Current Weather
The Spy FM

Sherman Alexie Wants You To Be A ‘Superhero’ For Indie Bookstores

Filed by KOSU News in Business.
November 30, 2013

Back in September, poet and novelist Sherman Alexie wrote an open letter to a group of people whom he called the “gorgeous book nerds” of the world, asking them to become “superheroes” for independent bookstores.

More than 1,000 authors answered his call, which means signing on to work at local indie bookstores today, Small Business Saturday, as part of the Indies First campaign. Alexie tells NPR’s Scott Simon that he’ll be doing a marathon of five stores, helping to sell some of his favorite books. Has Alexie sold books before? “No,” he laughs, “although when you’re a writer in this era, certainly you are pretty much a salesperson.”

Interview Highlights

On the importance of independent bookstores

My career happened because the booksellers at independent bookstores hand-sold my book. Readers and potential buyers would come into their stores, they would pick up my books of poems, my books of short stories — published by micropresses — and put it in their hands. And that’s the kind of relationship that exists between independent booksellers and their customers, and authors have a chance there that they wouldn’t otherwise have a chance in this giant Internet world where it’s impossible to get noticed.

On recommending his own books today

That’s not primarily why I’m there — and I’m also working in Seattle, my hometown, where I live, so certainly most of the people who show up are probably already going to have copies of my books. I’m going to be doing what a bookseller does — they’re going to walk in and … I’m going to ask them, what kind of book are you looking for? And they’re going to say, “Well, I loved this book of stories by Lorrie Moore,” and I’m going to say, “Well, why don’t you check out Natalie Serber’s Shout Her Lovely Name? I think you’d really enjoy that.” [Copyright 2013 NPR]

Leave a Reply

9PM to 5AM The Spy

The Spy

An eclectic mix of the Spy's library of more than 10,000 songs curated by Ferris O'Brien.

Listen Live Now!

Upcoming Events in your area (Submit your event today!)

Streaming audio and podcasts

Stream KOSU on your smartphone

Phone Streaming

SmartPhone listening options on this page are intended for many iPhones, Blackberries, etc. with low-cost software applications available to listen to our full-time web streams, both News on KOSU-1 and Classical on KOSU-2.

Learn more about our complete range of streaming services

We're perfecting the patient experience - Stillwater Medical Center