Advance notice of a book event this coming Saturday.
Oregon Books & Games, our local independent bookstore in Grants Pass, are having a book event this Saturday. In their own words:
Saturday, April 30th, 11AM – 2PM
A day to celebrate the independent bookstores that continue to improve communities around the nation, and our day to celebrate YOU, our wonderful customers. In the same strain as last year, we will be inviting dozens of local authors to sign books and meet with their fans, raffling off TONS of prizes, barbecuing, and having a lot of FUN!
I’m sure that the vast majority of you dear readers that read the title to today’s post would have nodded in agreement with the statement: You can’t beat a good book!
But how many of you were equally cogniscent of the importance of buying from an independent book store, such as Oregon Books & Games? I would be the first to put my hand up in admitting that I had no idea of the damage that online booksellers, such as Amazon, were causing these same independent stores.
Here are some eye-opening statements kindly supplied by Oregon Books but that originally came from the organisation IndieBound.
What is IndieBound?
A product of ongoing collaborations between the independent bookstore members of the American Booksellers Association, IndieBound is all about independent bookstores and the power of “local first” shopping. Locally owned independent businesses pump money back into the their communities by way of taxes, payrolls and purchases. That means more money for sound schools, green parks, strong police and fire departments, and smooth roads, all in your neighborhood.
Independent bookstores have always occupied a special place in communities. Through IndieBound—and the Indie Next List flyers and Indie Bestseller Lists—readers find trusted bookseller curated reading options, newly discovered writers, and a real choice for buying.
IndieBound allows indie booksellers to communicate this vital role they play in their local economies and communities. It allows authors to show their dedication to indies nationwide, easily done through linking to thousands of indie bookstores through IndieBound.org. And it allows consumers to feel that their actions are a part of a larger picture—to know that their choices make a difference and that others are working toward the same goals.
Here’s the effect of buying from your local independent book store.
Here’s What You Just Did
- You kept dollars in our economy. For every $100 you spend at one of our local businesses, $52 will stay in the community.
- You embraced what makes us unique. You wouldn’t want your house to look like everyone else’s in the U.S. So why would you want your community to look that way?
- You created local jobs. Local businesses are better at creating higher-paying jobs for our neighbors.
- You helped the environment. Buying from local business conserves energy and resources in the form of less fuel for transportation, less packaging, and products that you know are safe and well made, because we stand behind them.
- You nurtured community. We know you, and you know us. Studies have shown that local businesses donate to community causes at more than twice the rate of chains and online retailers.
- You conserved your tax dollars. Shopping in a local business district means less infrastructure, less maintenance, and more money available to beautify our community. Also, spending locally instead of online ensures that your sales taxes are reinvested where they belong—right here in your community!
- You created more choice. We pick the items we sell based on what we know you like and want. Local businesses carry a wider array of unique products because we buy for our own individual market.
- You took advantage of our expertise. You are our friends and neighbors, and we have a vested interest in knowing how to serve you. We’re passionate about what we do. Why not take advantage of it?
- You invested in entrepreneurship. Creativity and entrepreneurship are what the American economy is founded upon. Nurturing local business ensures a strong community.
- You made us a destination. The more interesting and unique we are as a community, the more we will attract new neighbors, visitors and guests. This benefits everyone!
And turning to Amazon?
Here’s What Amazon Just Did
- In 2014, Amazon avoided paying $625 million in much-needed local and state tax revenue in 23 states and Washington, D.C., all while selling $44.1 billion worth of retail goods nationwide.
- In 2014, Amazon’s retail sales displaced the equivalent of more than 30,000 storefronts and 107 million square feet of commercial space, estimated to be worth $420 million in property taxes for local and state governments.
- In 2014, by avoiding sales tax, and quashing the viability of local bricks-and-mortar retail, Amazon deprived thousands of communities of tax revenue necessary for schools, roads, and police and fire safety, as well as of vibrant downtowns and main streets.
- In 2014, Amazon operated 65 million square feet of distribution space, employing both full-time workers and part-time and seasonal workers, yet still, Amazon’s dominance produced a net loss of 135,973 retail jobs nationwide.
- In 2014, Amazon’s sales and operations accounted for a loss of more than $1 billion in revenue to state and local governments.
- Amazon received the benefits of local grants, tax breaks, road improvements, and other government considerations to build its distribution centers, notwithstanding the net loss in jobs, property taxes, and downtown vitality.
- Amazon achieved dominance over the book industry equivalent to Standard Oil’s share of the refined oil market just before it was broken up in 1911.*
- Amazon has cheapened the value of both printed and electronic publishing, and dampened opportunities for new authors and diverse ideas, by discounting books to lower than wholesale price and bullying publishers and its marketplace sellers.
- In our state, Amazon accounts for a sale tax gap of $3.1 million and the displacement 1,200,000 square feet, which is the equivalent of 348 retail storefronts, and 3,029 jobs.
- In 2015, Amazon’s total sales and operations revenue increased by 20%, meaning the above 2014 figures are likely to be grossly understated.
So back to the event.
If you are within reach of Grants Pass this coming Saturday then do come along and meet many local authors, including yours truly, and help support the wonderful job that our independents are doing for authors.
Saturday, April 30th, 11AM – 2PM
Oregon Books & Games
150 N.E. E St., Corner of 7th and E St.
Grants Pass, OR 97526
Support local authors!