As if you didn’t already have plenty of reasons to support Fairway bookseller Rainy Day Books, now Stephen Colbert says you should shop there. Rainy Day got a mention on Colbert’s Thursday episode as part of his running feud with Amazon.
And the famous “Colbert bump” does work, according to Rainy Day’s Roger Doeren. He said Rainy Day received a “significant increase in local and national online orders as a direct result of Stephen’s encouraging and enthusiastic endorsement.”
Amazon and Colbert’s publisher, Hachette, were involved in negotiations when Amazon increased shipping times for Hachette books and then took “Buy” buttons off soon to be released Hachette titles. Colbert began encouraging viewers to order the novel “California” by Edan Lepucki from other four local booksellers, including Rainy Day Books.
Doeren and Vivien Jennings, Rainy Day founder and president, didn’t know in advance that Colbert was going to give Rainy Day the mention. “It came as a pleasant surprise,” he said in an email. “Vivien and I are kindred spirits with Stephen Colbert’s strong stand against the war that Jeff Bezos declared on Authors, Booksellers, Customers, Distributors and Publishers. The world needs more courageous people like Stephen Colbert to stand up for principles.”
Rainy Day Books, known for its many author events in the metro, has gotten mentions elsewhere as a result of the Colbert episode. Doeren and Jennings also were quoted in a February New Yorker article about the founding and reach of Amazon.
Colbert’s goal now is to put “California” on the New York Times bestseller list without it being listed on Amazon. As Colbert points out, besides ordering online, you can actually walk into stores like Rainy Day Books and go up to the counter to order (click on a clerk, Colbert says). And for those who like ebooks, Rainy Day has a solution in which they get credit: follow the instructions here. “Customers have choices and they vote with dollars and purchases,” Doeren said. “Building faithful loyal customer relationships is the foundation of our 40-year success.”
For Jennings and Doeren, being in the Colbert spotlight might not be the most exciting event of the month. On June 22, Jennings will interview Hillary Rodham Clinton about Clinton’s new book, “Hard Choices,” at a sold-out author event at The Midland.
The segment is embedded below. The Rainy Day plug comes at 2:56.