Happy Holidays from Indigo! We wish you and your loved ones peace, comfort, good food, stability, and lots of great books.

Photo by Drew Coffman on Unsplash

If it’s on your holiday list to support your loved ones’ pursuit of the perfectly filled bookshelf, then we’re right there with you! Here are some great ways to shop for the book lovers in your life this winter and simultaneously support a thriving publishing economy.

The key to shopping book smart is to remember that small businesses make a huge economic impact on your local communities and on the publishing world overall. Large corporations minimize the share of the profit that goes to the author and the publisher, which can be detrimental in the book biz—even causing some businesses to close up shop.

Whenever possible, we encourage you to shop small and local, even for those national bestsellers you’re looking for. Here’s how:

Authors Kate Carroll de Gutes, Lidia Yuknavitch, Leni Zumas, and Karen Karbo pose with Broadway Books co-owner Sally McPherson at the 2018 Indies First event.

1. Buy from indie bookstores. Your local independent bookstore has access to any book on your list. Even if they don’t have it on the shelf, all bookstores have the same book database where they can order the books you want and get them delivered ASAP. Plus, most bookstores host fun events during the holidays, like the Indies First event that Portland’s Broadway Books featured November 24!

2. Buy directly from authors. Authors love to sell directly to readers. Seriously! Most will gladly personalize a copy for you or your loved one too (check out @cherylstrayed’s latest Instagram post). How cool would it be to open that perfect book you were hoping for and see a personal note from the author? Visit author websites, and watch your local literary scene for events like Oregon Historical Society’s Holiday Cheer Celebration of Authors coming up December 2 or the Brooklyn Holiday Book Fair on December 1.

3. Buy directly from publishers. Did you know most publishers sell books right on their websites? It’s true! Take Ashland, Oregon’s Fuze Publishing and Portland’s Amber Lotus Publishing, for instance. Beautiful books, calendars, journals, and cards, straight from the publishers. Many publishers will have specials during the holidays too.

4. Shopping online? Yes, we get how much more convenient it is to shop online in your pajamas than to get dressed, drive (or bus) somewhere, and deal with a crowd. So do bookstores, authors, and publishers! There are plenty of ways to shop online, the most obvious being to go to your favorite bookstore’s, author’s, or publisher’s website. But there’s also a one-stop shop for all your book-buying needs: Indiebound.org! IndieBound supports independent bookstores, so you don’t have to feel guilty about your money supporting some big corporation.

5. Prefer ebooks? We also get how convenient ebooks are. But not all ebook purchases support a healthy publishing industry. We recommend Kobo ebooks (for your Kobo reader or any smartphone or tablet) ordered through your favorite indie bookstore! Find more info and order here.

6. Prefer audio? Check out Libro.fm! Just like ebooks, there are certain platforms that support a thriving publishing world and others that don’t. Libro.fm lets you buy your favorite audiobooks and select which local independent bookstore you want the proceeds to go to. Wow!

Now that we’ve got the book-buying channels covered, if you’re still in need of recommendations for that perfect book for your special someone, check out these book lists from industry experts:

Don’t forget to buy some good books for yourself too so you can snuggle between the pages and enjoy a picture-perfect winter day.

Happy Holidays from the Indigo team: Ali, Laura, Vinnie, Susan, Kristen, Jenn, Dehlia, Olivia, Lisa, and Nicki