Friday, August 26, 2011

Love My Indie with Author Susan McBride

Love My Indie is a feature where authors, bloggers, and readers tell me about their favorite independent bookstores. I love the feeling I get when I go into an independent bookstore - like it is filled with hidden treasures just waiting for me to find them. Maybe one day I will have the chance to visit these amazing bookstores.

Showing some Indie Love today is:

Susan McBride, author of Little Black Dress

With all the talk of Borders going down and the gloom and doom about book publishing in general, I feel very spoiled to live in a city that has more independent bookstores than I can count on one hand.  We have such a great collection, in fact, that they’ve banded together to form the St. Louis Independent Bookstore Alliance.  Power to the booksellers, baby!  One of SLIBA’s founders is Vicki Erwin, Patron Saint of Authors and owner of Main Street Books in St. Charles, MO (a suburb of St. Louis). 

Vicki Erwin, owner - Main Street Books
I’ve known Vicki for a dozen years, and she’s one of the most positive, happy people. It’s impossible to meet her and not like her (unless you’ve had your heart removed). She’s worked myriad gigs in the book biz from sales rep to author, so she knows the industry inside and out.  Put simply, she hearts books, and she’s a wizard at selling them.  That’s one of the reasons bookaholics like me adore Main Street Books.  Not only is the store in a scenic spot on historic Main Street in St. Charles—with lots of lovely shops and restaurants and the Missouri River—but Vicki caters to literary tastes galore from children’s books to mainstream fiction and nonfiction to regional tomes and whatever else floats your boat.  And if she doesn’t have what you’re looking for, she can get it for you in a pinch.  I wouldn’t be surprised if she has a magic wand she keeps simply for that purpose.
Eileen, Angie and Susan

Main Street Books

 Since my earliest published days, I’ve loved doing events at MSB.  I’ve sat in a cushy armchair in full view of the front door to sign new titles, spoken with book clubs, lectured to writing groups, and greeted a busload of readers on a Bookstore Cruise.  Vicki has also helped me with off-site events, like when I addressed 300 breast cancer survivors at the Horizon of Hope fundraiser and when I spoke to a gaggle of educators at the Missouri State Teachers Association conference at Union Station.  If Vicki doesn’t wear a cape and Superwoman spandex beneath her street clothes, I’d be surprised.  How she does all she does and keeps that smile on her face boggles the mind.  

When I see the news of bookstores failing, I think of Vicki Erwin (and her fellow SLIBA booksellers) and realize all the things they’re doing right.  Vicki and Main Street Books are part of a community.  She is part of people’s lives.  And if anyone could figure out a way to bottle her positive energy and sell it on eBay, they’d make a million bucks.

Susan McBride is the author of Little Black Dress (William Morrow Paperbacks, August 23, 2011).  She can be found at or hanging out at MSB.


  1. That bookstore looks amazing! I live in an area with lots of indie bookstores, too. So blessed!

  2. Hey! I've heard of this one -- I live around St. Louis (although on the other side, so this would be about an hour away for me.) Some day I will visit -- St. Charles has a lot to offer, so we go there once in a while. Thanks for the info and beautiful pictures!


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