From Quarter Moon Books in Topsail Island, North Carolina, to City Lights in San Francisco , California, from the Poisoned Pen in Scottsdale, Arizona, to Longfellow Books in Portland, Maine, I've been fortunate to have experienced incredible support from this country's independent booksellers. I was honored that A Land More Kind Than Home was a summer 2012 IndieNext Pick and an Okra Pick of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance. I was even more honored that the novel was a 2013 SIBA Book Award Winner for best fiction and a finalist for a 2013 Indies Choice Award from the American Booksellers Association.
But even before my first novel was released, independent booksellers were making a huge difference in my life, and I imagine that many folks feel the same way. When I lived in Asheville, North Carolina, one of my favorite things to do was to walk down to Malaprop's and get a cup of coffee and browse the shelves, where I spent most of my time in the local section, browsing titles by Ron Rash, Wilma Dykeman, and Tommy Hays. Whenever my wife and I are in her hometown of Wilmington, North Carolina, we always stop in and say hello to the folks at Pomegranate Books, where local authors like Clyde Edgerton and Rebecca Lee are staff favorites. Stores like these can diagnose your reading life and prescribe just the book (or books!) to keep it thriving. Over the past several years, the best books I've read can be traced directly back to a hand-sell at an independent bookstore.
Indie bookstores have done more for me than sell my novel; they've given me a community. For the past year, indies have aided in my professional life as a writer, but they have always nurtured my private life as a reader. For that I am endlessly grateful.
I want to encourage other readers to find the same joy and sense of community in their local independent bookstores, and as an incentive I've decided to create a special offer for patrons of indie bookstores. If they pre-order my forthcoming novel, This Dark Road to Mercy, from an independent bookstore between now and its release date on January 28, 2014 and email me either a scan or photo of their receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org, I'll email them an exclusive excerpt of the novel as well as an unpublished scene from A Land More Kind Than Home. This offer includes Kobo e-readers. So, get online or walk into your favorite indie bookstore and pre-order This Dark Road to Mercy, scan or photograph your receipt, and email it to me at email@example.com; I'll send you an exclusive sneak-peek of This Dark Road to Mercy and an unpublished scene from A Land More Kind Than Home. If you need help finding an indie store in your community or online, please use Indie Bound's store finder feature.
While you're in the store, make sure to ask, "What should I read next?"