The Independent Alliance has launched a nationwide loyalty card scheme for independent bookshops, with 114 indies signed up so far.
Love Your Indie, which will be run in association with the Guardian and Observer as part of their Books Season, has been put together by Faber marketing director Joanna Ellis and Icon Books sales and marketing director Andrew Furlow, with digital agency Bookswarm's operations director Simon Appleby.
Customers receive a stamp for every £10 they spend in the participating shops. Once they have collected 10 stamps, they can then pick a free book from a selection provided by Independent Alliance publishers. Launch titles include: Notes on Them and Us by Justin Webb (Short Books); The Invisible Ones by Stef Penney (Quercus); No Off Switch by Andy Kershaw (Serpent's Tail); The Story of English in 100 Words by David Crystal (Profile); The Epigenetics Revolution by Nessa Carey (Icon); The Picture Book by Jo Baker (Portobello); Under the Skin by Michel Faber (Canongate); The Quest for Anna Klein by Thomas H Cook (Corvus); and On Canaan's Side by Sebastian Barry (Faber).
More than half a million blank Love Your Indie loyalty cards will be distributed with the Guardian on Saturday 1st October, giving customers a 20% discount on their first purchase of any books in participating shops until mid-November. Retailers will register and verify customers' cards on www.loveyourindie.co.uk, and posters, bookmarks, window stickers and extra loyalty cards have been posted to participating retailers ahead of launch.
Faber sales and marketing director Will Atkinson said: "The Independent Alliance has a close and extremely fruitful relationship with independent booksellers, one that we value enormously. We were keen to find a way to help them encourage more and more book lovers to come through their doors, and to spend money when they do so. Thanks to the association with the Guardian, this is exactly what the Love Your Indie scheme does and we're delighted to be launching it at the start of October."
Vivian Archer of Newham Bookshop, which is signed up to the scheme, said: "The card is exactly what the independent sector needs to drive people into our shops and remind them why nothing beats the brilliant service, lovingly selected range, and ambience that only independent booksellers can provide. I look forward to our customers using the card for years."