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Booksellers to select 'Bookshop Originals'
31.07.12 | Lisa Campbell
Booksellers will soon be asked to choose their top 10 “surprise Christmas hits” from a list pitched to them by publishers this autumn.
In an initiative designed to underline the crucial role booksellers play in directing readers to “quirky and interesting” books, delegates attending the Booksellers Association’s annual conference at Warwick University over 16th-17th September will be asked to select a list of 10 titles which will form a package of ‘Bookshop Originals’ that indies will then hand-sell onto their customers.
Patrick Neale, BA president and owner of Jaffé and Neale bookshop came up with the idea. He said: “With Bookshop Originals we are asking booksellers to listen to publishers’ pitches and then choose their top 10 ’surprise’ Christmas hits. It is a great opportunity for publishers to get their quirky, interesting books in front of booksellers before the crucial Christmas season and pitch them to the people who will be hand-selling books to customers.”
He added that the conference was the best place for publishers and booksellers to meet to discuss consumers and challenges ahead in getting new books into their hands. “Bookshops play a crucial role in the discovery of books, running literary festivals and events, and they are instrumental in launching many new authors,” Neale said. “There is no doubt that it is a challenging time for bookshops so it couldn’t be a better time to meet together and discuss the future of the industry.”
It will be the first time the conference will incorporate the Independent Booksellers Forum (IBF), which has been held at this venue for a number of years and will be preceded by the Gardeners Books tradeshow.