Find Your Bookstore Contest!

It's been a couple of years since I updated my database of independent bookstores. When I created the list in 2007, there were 579 appropriate, viable bookstores on it.

Today there are 505. That's pretty awful, but when you consider the impact of the economy in the last three years, it's not nearly as bad as it could have been. Considering that overall, only half of new small businesses survive their first five years, it's pretty damned good. I'm happy to see that a lot of bookstores that had eschewed the internet now have web sites. And web sites of their own, not just listings in Booksense. You would think that, say, an independent bookseller on the Upper East Side of Manhattan would know that it should have a web site, but apparently bookstores are among the last to join us here on our intertubes.

Here's the thing: I'm betting there are a lot of good, viable bookstores that haven't made my list yet. There are 1200+ booksellers in the American Booksellers' Association, and many of them would be appropriate for my database. I use this database to market my books, to consider locations for book signings when traveling, etc.

So here's my contest! Enter by posting here about an independent bookstore in your area. That means no Borders, Barnes and Noble, Waldenbooks, Books-a-Million, etc. Those guys have book buyers who are far too in love with the Twilight and Harry Potter knockoffs for us small-press folk to bother with. They think you only want Nora Roberts and John Grisham forever and ever amen. I'm betting the indie bookstores know better.

Also please leave out bookstores that are solely for genres I don't write, like children's books, Christian/inspirational or nonfiction; bookstores that only sell used books; and bookstores that are going out of business. I'll take mystery bookstores because some of my stuff could be considered mystery, like the vampire stories.

I need the following info:
• Name of store
• Street address including ZIP
• Web site (if any)
• Owner's name (if you have it)
• Phone number (ditto)

Each store you give me gets you one entry in the contest! Prizes include free books (by me and by other people), gift certificates to, and the grand prize... being killed in a story. Muahahaha.

And you indie bookstores... hang in there, okay? We need you!


  1. Village Books
    1808 Paris Rd.
    Columbia, MO 65202
    Becky Asher and Doug Wilson

    They have all genres, but a particularly large selection of UF and PNR.

  2. Not an entry, but a heads-up - after the new year, Joseph-Beth will only have the Joseph-Beths in Lexington KY, Cincinnati, OH, and Fredericksburg, VA, and the Davis-Kidd Memphis (so wait, we can add Joseph-Beth Fredericksburg to your database!). Delete the JBBs in Pittsburgh, Charlotte, Cleveland and the Davis-Kidd in Nashville.

    Joseph-Beth Booksellers
    1 Towne Centre Blvd
    Fredericksburg, VA 22407-1112
    (540) 548-1740

    You know, if you're ever in Virginia.

  3. i <3 jobeth! :) i remember when they were wee. :)

    my favorite indie here in lexington:

    The Morris Book Shop
    408 Southland Drive
    Lexington, Kentucky 40503

    "You're welcome to email us anytime at We check our email often, but if your communication is particularly time-sensitive, we recommend you call us at 859-276-0494."

  4. I'm pretty sure that my favorite is already in your database - Fantasy Books in Belleville and Fairview Heights.
    1113 East Main Street
    Belleville, IL 62221
    phone: 618.235.0844

    Fantasy Books 2
    1937 West Highway 50
    Fairview Hts, IL 62208
    phone: 618.624.0920

    Another one that I don't go to as much is Main Street Music in Waterloo. Their web site says used sci-fi and paperbacks, but I seem to remember seeing a new copy of a Gaiman book - it's an eclectic place and might be perfect for you.

    Main Street Music
    108 North Market Street
    Waterloo, IL 62298
    (618) 939-4676

  5. Anonymous7:23 PM

    Rediscovered Bookshop
    7079 Overland Rd.
    Boise, ID 83709
    Tel: 208-376-4229
    Bruce and Laura Delaney

    Don't know if they're in your database, but they should be. Also, "A Novel Adventure" closed up shop in September, in case you had them down.

  6. Anonymous4:04 PM

    Sherlock's Book Emporium
    235 Fifth Avenue North
    Nashville, Tennessee 37219
    Steve Guynn, Owner

  7. Anonymous5:27 PM

    Between Books
    2703 Philadelphia Pike
    Claymont, DE 19703
    Greg is the owner (don't know his last name - sorry)
    The shop specializes in fantasy/sci-fi/horror genre - your stuff would be right at home there.
    Greg hosts events for authors on a regular basis, he's had Cat Valente and Sooj several times, so, if you're looking for a tour location where you can crash with friends and visit family... hint, hint... :)

    Ninth Street Book Shop
    104 W 9th St
    Wilmington, DE 19801
    (I have yet to locate this store - I suck at navigating the city, but I've heard good things...)

    Rainbow Books & Music
    54 E Main St
    Newark, DE 19711
    This one is down the street from me - they get listed as only a used book/music dealer, but they do also sell new - especially from local artists, authors/musicians the owners get to know, and those who visit the shop/do signings, etc. They're struggling right now, and halving the size of their store so that they can rent the other half out to be able to keep affording to stay open... They have been on Main Street in Newark almost my entire lifetime, and it's sad to see them so close to going under... :(
    (Damn the new university bookstore - it's a B&N chain...)

    In the southern beaches (I have never visited any of these):
    Bethany Beach Books
    99 Garfield Parkway
    Bethany Beach, DE 19930
    302-539-2522 ‎

    Browesabout Books
    133 Rehoboth Ave
    PO box 626
    Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971

    Dewey Books and Coffee
    124 Dickinson St
    Dewey Beach, DE 19971

  8. Dangit Stephen! You beat me to it! Now that we only have ONE indie bookstore (that sells new books) left in Nashville...grrrrr....

    So, I'll toss in a nod to my favorite left-coast indie place (that actually stocks my books!):

    Borderlands Books
    866 Valencia St.
    San Francisco CA 94110


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