About IF

Moving Forward

Our Mission

Indies Forward is a volunteer organization that 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 next generation of booksellers in their work and in their daily lives, and to define bookselling as a viable and rewarding career in the twenty-first century.


Our Story

Indies Forward is an organization dedicated to supporting young booksellers as they explore ways to make bookselling a viable career. The group was founded by booksellers who are committed to bookselling as a profession and who seek to create a network and resources that they wish had been available to them. By sharing their knowledge and passion for books and bookselling with others nationwide, the Indies Forward founders hope to bring more people into their fold. The group is looking for ways to find mentors for young booksellers and to expand our shared knowledge of best practices as we all work together to survive in a world that is hard on small, independent businesses and their employees.

Indies Forward launched at Wi12 in Minneapolis with a great party as well as opportunities to meet other young booksellers, and is continuing with meet and greet events around the country as well as through a virtual community on Facebook. We encourage you to reach out, get involved, and give your suggestions to those leading Indies Forward.

Our Ringleaders




Abby Fennewald

Abby is the Director of Marketing and Publicity at Book People in Austin, Texas. Her email is abby@bookpeople.com and she can be found on twitter as @fenjamin 





Hannah Oliver Depp

Hannah is a founding member of Indies Forward and the Operations Director of WORD Bookstores in Jersey City, New Jersey and Brooklyn, New York. She serves on the Diversity Task Force for the ABA. Hannah can be reached by email at hannah@wordbookstores.com and found on twitter as @oliverdepp

Anna Thorn

Anna is the Book and Programs Strategist for the six Busboys and Poets Bookstores in the DC area. Prior to Busboys, she was the general manager of Upshur Street Books. She got her start in books at the venerable Politics & Prose Bookstore. She can be reached anna@busboysandpoets.com. 





Kim Hooyboer

Kim is a founding member of Indies Forward and the General Manager of Third Place Books, Seward Park in Seattle, Washington. She is the co-host of the podcast Drunk Booksellers and the chair of the PNBA Book Awards Committee. She can be emailed at khooyboer@elliottbaybook.com and found on Twitter as @finaleofseem and @drunkbookseller.

Sam Kaas

Sam is a founding member of Indies Forward and the Offsite Events Manager at Third Place Books in Seattle, Washington.


Emma Nichols

Emma is a founding member of Indies Forward and a bookseller at Elliot Bay Book Co. in Seattle, Washington.





Katelyn O'Brien

Katelyn is a bookseller at Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi. Her email is katelynobrien@squarebooks.com