Media Release Announcing Formation of IBNYC
September 11, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New York City independent booksellers join forces to form alliance
The IBNYC to promote independent bookstores across the city
At a time when globalization threatens retail diversity and the publishing industry continues consolidation, the role of the independent bookseller in guiding the reading public has never mattered more. In particular are the community-based shops of New York City—new and used, specialized and general—which constitute the largest concentration of independent book retail in the country. In an increasingly homogenized world, these local businesses contribute to the city’s rich character and long tradition of bookselling by providing shelf space for voices that might not otherwise find a home and by serving as venues for the presentation of important works and new ideas.
Recognizing the common opportunities, virtues and values they share, New York City’s independent booksellers have united to raise awareness of the contributions their stores make not just to the local economy, but to the literary and cultural fabric of the city. Representatives from twenty stores met recently and formed the Independent Booksellers of New York City (IBNYC)— a group that is voluntary, non-exclusionary and cooperative in design. Member stores must primarily sell books, have a storefront that is open to the public, and be located within one of the five boroughs.
The IBNYC’s primary goal is to encourage New Yorkers and visitors to patronize independent bookstores. The group will serve as a resource for consumers (producing events and tools like a website and printed maps); as a professional support group for member businesses both longstanding and brand new (a rare forum for sharing methods and best practices); and as an advocate to publishers and lawmakers on behalf of bookseller concerns.
“The IBNYC is a really wonderful opportunity to do well by doing good,” says Book Culture owner Chris Doeblin. “As a group, we’ll endeavor to create citywide programming and marketing tools to promote our stores, and celebrate the unique contributions we make to New York’s social, cultural and economic wellbeing.”
To officially celebrate the group’s formation, the IBNYC will participate in this weekend’s Brooklyn Book Festival (booth 20). The first edition of an IBNYC bookstore map will be available, as well as tote bags, free giveaways, announcements about upcoming bookstore events and literature about the importance of supporting independent businesses. Consumers can also access an online map, links to member stores, and a newsletter sign up form at http://ibnyc.org/, the IBNYC’s new website, which is still in development.
“This alliance, embracing sellers of books both old and new, will prove that the independent bookstore—a touchstone of New York City life—is here to stay,” says Bonnie Slotnick, owner of Bonnie Slotnick Cookbooks.
Although in its infancy, and intentionally informal in structure at this early stage, the IBNYC already has several working committees and includes over sixty participating bookstores—from veteran stores like St. Mark’s and Bank Street to the recently opened Word in Brooklyn and Idlewild Books in Manhattan.
While not yet requiring dues, the alliance has collected “founding contributions” from: Bank Street Bookstore, Bonnie Slotnick Cookbooks, Book Culture, BookCourt, Computer Book Works, Freebird Books, McNally Jackson, PowerHouse Arena, St. Mark’s Bookshop, Strand Book Store and Urban Center Books. Additional start-up support (monetary or a donation of product/service/meeting space) has been provided by: Book Expo America, NAIBA, Random House, Harper Collins, Office of the Brooklyn Borough President and Housing Works Bookstore