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Welcome to Indies Forward


Dedicated to Supporting and Uniting an Emerging Generation of Indie Booksellers

Indies Forward, a partner of the American Booksellers Association (ABA), is a volunteer organization founded in 2016 and led by a team of booksellers from around the country. It is dedicated to cultivating, supporting, and sustaining the emerging generations of innovators and leaders in the bookselling industry. By providing programs for career development, networking, and mentorship in an inclusive setting, Indies Forward aims to support the booksellers in their work and in their daily lives. Our goal is to define bookselling as a viable and rewarding career in the twenty-first century.


Areas of Engagement

Developing CAREER booksellers

Entry-level and middle manager booksellers are the backbone and the soul of independent bookstores. Indies Forward fosters educational initiatives for these booksellers and provides ideas and encouragement for bookstores interested in bookseller development.


Independent bookstores are each other’s natural allies. Indies Forward encourages the sharing of best practices, bookstore staff exchanges, and the fostering of professional relationships.                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

growing Diversity in bookselling

Thoughtful recruitment, hiring, and retention practices are essential for independent bookstores. Indies Forward helps booksellers and owners hold themselves accountable so that bookstore' staffs and customers feel welcome, safe, and challenged.                                                                                                                 

Cultivating COMMUNITY engagement

A major part of independent bookstores’ appeal is that they are good neighbors to local businesses and educational institutions. Indies Forward supports localism and good citizenship by providing a venue for booksellers to share values and strategies.

Expanding the definitions of bookselling

A bookstore is not just a commercial endeavor. It can be the hub of a neighborhood, a safe space, or an incubator for art and artists. Indies Forward creates a space for booksellers and bookstore owners to talk through, and find support for, initiatives that aren’t solely profit-driven.

Developing the next generation of Leaders

The owners and operators of independent bookstores are the people who will shape the future of the industry. Indies Forward gives current owners and operators access to resources and advice so that they can grow successful, and impactful, bookstores.


Bookstores have always been important community spaces but in the coming years, they will be more important, more necessary than ever.
— Roxane Gay, 2017