Do you want to support Indie Bookstores?

I have a suggestion: Take the KOBO pledge. I plan to.

It’s easy to support an independent bookstore because hundreds are participating in KOBO’s e-reading program.  All you have to do us buy a Kobo e-reader and then click on the following link to contact an individual indie bookstore that is participating in the program close to where you live to discover the details.

List of Indie bookstores that belong to the Kobo e-reading program

For example, in California, I counted fifty-six bookstores. Then I clicked on Green Apple Books in San Francisco—I’ve been there and enjoy browsing and shopping at this indie bookstore that has a unique character of its own. In addition, Green Apple is in one of San Francisco’s three China towns—a fun place to eat and shop.

Here’s what Green Apple Books says, “We’ve partnered with Kobo to bring you eBooks and eReaders, so that however you read, you can support Green Apple and browse our recommendations. Kobo offers over 3 million eBook titles that can be downloaded instantly over Wi Fi and stored in a library you take with you wherever you go. Once you set up your Kobo account through us, from then on all of your Kobo purchases will support Green Apple.

Green Apple has links to pages on their site to the Kobo Mini with a list price of $79.90 and the Kobo Glo for $129.99—very competitive prices compared to Kindle.

Kobo Mini on The View

Therefore, if you are an author/reader—I hope most authors read. It would be a sad day if authors were not readers—and you want to support your local indie bookstore, all the information is in this post. But, first, you must pick out an indie bookstore near you to support by using the first link in this post and contact them to set up your account so all of your purchases will support that local independent bookstore.

I’m not making any money from anyone for this post. So, why am I suggesting taking the Kobo pledge? Because I’m tired of my Kindle giving me problems downloading books I buy through Amazon, and it isn’t easy to keep looking for the help link on Amazon to fix this every time it happens and it has happened several times. I want ease of shopping and ease of use.

And if you are worried that Kobo is a small player in the field, it isn’t. To discover more, I suggest reading what Jeremy Greenfield has to say in Indie Bookstore Sales of Kobo Ebooks Dwarf Google: Still Small – published April 5, 2013

Greenfield says, “According to the ABA, Kobo has helped indies sell more eBooks in its first month working with them late last year than Google did in more than two years in a similar partnership.”

Kobo Aura HD

In addition, Kobo’s market share in Canada in January 2012 was 46% compared to Amazon’s 24%. And in France Kobo has 50% of the market share.  Source: Wiki: Kobo eReader Market share

Kobo-owner Rakuten’s CEO Hiroshi Mikitani says that Kobo is “number one in France; they’re ahead of Amazon in Japan, partially because of us, and Australia and New Zealand as well.” Source: Forbes

If you are dedicated to helping indie bookstores, please retweet, reblog (if you have a WordPress Blog) or share a link to this post to every author/reader you know. I’m going to retire my Kindle e-readers and try out a Kobo. If it is easier to use, then I will stay with it, but I will buy my Kobo from a local indie-bookstore and register my Kobo account through them.

Amazon’s Kindle is not the only game in town, and readers do not have to plunk out several hundred dollars for an Apple iPad to read eBooks.

And if you think indie authors can’t sell books through Kobo, check out Draft2Digital and/or Smashwords to learn why that is not the case.

Kobo in Conversation with Jowita Bydlowska, author of Drunk Mom.

Discover what I think about Barnes & Noble, and if you want more reasons to buy all kinds of books from an indie bookstore—The CEO of Barnes & Noble is William J. Lynch Jr., and he has a basic annual income of $1.62 million (not counting bonuses and stock options). He also owns 846,811 shares of B&N stock. At today’s closing price of $22.16 per share, that comes to almost $19 million—but total debt for Barnes & Noble, Inc. was $155.8 million today, with a quarterly revenue drop of –8.8%. Source:

And “National chains take far more out of a community economically than they ever put back in. According to a study conducted by the firm Civic Economics in the Andersonville neighborhood of Chicago, trading independent retailers for big-box chains weakens the local economy. … Local Payroll: The locally owned businesses spent a larger share of their revenue on local labor (29% vs. 23%), because they carried out all management functions on-site, rather than at a corporate headquarters.” Source:

Now do you understand why I plan to take the Kobo pledge to support an indie bookstore?



Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine, Vietnam Veteran and English-journalism teacher.

His latest novel is the award winning Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

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Authors Finding Readers – Part 2/4

In 2010, the ABA’s Bookselling this Week reported, “Based on the two Verso surveys, which were statistically weighted to mirror the U.S. population age 18 or older, avid readers (those who spend five or more hours a week reading) comprise 28 percent of the population. These readers skew older into the Boomer cohort, and 63 percent – or approximately 39 million – are female. Importantly, actual book purchase behavior showed a similar pattern in the Verso survey, with avid readers buying 10 or more books a year. … Older Americans represent two-thirds of avid readers …”

If those numbers hold true today, that means there are about 63 million avid readers in the US age 18 or older reading an average of 10 books a year and there are about 3.3 million new titles to choose from if we do not count books published in previous years.

Stephen’s reported, “Bowker released its much-anticipated 2009 U.S. Book Consumer Demographics and Buying Behaviors Annual Report today, providing the U.S. book industry with the most complete consumer-based research on who buys books and why. … Women lead men in overall purchases, contributing 64% of sales. Even among detective and thriller genres, women top 60% of the sales. Where do men catch up? Fantasy titles are purchased evenly by men and women. … Americans like people. The biggest selling non-fiction genre is biography – auto and otherwise.”

Then German Book Office New York, Inc. says, “According to the 2011 United States Census Bureau, in 2010, 37.9% (75.8 million adults) of Americans read a book within the last 12 months, with 20.8% (41.6 million adults) reading two or more times a week; 3.6% (7.2 million adults) reading once a week; 3.8% (7.6 million adults) reading two or three times a month; 2.8% (5.6 million adults) reading once a month, and 2.5% (5 million adults) of American participated in a book club in the past 12 months.

“The Harris Poll surveyed over 2,000 adults online between July 11 and 18 … With questions focusing on reading habit, the survey revealed insights into the changes that e-Reading has had over the past year as well.

“Overall 16% (32 million adults) of Americans read between 11 and 20 books a year with 20% reading 21 books or more in a year. These numbers are very different for Americans who read electronically: 32% of Americans read 11-20 books and 27% read 21 books in an average year with e-Reader devices.

“The Harris Poll has also revealed that e-Reader users are also much more likely to purchase books. Thirty-two percent of Americans say they have not purchased any books in the past year, while only 6% of e-Reader users could say the same.

“Among those who say they read at least one book in an average year, 76% read both fiction and non-fiction. However in both these categories, certain types of books are on the rise. Among fiction categories, 47% of respondents read mystery, thriller and crime books; 25% read science fiction; and 23% read literature and romance. The remaining readers chose between graphic novels (10%), “chick-lit” (8%) and Westerns (5%).

“Within the non-fiction categories 29% of readers pick up biographies; 27% read history; and 24% read religious and spirituality books. 18% of non-fiction readers pick up self-help books, while 13% read true crime, 12% read current affairs, 11% read political books and 10% read business books. …

“According to consumers, free chapters or sample giveaways had the largest impact on buying e-books.”

As you can see, tastes vary as do the number of books read annually from person to person. If an avid reader reads ten books a year and there are several million titles to choose from, what do you consider the odds are that your work will be one of those books?

Continued on August 31, 2012 in Authors Finding Readers – Part 3  or return to Part 1

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Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves


Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”