So it's happened at last: the independet booksellers of my city -- erroneously considered extinct by some, occasionally considered competitive by each other, often considered a powerful, untapped resource by a few Pollyannas such as myself -- have formed an alliance.
The Independent Booksellers of New York City -- IBNYC for you acronym lovers -- declared itself an official organization at a meeting on June 26, and set about using their collective smarts to work together for good.
IBNYC has no formal legal structure -- our dues and financial admin is being handled by our regional association, NAIBA, under the good supervision of Eileen Dengler. (Hopefully this will mean that more NYC booksellers become NAIBA members!)
What we have the potential to do is to make our voice heard, and educate New York publishers and consumers about the existence and advantages of independent bookstores in their town and their neighborhood.
There are some committees making this happen now: working on a map of all indie bookstores in the city, on relations with publishers, and on other projects in the works.
The real mastermind of the project is Kelly Amabile, the author events coordinator up at Book Culture. Kelly joined the bookselling community only a short time ago, but already has discovered it's her passion, and her talent and enthusiasm is helping to make this project a success.
You can see Kelly in the bookstore, or find her on her blog, Lost in Place. We're lucky to have her at the helm of this new venture, and I have high hopes for what's to come.