I love books. And I love bookstores. I always have, from the days when I would ride my bike downtown every weekend (and more often in summer) to trade in and buy books at our local used book store.
When I moved to Madison, Wisconsin in 2004, A Room of One’s Own became my local bookstore.
And what a bookstore, with a knowledgeable staff that loves books, and talking about books, as much as I do.
Room has been a central fixture in the Madison community since 1975, and they do more than sell books. Room serves as the center hub of a wheel, with spokes extending in many directions to support and improve the lives of so many people, especially many women and children. Room is a safe place. A meeting place. A place of information, and learning, and pure enjoyment of reading. A place of friendship. And the staff of Room can be found around town, selling books at local events, and supporting the community in a myriad of ways that go beyond selling books. They and their store enrich our lives.
Last year, Room put out a call to their customers — they asked us to pledge to buy five more books during the calendar year than we did the year before. It was designed to gauge the depth of customer loyalty before the owners made some tough decisions about Room’s future. I took that pledge, as did more than 500 of Room’s customers. And because of that show of loyalty, of commitment, Room was able to move forward with confidence. In fact, this year Room will move into a larger space, better able to serve their customers and the greater community.
I love Room. And that pledge last year, and the community response, got me thinking about how I could continue to show Room and its staff how much they are valued and supported. Well, one afternoon while I was gazing at the place on the YA fiction shelf where my book will be come September (What? Debut authors totally visit “their shelves” all the time!), I came up with an idea. Other authors have supported their local indies, and so could I. I might not be as well known as those who have done it before, but if I could help Room with any additional sales, that would be worth it. And, I could give back to readers at the same time.
So, I will, of course, be grateful if you buy Personal Effects from any retail bookseller (especially if you decide to pre-order it). You can find it for pre-order wherever fine books are sold (and there will be sales links up on the Personal Effects page soon). And if buying isn’t in your budget, then I would be thrilled if you would request Personal Effects at your local library – libraries are great and I am all for people availing themselves of the library!
But, if you are inclined to buy Personal Effects, and would like to buy from a wonderful independent bookstore, I offer this exchange — pre-order your copy of Personal Effects from A Room of One’s Own and I’ll go in and autograph your copy before the amazing Room staff ships it off to you.
There’s even a special order page for pre-ordering a signed copy of Personal Effects from Room!
It’s a small way for me to give a little back to a store I love, and to readers.
P.S. We’re making some changes here at www.emkokie.com — we’ve already updated the contact page, and Barrett is hard at work updating the links and information, and overhauling the page for Personal Effects. When the new Personal Effects page goes up, it will have the kick-ass cover designed by Candlewick Press, as well as the amazing blurbs we’ve received. In the meantime, I’ll be tweeting some of those blurbs, so keep an eye on my twitter feed.