The American Booksellers Association announced Wednesday that Celeste Ng is the organization’s inaugural ambassador and will represent its new Indie Bookstore Ambassador Program, which will promote indie bookstores year-round. Ng will champion indies as they prepare for and celebrate Indies First on Small Business Saturday (November 26 this year) and Independent Bookstore Day (April 29, 2023).
Ng’s 2022-2023 term coincides with the 10th anniversary of the ABA’s Indies First program as well as Independent Bookstore Day.
Ng, who served as Independent Bookstore Day Ambassador in 2018, is the author of three novels beloved by indie booksellers: Everything I Never Told You, Little Fires Everywhere, and Our Missing Hearts, which currently is in the #1 position on the ABA’s Indie Bestseller List.
In a video released by the ABA promoting the 10th anniversary of Indies First, Ng declares, “I love independent bookstores because to me they are centers of community. They are places where I get to meet new people and encounter new ideas in the pages. I always walk out with some idea or some fresh perspective that I hadn’t found before.”
Indies First was created in 2013; other authors and celebrities who have served as ambassadors promoting the campaign include Roxane Gay, Jason Reynolds, Dan Rather, Kate DiCamillo, Neil Gaiman with Amanda Palmer, Cheryl Strayed, and Lena Dunham. Even President Barack Obama promoted Indies First by making an unannounced stop at an indie in the Washington, D.C. metro each year during his second term in office.
Independent Bookstore Day, the brainchild in 2013 of Pete Mulvihill, the owner of Green Apple Books in San Francisco, launched first as California Independent Bookstore Day on May 3, 2014, before expanding nationwide the following spring and re-named Independent Bookstore Day. Last April, stores throughout the U.S. and even Canada celebrated the day with special programming, authors, and lots of swag giveaways.