Sunday, August 30, 2009

Indie Bookstores Are Awesome!

The past few days I was up in beautiful Petoskey, MI for a wedding (that was gorgeous by the way - and so much fun!!!!).

There's so much about Petoskey that I love -- it's posh and urban chic, and yet picturesque with a hometown feel. Fellow writer and awesome blogger Laura Martone knows what I'm talking about. She blogged about how lovely Petoskey is in her Monday Munchies: American Spoon Foods entry earlier this month.

But it wasn't the cafes that I fell in love with this past weekend. Nope, it was Mclean and Eakin Bookstore. Now before I go too far talking about how much I love this independent book haven, I have to confess that YOU'VE GOT MAIL is one of my all time favorite movies. Okay, having said that, Mclean and Eakin reminds me of the Shop Around the Corner from the movie. Fox Books bad. Shop Around the Corner good.

Okay, secondly, for living in a big city (well, fairly large) I've never spent much time in an independent bookstore. But I can tell you that after visiting Mclean and Eakin, I want to. I want to live in that bookstore. Because unlike the comp titles with their fancy marketing strategies and what not, independent bookstores are filled with staff recommendations and local flavor. No one paid a fork load of dinero to have their title placed on the front table. One of the staff members just liked the book and placed it there--with their name on it on everything! The bookmark is a beacon saying: "Hello, I love this book. It's amazing. You should read it too!" It was so refreshing. And comforting. The place felt like home.

In all honesty, I walked around the store just soaking it all in.

Okay, that's a lie. I did walk around, but that's not all I did. I dreamed. I utilized the moment for a little creative visualization, imaging that I was there for a book signing (mine of course). I even took an extra ten minutes staring at the store's flyers announcing upcoming guest authors and pictured my name on the list. It was right there. I saw it.

So change in plans. I used to dream about seeing my book at B&N, but not anymore. My true dream is to walk into McLean and Eakin, chat up the staff for a few minutes, and stare at my book on the shelf. Oh, and have a book signing there, maybe two, and a cookie reception. With frosted sugar cookies. Pink sprinkles. And coffee. Make mine a latte.

4 comments:

Laura Martone said...

I know EXACTLY what you mean, Steph. Not just about Petoskey, which is indeed awesome, but about that particular bookstore. On my last visit to Petoskey, I walked in there, too... and roamed about, dreaming for a while.

There's an equally awesome bookstore in my little pocket of Michigan, too... a place called Saturn Booksellers in downtown Gaylord, where I had my first book signing (for my MOON MICHIGAN travel guide) about a month ago. The staff is wonderful - and you're right, it's all about what they want to promote... because THEY ALL LOVE TO READ! The owner, manager, and all the girls who work there were so gracious to me... and Jill, the owner, has even promised that, when my novel comes out, I can sign it there, too. Woohoo!

It's the kind of place that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy upon first walking inside - course, it doesn't hurt that there's a "Coffee Cabin" (literally, a cabin with a porch and everything) smack in the middle of the store. It's too cute!

Steph Damore said...

That's awesome. I love bookstore's like that. And having an offer for a second book signing? How amazing is that. It must make you feel one step closer to having your book published. The dream is within your reach!

I wish Saginaw had a store like that. I tell you what, I'm about sick of my corner of the mitt--up north is where it's at.

Oh and we drove through Gaylord twice this weekend (of course twice, once their and once back). I love how everything has an Alpine/Bavarian feel. Even Wal-Mart!

Beth said...

Steph, I'll make and deliver your cookies for you at the book signing. I have 1 question though. Did you drive through there or their when you went through Gaylord? Hmmmm

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