I really should have written something here beforehand about our news, it's just that as it's probably one of the least viewed blogs in the western world (my fault, I don't keep it up to date enough and can't write for toffees) there seemed other, more important, things to do.
Anyway- I'm now in the situation where any posting will come up next to the previous post titled 'Congratulations' which I feel is just wrong hence me burbling away and wasting some space.
whistle, tap toe, time passing, I know- I always meant to write about the London Book Fair-
now our previous boss, Richard Charkin was something of an anti Bookfair person as he often mentioned in his blog from various parts of the globe. Maybe it was because Richard was (is) the head of a big publisher and saw a very global picture whereby even The London Bookfair could be viewed as parochial.
As a London bookseller I loved it, for the last 3 years I've gone to the Independent Publishers Group stand where they organised 'speed dating' meetings between booksellers and small publishers, publishers whose books are normally shown by reps who carry multiple lists and with the best will in the world can not do justice to everything they carry. Here at the IPG meetings a publisher had 10 minutes to tell a bookseller about books they really loved.
It was at one of these meetings where I met Emma and Snowbooks and was the first person to give her an order (I was very enthusiastic about her Virginia Woolf and Jerome K Jerome reprints- which we did very well with but it took our, then, fiction expert Glen to spot that the real gem was Robert Finn's 'Adept' which we sold loads of). The next year I met Mark Crick and, I think, his mum with his brilliant Kafka's Soup which I was also the first person to give an order for and was so enthusiastic we managed to get the launch party for the shop and over 100 sales later this was obviously a morning well spent. This year I met Gallic Press, a new venture specializing in translating French historical crime novels- we put both their debut titles into our window and did very well. I also met Kenilworth Press and realised we should have been working together for years and their window was very successful too. And it wasn't just the little guys like me that pitched up for these meetings, this year I met Kes, one of the main Amazon buyers, there- ok not so good for the booksellers but good news for the small publishers.
I know I would have found out about all of these books anyway but I think it's a good thing that small publishers have a chance to meet booksellers and think that, maybe, large publishers might try it too.
anyway- I think I've filled that space up now.