with independent publishers when possible to get books out there, but if they focus too much on obscure titles by small houses that look or even are self-published, they run the risk of scaring off customers. I can appreciate that. There are enough independent presses, as well as university presses, offering well-produced books that too often get overlooked by mainstream media and big box stores. And it's always nice to see independents get behind those books and turn a book that could easily disappear into a strong seller.
In the mix, a bookseller can include books self-published or published by such small houses that cannot afford to produce their books quite up to bigger house standards (shiny cover, awkward font, amateurish design, etc). That's not for every customer, but it's good to have as an option for the open-minded ones that want to read something that's not as common, maybe before the author becomes the Next Big Thing.
I admire the 1001 Book Project and hope more booksellers take notice and consider what they can do to both support new voices while also supporting their own store. I know it ain't easy for these folks...