‘Indies First’ at Cloud & Leaf Bookstore

Two years ago the award-winning poet and author Sherman Alexie came up with a simple but powerful way for authors to be what he called “superheroes for independent bookstores.”

He named it Indies First.

To participate, authors and illustrators had only to show up at their local independent bookstores on the Saturday after Thanksgiving and hand-sell books. More than 1,100 hundred of his colleagues did.

What Sherman began with one great idea has quickly become a movement of authors and illustrators directly supporting the independent booksellers who so directly support them.

Join Cloud & Leaf Bookstore at 148 Laneda Ave in Manzanita for the Indies First event on Nov. 28. That day is Small Business Saturday, one of the busiest shopping days of the year, coming as it does right before the holidays. It’s the perfect time for you to find gift books for everyone on your list.

“Shortly after we moved to Manzanita fulltime in 2006,” Kathie Hightower, author and cofounder of the Manzanita Writers’ series said, “My husband and I attended an evening where Mike Powell of Powell’s Books said something that really struck me. ‘You have one of the best independent bookstores here, in Cloud & Leaf. You need to support them…the book business is incredibly challenging these days especially because of Amazon.’ I decided to order all my books from Cloud & Leaf because I do want them here in town.”

One of the things that independent bookstores do so well is to “hand-sell” books, to introduce you to books you might not hear about otherwise. These can be the big bestsellers, but just as often are great books from small publishing houses or self-published books that don’t quickly get press, titles that might not gain a foothold in the book world without the efforts of indies.

“When my book came out in February,” new author Phyllis Mannan shares, “Jody bolstered my confidence by placing a stack of copies on the counter at Cloud & Leaf where customers couldn’t miss them. I owe her a debt of gratitude.”

A number of local authors will be at Cloud & Leaf Saturday, Nov. 28, from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., sharing some of their favorite books, hand-selling books. Not their own books, but other books they personally love.

The local authors who will be at Cloud & Leaf:

Kathie Hightower, coauthor of “Military Spouse Journey,” and “1001 Things to Love About Military Life.”

Lauren Kessler, author of “Raising the Barre,” “Counterclockwise,” “Stubborn Twig,” “The Write Path,” and others

Holly Lorincz, author of the novel “Smart Mouth,” and coauthor of “Step By Step Pitches And Proposals: A Workbook For Writers” and “How Do I Find A Literary Agent? And 101 Other Questions Asked By Writers.”

Phyllis Mannan, author of “Torn Fish: A Mother, Her Autistic Son, and Their Shared Humanity.”

Deborah Reed, author of “Things We Set on Fire,” “Olivay,” “Carry Yourself Back to Me,” and others.

Floyd Skloot, author of “Approaching Winter,” “Revertigo: An Off-Kilter Memoir,” and others.

Mark Scott Smith, author of “Enemy in the Mirror: Love and Fury in the Pacific War.”

For information, contact Kathie Hightower at 503-739-1505, or Jody Swanson, at 503-368-2665.








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