Trade wishlist aired at BIC

<p>A World Book Night for adults, a shared customer loyalty card for all independent bookshops and a &quot;Birthday Club&quot; for all under 10-year-olds were on the wishlist of delegates debating key resolutions for the trade at the Book Industry Conference yesterday (19th May).</p><p>However Penguin m.d. Tom Weldon, chairing the debate panel on &quot;Creating Partnerships&quot;, warned against industry discussion that did not lead to action. </p><p>&quot;Enough of BA/PA councils,&quot; he said. &quot;We need a few powerful individuals to knock heads together. Partnerships only work with dictatorship.&quot;</p><p>Jo Howard of Meridian Search Selection, reporting back on discussion about &quot;Connecting Through Live Events&quot;, said a World Book Night for adults had been proposed, to follow on from World Book Day, and its focus on children. </p><p>&quot;The idea is just to give away one million books - 50 different titles, 20,000 of each,&quot; she said, saying there was &quot;a lot of energy&quot; behind the idea.</p><p>Another ambition voiced by Howard&#39;s panel was a &quot;Birthday Club&quot; giving every child a &quot;book communication&quot; on his or her birthday - whether a free book or a book token - up to the age of 10. </p><p>A week-long city books festival, going beyond the usual outlines of the traditional literary festival and involving all retailers and publishers, was also proposed.</p><p>Jo Henry, m.d. of Book Marketing Limited, reporting from the &quot;Exploiting the Retail Calendar&quot; panel, proposed a common message from the industry on books as gifts and suggested generating an industry calendar including all events that offered opportunities for the trade to link in. Weldon&#39;s suggestions included one central marketing agency to promote books to schools across the country, and a partnership between independent bookshops to establish a customer loyalty card for all stores.</p><p>Random House UK deputy c.e.o. Ian Hudson, reporting back on &quot;Independent Bookselling in 2010 and Beyond&quot; suggested that Independent Book Week could be improved &quot;with broader involvement and more trade support&quot; and said that independents had a role to play in digital, but that there was a responsibility for publishers, wholesalers and trade organisations to help facilitate this role. </p><p>&quot;We want them to sell e-readers, offer advice and technical support. They need the ability to engage customers in the digital conversation,&quot; he said.</p><p>Faber c.e.o. Stephen Page, chairing the feedback session, urged delegates not to let the impetus for this &quot;ambitious agenda&quot; flag. &quot;We&#39;ve got to keep the energy up and try to deliver on that,&quot; he said.</p>