We’re delighted to announce a pilot program which is being launched with help from publishers. The Authors for Indies Road Show is an initiative that addresses two of the issues bookstores have raised:
- Bookstores outside urban centres have a hard time attracting authors
- As AFI repeats each year, customers will want to meet some different authors when they go to their local bookstore on AFI Day
The Authors for Indies Road Show features vehicles, each taking 3 – 4 authors on different routes to bookstores outside the Greater Toronto Area. The cars will be branded with Authors for Indies stickers. This initiative should also be good PR for bookstores and AFI because it's a bit quirky and will attract media attention.
Publishers can contribute in two ways: by providing the cars and drivers, and by encouraging their authors to "get on the road". The length of time authors spend at bookstores will depend on how many stores are on their vehicle's route.
Big thanks to HarperCollins, Penguin Random House, and Simon & Schuster - the first publishers to get on board. They’re winning points big time by rounding up authors, funding vehicles and drivers, and coordinating routes with the AFI Road Show organizers.
Publishers: Can your teams get enough authors interested? If yes, then you can get on board the AFI Road Show initiative in these ways:
- rent vehicles with drivers to take authors around
- have publicists volunteer to drive authors around
- cover gas and expenses for authors to car pool
- some or all of the above!
Most importantly, please work with Kate Hilton to get your AFI car sticker and to coordinate bookstore routes. We don’t want five vans pulling up to the same bookstore at 10 am on Saturday, April 29!
Booksellers: Are you within a 2-hour radius outside Toronto? Would you like to be included on a route? Please contact Kate Hilton to discuss.
The AFI Road Show is an initiative which needs careful planning to run smoothly. This first year is going to be a learning experience for all involved. If it works out, we hope to expand it next year.
Many, many thanks also to our AFI Road Show organizers: Shelley Macbeth and Maggie Finlayson of Blue Heron Books, Amy Prentice of Simon & Schuster, and author Kate Hilton.