The Booksellers Association is holding the first Bookshop Day for the UK and Ireland on Saturday 8th October and it will also continue its Books Are My Bag campaign, now in its fourth year.
Bookshops are being encouraged to host special parties, events and book-signings to mark Bookshop Day and the start of the crucial autumn selling season. Bookshop Day will replace the Big Bookshop parties that booksellers were previously encouraged to hold in the run-up to Christmas.
The new date closely follows a big day in the publishing calendar: Thursday 6th October, when several big autumn titles are released, including Sebastian Faulks’ Pistache Returns (Hutchinson), Michael Palin’s A Sackful of Limericks (Random House Books), James Patterson’s Filthy Rich and A Woman of God (both Century), Jamie Vardy: From Nowhere, My Story (Ebury Press) and Rick Stein’s Long Weekends (BBC Books), among others.
Thursday 20th October will be this year’s “Super Thursday”: that is, the biggest day of book releases before Christmas. A plethora of potential big-hitters are published on that day, including Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Cookbook (Michael Joseph), Phil Collins’ autobiography Not Dead Yet (Century), Martina Cole’s Betrayal (Headline), Julia Donaldson’s Christmas with Princess Mirror-Belle (Macmillan Children’s) and Ken Clarke’s autobiography, Kind of Blue: A Political Memoir (Macmillan), among many others.
Come 26th November, bookshops will also be encouraged to hold events for Civilised Saturday for second year in a row. The event has been billed as bookshops’ answer to Black Friday, a day renowned for heavy online discounts in the run-up to Christmas.
This year award-winning book cover designer Coralie Bickford-Smith has designed the limited edition Books are My Bag canvas tote, which will be on sale exclusively in bookshops, with A A Milne’s beloved characters Winnie-the-Pooh and Christopher Robin featuring on this year’s children’s iteration, to mark Winnie-the-Pooh’s 90th year.
The BA’s head of marketing, Alan Staton, said: “The launch of Bookshop day this October marks the first time the UK and Ireland has had a dedicated day to celebrate bookshops and the vital role they play in communities nationwide. Bookshop Day is a key part of Books are My Bag’s 2016 autumn campaign, and is all about getting shoppers to visit their local bookshop, whether it be to discover a new book or enjoy an in-store experience.
“We’re very much looking forward to seeing the creative and fun ways bookshops up and down the country will celebrate Bookshop Day come October.”