Mon, 14/12/2009 - 06:33
My retirement gift from Bertrams bore three dates and the inscription "third time lucky", because I had attempted to retire twice before, and was in danger of having more farewells than Tina Turner.
This is my last Opinion piece. I spent 38 years across the trade—Ward Lock, Thorsons, Dillons, Bertrams, and various...
Thu, 22/10/2009 - 13:10
I once was a member of committees within the Booksellers Association and the Publishers Association simultaneously. The BA had better lunches, but apart from that advantage, I wondered why the book industry could not be represented by a single trade body.
I wrote to The Bookseller, which raised some debate. At the next BA conference,...
Fri, 21/08/2009 - 11:55
It's a shame that after a lifetime in the trade, "CHEAP SEX AT DILLONS" is the pinnacle of my career.
Books Etc grabbed the only Madonna signing, and I was forced to compete by discounting her title Sex, (the Net Book Agreement existed then), and placing full-page national adverts showing 25% off. Dillons totally sold out; 40%...
Fri, 17/04/2009 - 09:27
While at Bertrams, I watched a competitor draw up to the Booksellers Association conference in his new Ferrari and thought wholesale was where I felt very comfortable.
I had most fun in publishing and most impact at Dillons—assisting in bringing the Net Book Agreement to a close—and golden years of wholesaling lay ahead....
Fri, 13/02/2009 - 10:40
In the 1980s, I debated the future of books at a British Print Industries Federation conference. My opponent was a director of IBM, who said the book would expire in its physical form by 2020. I said rubbish; books would endure because of emotional ties, and their practicality, not bettered since paperbacks were invented.
I won the...
Mon, 17/03/2008 - 06:15
In the book trade, time makes some of us liars and many of us fools. One advantage of a 36-year trade career is that I have witnessed things come full circle. I see W H Smith reinventing itself, going back to its core offer before consultants and management stalled it. I see Waterstone's arguing, this time for environmental reasons, the...
Tue, 22/01/2008 - 13:02
Former Bertrams c.e.o. Julian Rivers has joined cruise ship book supplier Waterside as its chairman. Charles Denton, deputy chairman of Waterside's owner ArgentVive, said he hopes Rivers would develop more customers for the wholesaler following his appointment.
"I'm delighted to be taking up this role at Waterside,"...