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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Northwest Indie Bookfest: Bringing local indie authors to light

Spokane Author and Self Publishers members who will be participating in the bookfest, from left to right, Nathaniel Bennett, Mary Ann DeBord, D. Andrew McChesney, Esther Hildahl, Sue Eller and M. J. Hudon.  (Courtesy)
By Cindy Hval For The Spokesman-Review

April 27 is Independent Bookstore Day and what better way to commemorate it than by celebrating local indie authors?

Several years ago, Sue Eller, a member of Spokane Authors and Self Publishers, had the idea to gather various local writers’ groups to discuss ways to promote independent authors and their books.

“What our groups all have in common is that we’re here to help budding authors,” she said.

The result of that initial meeting is the first Northwest Indie Bookfest.

“Wayne Spitzer and Erik Schubach put this together,” Eller said.

The event will include more than 20 local independent authors who will offer readings, book signings and short presentations.

“Spokane has a huge community of authors, but indie authors don’t get a lot of spotlight,” said organizer Erik Schubach.

One reason is the lack of a publisher’s marketing team to promote their work.

Eller explained another factor.

“Self-published authors have gotten a bad name that’s somewhat deserved,” she said.

For example, some novice authors eschew editing services and don’t understand book formatting. Eller and Schubach agree being part of a writing group is beneficial.

Spokane Authors and Self Publishers is just one of five local groups represented at the Northwest Indie Bookfest.

“If you have a story to tell, come to one of the groups,” Eller said.

The event provides a place for aspiring authors to connect with a writing group.

“There aren’t many resources for indie authors,” Schubach said. “These groups are phenomenal resources for people who want to know the next step.”

In addition to author readings and book signings, presentations on the craft and business of writing will occur throughout the day. Raffle tickets for prizes, including books and Auntie’s gift certificates, will be offered, with a drawing at the event’s conclusion.

The opportunity to meet readers is something Eller relishes.

“I like to meet people who read my books,” she said. “A lot of us have become locally famous and that’s kind of cool.”

If the Northwest Indie Bookfest is successful, they plan to make it a yearly event with an eye on offering more opportunities for independent authors.

“We’re hoping to have a ‘live book tour’ in Spokane in the fall featuring indie authors at seven indie bookstores all week long,” Schubach said.

Organizers hope for a big turnout to celebrate Independent Bookstore Day and spotlight indie authors.

“This open to anyone who loves to read and loves to write,” Eller said.

Contact Cindy Hval at