Organized in response to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, Publishers Weekly is joining with a group of independent publishers, organizations, and trade magazines to launch #ReadIndie, an online campaign designed to highlight the range, importance, and distinctive character of the indie publishing community.

At 12:30 pm Eastern/9:30 am Pacific on May 4, independent publishers and those wishing to support them are encouraged to flood their social media channels with common messaging and graphics around the hashtag #ReadIndie to bring maximum awareness to the campaign. Publishers and supporters can go to a #ReadIndie page on the PublishersWeekly website to download the #ReadIndie graphic and text.

Participating organizations include Kirkus Reviews, Foreword Reviews, BookPage, PubWest, Independent Book Publishers Association, Independent Publishers Caucus, Community of Literary Magazines and Presses, Independent Publishers Group, and others.

PubWest executive director Kent Watson said, “Books published from fiercely independent small-medium sized presses enhance our lives through learning, acceptance, and escape. Our unique presses are the innovators, publishing fresh new voices, important niche works, vibrant regional titles, all while diversifying and enriching the culture of the book. During this very difficult time due to the coronavirus, I invite you to seek out a book from an independent press and #ReadIndie.”

Seven Stories Press publisher and founder Dan Simon, cofounder of the Independent Publishers Caucus, said independent publishers are even more important in a time of crisis. “Everyone knows that great books come from great publishers. Indie presses, just like indie bookstores, are a lifeline in America. So it's time to say that out loud," he said.

“Independent publishers are known for discovering hidden gems and pouring passion into every book they publish,” Kirkus Reviews CEO Meg LaBorde said. “The result is a diverse content landscape and an enriched personal reading experience. Let’s celebrate their work and #readindie!”

The rollout of the initiative is to meant maximize the presence of the #ReadIndie campaign on social media, allowing individual publishers and organizations to use it as a launching pad to draw attention to their individual efforts. Akashic Books editorial director Ibrahim Ahmad said Akashic plans to circulate the cover art of The Perfume Burned His Eyes, the debut novel of actor Michael Imperioli, best known for his role on The Sopranos TV show.

“Independent publishing is a calling,” Imperioli said. “Nothing pleases me more than walking into the Strand or McNally Jackson and beholding the latest indie press arrivals. I am forever grateful for the love, devotion, and passion that keeps indie press books alive.”