Anderson's Bookshop in Naperville, Ill. has won Sourcebooks' promotional contest that the publisher held to support its The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald. Sourcebooks, which published Bivald’s debut novel in January, announced that Anderson’s Naperville location won the $3,000 top prize, based on the number of readers naming it as their favorite local bookstore during a six-week campaign that ran from January 4-February 19, "Readers, Recommend Your Favorite Bookstore." Out of the 12,615 votes cast, Anderson’s received 934.
Coincidentally, Anderson’s is the local indie for many Sourcebooks employees. As the flagship store of the three Anderson’s Bookshops the Naperville outlet is located in the same Chicago suburb as Sourcebooks’ headquarters. Besides the Naperville store, there is an Anderson’s Bookshop in Downers Grove and LaGrange, Ill.
“This recognition is doubly special because it is from our local independent publisher. One we have been supporting and partnering with for over 25 years,” Anderson’s Bookshop co-owner Becky Anderson told PW, “We hosted Sourcebooks’ launch celebration event at our Naperville store back in 1987" when Sourcebooks CEO Dominique Raccah founded the company.
Anderson told PW that she and her siblings, the stores’ co-owners, intend to use the $3,000 as seed money to open cafes in “possibly” two of the three stores.
Page and Palate in Fairhope, Ala. and Brilliant Books in Traverse City, Mich., the two runners-up, were each awarded $637, in a nod to the fictional small town setting of Bivald’s novel, which is the story of Sara Lindqvist, a Swedish bookseller who travels to the U.S. to visit her bibliophile American pen pal. When she arrives in Broken Wheel, Iowa (pop. 637) she discovers that her friend has passed away. The community embraces Lindqvist, and she ends up opening a bookstore that becomes the community hub, where customers are always matched with the perfect book.
When asked why Sourcebooks had invited booklovers to vote for their favorite indie, Raccah explained, “Bookstores are the heart and soul of their community and have enormous impact on readers’ lives. The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend inspired us to create a campaign that will not only give back to a few deserving bookstores, but, hopefully, highlight all the many wonderful bookstores that service communities across the country.”
Booksellers embraced The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend even before it pubbed in mid-January. It topped the ABA Indies Next list for January and debuted on the National Indie Bestsellers list at #13 upon its release. It has also landed on six of the eight regional bookseller association bestseller lists, including #3 on MIBA’s list; 17 Iowa indies are MIBA member bookstores. PW gave the book a starred review, calling it “a delight.”
With a 50,000-copy initial print run, the book is in its third print run, with 125,000 copies total in print.
Bivald, a part-time bookseller, wrote The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend without having set foot in Iowa. She has since visited there and will return this spring. After appearing at BEA in Chicago, Bivald will embark upon a two-week, seven-city tour that will include one or two stops at indies in the Hawkeye State.