December is a crucial make-or-break month for many retailers, and bookshops are no exception.
For the bookshop owner, expectation levels go through the roof in the run-up to Christmas, and this is accompanied by a constant insatiable hunger for sales, sales and more sales.
Back in July I wrote a blogpost about the new Philip Pullman book La Belle Sauvage, my main gripe being that Independent Bookshops such as my own were being completely priced out of selling any copies, due to the aggressive pre-publication discounting of larger retailers with deep pockets.
Books Are My Bag is a national campaign run by The Booksellers Association to promote bookshops in the UK.
It is centred around three main events:
- Bookshop Day 2017 (Sat 7th Oct)
- Saturday Sanctuary (Nov 25th) and
BAMB is now in its fifth year, and any campaign that celebrates the value and vital role of physical bookshops in this online age must surely be a good thing.
The Devaluing of Books.
Part One of Philip Pullman’s Book of Dust Trilogy (La Belle Sauvage) arrives in October.
Set ten years before the events of the His Dark Materials trilogy, this is one of the most eagerly awaited books of this year (if not the last 20 odd years) in the book trade.
When you work in a bookshop, new titles arrive all the time: any day of the week, any time of the month.
It’s like Christmas every day (but without the gin-soaked afternoon nap and second-degree oven burns.)
When you run an Indie bookshop, the occasional compliment from a customer should really be reward enough. Only the other day in fact, a young lady came in and proclaimed:
Wow. This shop is so random.
This of course is youth-speak for “delightfully well-stocked.”
In 2015 and 2016, a strange fever overtook the UK public. Vital everyday activities such as sleeping, cooking and re-tweeting were usurped by a new phenomenon: Adult Colouring.
Perfectly sane individuals found themselves reaching for the crayons, and spending huge amounts of time hunched over increasingly intricate patterns, themes, motifs and the occasional fractal.
One of the perks of running a bookshop is that you often receive ‘proof’ copies of books, those being, for the uninitiated, uncorrected draft versions of forthcoming publications. If you’ve ever read a book and thought:
What this really needs is a few spelling mistakes, some confusing typos, a front cover entirely comprised of writing and absolutely no re-sell value
then proof copies are definitely for you.