Sunday, April 20, 2014

WIN-WIN-WIN: Get Signed Books and Help an Indie Bookstore Help Kids

So my heart broke a little bit when I found out my beloved St. Louis indie, Left Bank Books was closing its downtown St. Louis store. Teen Specialist, Sarah, assured me this was a business decision involving an issue with the lease and that the company is still going strong. There are talks of expanding the flagship (45 years selling books!) Central West End store or possibly opening up a second location elsewhere in the city.

This is the Central West End store in my old neighborhood, still going strong!

The people from Left Banks Books have always been fantastic to me. They had me sign tons of stock, invited me to do events with them, ran a pre-order contest for my first book (writing as Fiona Paul), and got me on a panel at STL ComicCon, even though Venom is the least ComicCon-ish book ever. Did you know it was always my dream to go to a ComicCon? I'm happy my first CC experience was with Left Bank in St. Louis. It made me less nervous to know I was among friends. All of my events with LBB were more fun than scary, because I knew they had my back. No one there ever made me feel like I wasn't important because I wasn't a mega bestseller.

And they make their customers feel important too. I know this personally, but if you don't, you can see it reflected in their reviews on yelp, among other places.

I don't live in St. Louis anymore, but when I needed a location for a St. Louis event for the forthcoming Mighty Mississippi Book Blast tour that I set up with my friend Philip Siegel (more on that in May), Left Bank Books was only too happy to accommodate us.

And when I needed a store who was willing to offer signed, personalized copies of my books, once again Left Banks Books said they'd be happy to help me out.

So, as a way to pay back some of this kindness, I am going to donate a dollar (up to a max of $5000) to the Left Bank Books foundation for every signed copy of my books ordered before July 4th, 2014. The LBB foundation works to increase literacy in St. Louis. In their own words: The Foundation’s primary program is River City Readers, a project to bring books and authors to St. Louis Public School students. We intend to expand these efforts and expand the definition of literacy itself.

It'r true that ordering from Left Bank means paying an additional dollar for a paperback or a few dollars more for a hardcover compared to the cheapest internet deal. But you'll get a signed (and personalized, if you like!) copy of one of my books and a bookmark for The Art of Lainey, featuring the iconic St. Louis Arch. You'll also be supporting an indie bookstore, the lovely bookish people who work there, and the 2012 BEA Bookstore Cat of the Year.

Spike sez: Dear human. Support me, or else.

I have personally snuggled Spike (well, he's not much of a snuggler, but he put up with me stalking him and picking him up on repeated occasions) and can vouch for his awesomeness. He's so awesome he gets to do his own staff picks.

And since your purchase means a dollar toward the foundation, you can think of that "extra dollar" you're spending as also helping get books into the hands of kids who need them. That's what I call a WIN-WIN-WIN situation. Unfortunately, this incentive has to be limited to US buyers because international mailing would be prohibitively expensive and complicated for the store. But if you are an international reader and you donate any amount of money to the Left Bank Books Foundation via their website, I will send you a signed bookplate and bookmark.

The only catch: Because I don't live in St. Louis anymore, I won't be available to sign your books until early July when I return to visit my friends and fam. So, if you support Left Bank Books and literacy in St. Louis by buying from this link between now and July 4th, you will not receive your purchases until July. But hey, your TBR pile is probably huge. You don't mind waiting, if it's for a good cause, do you? :-) Be sure to note in the special instructions if you want your book personalized to you or someone else. They make great gifts *wink* :-D

Thank you for reading. Thank you for thinking about supporting indie bookstores, their staff, and their awesome bookstore cats.


  1. This is awesome! Do I have to buy the books online, or does buying them im person when you are here count?

    1. Good question! I'll donate for people who buy the night of the event, too :-)

  2. Is there a time limit on this or just basically just as long as it's ordered before you get there?

    Also? I think this is an awesome idea. Thank you for offering it to us.


    1. It's good for any books ordered by July 4th. Basically LBB needs a couple of days to process the order in their computers and then I want to sign the books on July 9th or 10th before the tour starts, so people can get them mid-July instead of end of July.


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