Big Green Bookshop crowdsources book

Big Green Bookshop crowdsources book

The owners of The Big Green Bookshop in London's Wood Green are crowdfunding the publication of a book about the history of the shop with Unbound.

The book will be about how the owners Tim West and Simon Key set up the outlet and “how it’s managed to keep going, against all odds”. It will be “an unreliable diary” which will compile a mixture of blog posts and advice on how to run a small business, the pair said. It will include sections about using social media, building a community and advice about how to grow a business. The book promises not just to focus on the successes, to provide details of “all the cock ups we’ve made too”.

West and Key opened The Big Green Bookshop in March 2008, after the Waterstones they worked at in Wood Green closed, leaving the area with no dedicated bookshop.

The title will also feature stories about authors and celebrities who’ve visited the store.

West told The Bookseller: “Over the years we've done so much that could go into a book and we've talked about running shop on many different forums - now we can consolidate all of that into a book. It's going to take quite a lot of work. We'll be asking for contributions from everyone – it's going to take a lot of writing and even more compiling, but it’s going to be fun.

“The bookshop has always been a story. We’ve introduced people that have since got married. Our very first customer, who was our first loyalty card holder, is now married with three children. She’s been part of our lives for the past nine years and we’ve been part of hers. It's more than just a bookshop; it's a family and a community.”

The pair hope to publish the book to mark the 10-year anniversary of the shop in 2018. West said: “We will do a raft of events to celebrate the tenth year… competitions, comedy nights; we’ll do everything we usually do in a year but just more of it until people are sick of us. It would be nice if book came out around the same time; it would make a very nice centrepiece for the celebrations.”

Supporters can pledge various amounts up to £1,000. Those who pledge £1,000 are able to rename the bookshop for two weeks and run the bookshop for a day. Pledges can be made here.