I've been back in the Midwest for not even a month now and it's been one hit after another!
Let me explain...
For those who do not realize, middle America (especially the rural parts) is culturally about 10 years behind in my experience. This is actually fantastic because it means I get to experience the independent surge all over again. Everywhere here new shops and businesses by regular folks who care about what they do are popping up like daffodils. Again and again, wherever I go I strike up conversations with the owners, and they graciously (and enthusiastically) want to carry my books and have me in for readings.
Unexpected kindness. Small miracles. The spring flowers that thrust up from the barren crusty earth full of twinkle and bloom. It really is a lovely thing. I can't thank them all enough - both the flowers and the independent community I'm discovering here. If you've seen my social media lately, then you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. One of the things I do when I post is to try and do my best not to make it a 'Buy my books!' plea. I mean, sure, do I want to sell more books? Sure, you bet. But as another independent creative, I would rather help flood an already rising tide that lifts all the other ships bobbing out at sea in our turbulent times. When I say, go check out Calf Town Cafe or Titlewave, I really do mean it. Hands down, every time, I would rather give my money and time to passionate people with real-life on the line over the glassy-eyed stares of underpaid corporate zombies. Besides, I enjoy making a regular habit of having my books carried by people and places where I'm regularly going anyways! It's easier to keep tabs on things that way, more convenient because I can just carry extra books with me and restock as needed, and on my marketing side I love discovering which titles and genres sell (or don't) at which locations.
I guess you could even call me curious. I love being a part of a community of like-minded creatives however I can - whether that's books on consignment, offering freelance marketing help, consulting on podcasting... you name it! If you or someone you know has a creative endeavor and want to team up, please, by all means, reach out to me. I want to see other good, talented people succeed.
In celebration of these wonderful independent people and places, here are all the ones I can think of right now after drinking half a cup of my morning coffee:
- Second Breakfast Coffee (they deliver right to your door in Hannibal, Missouri)
- Lydia's Cabinet of Curiosities
- Big River Steampunk Festival