With four months to go before the debut of California Bookstore Day on May 3, event director Samantha Schoech announced that 80 indie bookstores have signed up to participate in the event and 13 CBD-only publisher titles are confirmed and in production to be sold exclusively at indies in both Northern and Southern California.
“We are very happy,” Schoech said by phone. “We have all the leading urban indies signed on as well as many smaller stores in outlying areas.” These towns include Yukiah, Los Banos, Grass Valley, and Mendocino, and demonstrate the statewide level of interest in California Bookstore Day. “The point of California Bookstore Day is not just to have unique items for the stores to sell, but also to bring people into the stores. Customers will buy other things while they’re there, which will be great for the indies.”
The gross retail value of everything ordered from the publishers for CBD is over $152,000. The exclusive items include Recipes From Michael Pollan’s Kitchen, a literary map of California, a bound gift edition short story by Neil Gaiman based on Sleeping Beauty, and a tote bag illustrated with the entire text of Dave Eggers’ A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. In addition, the CBD staff has launched California Bookstore Day Publishing, which will create three items for the event: Depressed Repressed Obsessed, Lisa Brown’s collection of illustrated three-panel book reviews; Do You Smell Carrots: A Joke Book for kids with contributions from 50 different children’s book authors and illustrators; and Don DeLillo’s The Bad Citizen Graffiti Stencil. Items from CBD Publishing will be distributed by Ingram. “We hope to break even on the CBD products,” Schoech said.
California Bookstore Day was first announced in June 2013 by Schoech, Green Apple Books’ co-owner Pete Mulvihill, and Hut Landon, executive director of the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association. “Until this point, we’ve turned our attention inward in order to work with the publishers on creating exclusive products to sell,” said Schoech. “Now we’re focusing outward to the indies, to help them publicize and market CBD in their stores in advance of May 3. They’ve already begun.”