MSI Press Author Tributes to Independent Book Stores on Independent Book Store Day


Today is Independent Bookstore Day. In lieu of shared posts from one author, as we typically do each day in the blog post, From the Blog Posts of MSI Press Authors, we are presenting tributes from a range of authors in support of their local independent bookstores.

From Julia Aziz

I adore the independent bookstores in my city of Austin, TX. When I went to BookPeople and told them about the release of Lessons of Labor, they immediately offered to host a book release party and stock my book there. I felt so supported, both as a professional and as a longtime community member. BookPeople continues to be my happy place--a space to rest, read, and discover.

Julia Aziz
author of Lessons from Labor
blog posts by and about Julia
Julia's blog

From Franki Bagdades blog post on the topic:

There is no replacement for entering a space filled with books. Running your hands over glossy covers, flipping through the pages. Hearing someone laugh behind you as they read, a child's "oooh" as they find the perfect story. Now that I've joined the world of authors, I see each book as someone's baby, a labor of love. Each book is someone's vulnerability, their message, perhaps their dream, or even a surprise. In almost every interview I do, I'm asked if I always knew I wanted to write a book. The answer is... nope! I always liked to talk, share, to tell stories. Writing didn't come easily to me though. I was born before the mass production of laptops and the creation of spell check and Grammarly (not sponsored, buy hey- hit me up Grammarly. Honestly I love it!) therefore my writing was always returned to me marked up in angry red pen seething with disappointment. I could visualize my teachers correcting my work, shaking their heads and muttering something about my potential… my least favorite word ever- but that’s another post and I already wrote it here:

Click to read the blog to get links to Franki's favorite independent bookstores and learn what it has been like for her becoming a first-time publisher author -- the realities of authoring.

Frank Bagdade
author of I Love My Kids, But I Don't Always Like Them
awards: Independent Author Network Book of the Year, Literary Titan gold
blog posts by and about Franki

From Dr. Frederic Craigie

I’ve always been a great fan of Indie bookstores. In my travels with my wife across the country in our seasonal migrations between our permanent and winter homes, I have visited and dropped off copies of the book at many smaller Indie bookstores. Since we keep moving, it’s hard to know what the results of these contacts may have been.

However, I have had quite welcome receptions in Indie stores where I introduce myself as a local author. Hearing that the book is available through Ingram, some stores have begun to stock copies, while others have been happy to receive and then replenish copies on consignment. And as the COVID era gradually recedes, Indie bookstores seem to again schedule author events. The Indie stores with which I have had my most satisfying local-author relationships have been Sherman’s (which has several storefronts around Maine), Antigone’s (which is an iconic Indie bookstore in Tucson) and, now that I have recently relocated my permanent residence to Ohio, Loganberry Books in Shaker Heights. The photo is from an author event at Loganberry.

Fred Craigie
author of Weekly Soul
awards: Book of the Year (winner, gold), National Indie Excellence Award, American Book Fest Best Books finalist, Reader Views silver award (religion), Reader Views silver award (mind/body/soul), Kops-Fetherling International Book Awards honorable mention

From Julie Gentile

Growing up, I didn't want toys. I wanted books. I didn't just read books, I savored them, like a quality piece of dark chocolate. I read every page from the copyright to the author's bio on the back inside cover. Some of my earliest memories took place in bookstores and libraries. The smell of a new book, a smell that lingers with you through time, is the fragrance of possibilities—both for the author and the reader. The author has something to share, and the reader has something to learn, understand or see in a new way.

I always knew I wanted to join this group of people who share their creativity with the world through writing. I am so grateful I have had the opportunity to do this twice. One of the most significant moments of my life was on February 23, 2019, the day of my first book launch for 108 Yoga and Self-Care Practices for Busy Mamas, at Barbara's Bookstore in Burr Ridge, IL. I was joined by family members, friends and other people who, too, love to read and learn. I wouldn't have wanted to launch my first book anywhere else other than a local bookstore. The feeling of seeing my book in a bookstore is a feeling of gratitude and possibilities that I can have an impact on my readers, just as many authors before me have had on me. 

Since then, I find myself in many more independent bookstores and libraries, meeting authors at author fairs and events. As a yoga teacher as well, every time I travel to a new town, I look for two things: the local yoga studio and the local bookstore. After exploring the collection in the local bookstore, I always find a book or journal to purchase, a token of my time in that town, something that has lasting significance and the fragrance of possibilities.  

author of:

108 Yoga and Self-Care Practices for Busy Mamas

award: IPPY bronze medal. Book Excellence Award finalist

How to Stay Calm in Chaos

award: Kops-Fetherling honorable mention

Julie's website

From Rev. Steven Greenebaum

It has been a true privilege and pleasure to launch all three of my major works with presentations at independent bookstores. My most recent experience was at “Kiss the Sky” books in Sultan, Washington. Launching with an independent store allows me to discuss with management the why of my book, as well as the how of my presentation. All three presentations were hugely successful. My last presentation with Kiss the Sky books was so delightful (and well attended), that the owner sought me out and has asked me to present my newest book, “An Afternoon’s Dictation” as soon as possible after its June 1st publication date.


If there is interest, my books have a website,

Steven Greenebaum

author of:

An Afternoon's Dictation

awards: London Book Festival winner; Firebird Book Award honorable mention

One Family Indivisible
awards: Eric Hoffer Award finalist, American Bookfest Best Books Award finalist

Seeking Balance in an Unbalanced Time

Steven's website

From CB Leaver

When my book first came out, no one knew me, and no one wanted to carry my book, but Monterey Bay Books through the book was funny and that people in Monterey would read it. So, they ordered it. They were the first bookstore to carry my book. You feel like a real author when a bookstore is supportive in this way. Later, I was invited to present my book at the LA Festival of Books, and it has been excerpted in our local monthly magazine. You never forget the first store, though.

Shenan Leaver
author of:

Mommy Poisoned Our House Guest

From Arthur Yavelberg

In May 2021, just after MSI Books agreed to publish A Theology for the Rest of Us, Jim Tinney of Kiss the Sky Books invited me to a Zoom Q & A at his store. I had had book signings at larger chain bookstores and expected more of the same. However, these were formulaic--everything was set in place quite professionally, but I was pretty much on my own. Their agenda, understandably, was on sales and, fortunately, the supply on hand was sold out. However, Jim seemed genuinely interested in what I had to say and the message of my book.  He encouraged participation and I hope it's not presumptuous to say that he saw my book as consistent with the "mission" of his bookstore. Come to think of it, there is some 'the rest of us' irony here: the big box stores saw me as just one more author like all the others. Jim saw me as unique and related to me as an important individual.  Maybe therein lies the significance of what independent bookstores are all about.

Arthur Yavelberg
author of A Theology for the Rest of Us
awards: Best Indie Book Award, Literary Titan Silver Award
Arthur's website

From Dr. Kristin Wilcox

Like most owners of a small shop, the owner of the independent bookstore, A Likely Story, in my hometown of Sykesville, Maryland is knowledgeable and passionate about her business. She supported me even before my book was published by encouraging me to keep writing, providing an initial list of publishers who may be interested in the topic, and suggesting ways to help book sales. The owner (and her employees) supported me after the book was published by hosting book events at her store and the public library (which helped to get my book into the library system). It’s overwhelming to try and publish your book, and she made the task a bit easier through her support and knowledge as a bookseller.

Kristin Wilcox
co-author of Andrew's Awesome Adventures with His ADHD Brain
awards: Best Indie Book Award
Kristin's LinkedIn page

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