With some major chains deigning to carry only a token handful of indie titles on their shelves, it can be hard for indie authors and small publishers to get shelf space. This has inspired indie authors to open bookstores in Florida, Colorado, and again in Florida, and it has also lead to the launch of an indie bookstore in New Zealand called Writer’s Plot, Readers Read.
Stuff.co.nz reports that two NZ authors are opening a new bookstore on Friday that will stock books by New Zealand authors, including titles from small publishers, POD releases, and self-published titles (but only if the latter “pass the rigorous read by board members”).
The store is located in Upper Hutt, a town about 20 miles north of the NZ capital, Wellington, and it was conceived at a time when the local chain bookstore was shutting down. That created the opportunity, but the real inspiration was a desire to help New Zealand authors.
Co-founder Cat Connor told Stuff.co.nz that it was hard for authors to be picked up by the big publishers in New Zealand. “You can clock up hundreds of rejections as a New Zealand author,” Connor said. “Often that’s not even because something is bad, it’s just not what they’re interested in.”
The store is the work of Cat Connor and Caro Lankow, two members of the Writer’s Plot Readers Read Society, and it will be staffed by members of the Society and run as a not-for-profit operation.
The press release posted to Flaxroots.com notes that WPRR will hold events every month where readers can meet authors, attend book launches, or join a book club and discuss books with like minded readers. According to the Kickstarter campaign from July, the original plans also include renting desks to writers by the hour, day, or week, offering an editing service at contractual rates, and supporting the store through paid memberships to the store’s book club.
The press release also boasts that this will be the one and only bookstore in New Zealand to always have a published writer in residence.
When I wrote about the Colorado bookstore that featured only local authors, I predicted that we’d see more authors creating the opportunities for that the established bookstores can’t or won’t offer. Here is another example, and it won’t be the last.