The 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Adventures

Friday, February 28, 2014

WHERE You Buy Your Books is Important

I've blogged about the importance of independent bookstores, most recently here. And I've blogged about the indie bookstores visited while on my Great Lakes Adventures. I've even mentioned bookstores encountered when I'm not hiking, like my recent visit to Chicago's awesome Sandmeyer's Bookstore on Printer's Row. 

For a time, there were predictions that most bookstores would close due to the rise of the eBook (the sales of which have now gone flat) and the ease of purchasing books online. 

These predictions were wrong.

Shelf Awareness reports:

"Some 43 independent bookstores opened in 20 states during 2013, including a dozen established stores purchased by new owners and six branches of existing businesses."

(full report here)

Many established authors recognize the role indie bookstores have played in getting their books into the hands of readers. Some of those authors are now giving back. 

James Patterson, the wildly successful author of thrillers and, more recently, children's books, has pledged to give $1 million to indie bookstores. 

James Patterson

These grants are now being distributed. Read all about it here

And Sherman Alexie proposed that authors work at indie bookstores on Small Business Saturday. 

Sherman Alexie, the man with the plan

His plan:

"We book nerds will become booksellers. We will make recommendations. We will practice nepotism and urge readers to buy multiple copies of our friends' books. Maybe you'll sign and sell books of your own in the process. I think the collective results could be mind-boggling (maybe even world-changing)."

Many authors partnered with indie bookstores that day.

I consider my relationship 
with indie bookstores to be a 
lifetime partnership

As an avid reader, I cannot imagine a world without bookstores. They are places of wonder for me, places to discover new works by favorite authors, or discover a new author who will become a favorite. I value the expertise of indie booksellers and trust that when they put a book in my hands, it will be a wonderful read. 

As a writer, I partner with many indie bookstores to purchase the books I need to illuminate the history, geology, and other aspects of our Great Lakes. I absorb this information and then weave it into my books about my Great Lakes Adventures.

As a published author, I am honored that so many indie bookstores have placed my books on their shelves and into the hands of readers. As a thank you to the indies, I pre-released my second book to a dozen stores so they would have it before (Details here.)

Author and Indie Bookstore Partner, me, Loreen Niewenhuis

Remember:  Where you buy your books is important. Support your local indie bookstore, or find one in your region here.

And if you are a customer of, consider this article before you order from them in the future.


  1. Bless your heart, Loreen! It is a pleasure IN SO MANY WAYS to work with you, host events for you, recommend and sell your books, etc. This message about indie bookstores IS getting out, one customer at a time, and you are a big, big help. Thank you!!!

  2. And I bought not one, but two of your wonderful books, Loreen, at Dog Ear Books! (my favorite independent book store)