Retail is struggling. Just this year, Toys R Us went out of business. Claire’s, the jewelry chain store in 99 % of U.S. malls, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Many other retailers are also closing stores this year including: Sears, Macy’s, JC Penney, Walgreen, Gymboree, Gap and Dress Barn. Bookstores are also struggling. Every month, I read about more stores—both general market and Christian—closing.
Yet, retail stores are an important piece of the book-selling equation for authors and publishers. In recognition of the importance of bookstores and the need to do more to support bookstores, a number of book industry players have teamed up to launch #LoveYourBookstore challenge.
The #LoveYourBookstore challenge is designed to draw attention to all physical bookstores as the holiday shopping season begins. The challenge is a week long challenge that will run Saturday, November 10 through Friday, November 16. The challenge encourages readers (and authors) to go into a local bookstore and take a picture of either a book you are most excited to gift this holiday season or a book you want to receive as a gift.
Participants can then post their photos to Instagram or Twitter between November 10 and 16 with the hashtag #loveyourbookstore. Anyone making a post with this hashtag will be entered to win book-related prices.
I encourage all authors and small publishers to participate in the #LoveYourBookstore challenge. I have put it on my calendar and plan to participate.
This challenge presents a great way for all authors to get involved in not only promoting bookstores (whether they carry your books or not), it also helps promote reading and literacy.
I recently read an article on Generation Z and how this generation is not reading, instead they are watching videos to learn. One teenager was quoted in the article as saying, “Books are so old fashioned.”
We need both the printed word and videos. We retain information that we read differently than information that we hear. Studies have long shown that both reading and hearing the same information provides more pathways in the brain for greater retention of the material.
I hope that you will take part in the #LoveYourBookstore challenge next month. You can learn more about the program at www.loveyourbookstore.com.
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