Booksellers have ordered more than 260,000 “Books Are My Bag” canvas bags so far, ahead of the campaign’s launch in September.
Stores including Waterstones, W H Smith, Blackwell’s, Easons and John Smith’s will all be stocking the bags. In total, 1,805 bookshops have placed an order for 267,000 bags.
The Booksellers Association (BA), which launched the “Books Are My Bag” campaign at the London Book Fair in April to promote books and bookshops, is now taking a second batch of orders.
Wholesaler Bertrams will deliver the bags—its group buying and marketing director Toby Bourne compared the delivery to the launch of a major novel such as Harry Potter.
Bourne said: “It presents similar challenges in terms of speed of supply and trade buzz. We want every participating bookshop to benefit from the campaign, which will help get customers into bookshops irrespective of whether or not they are an existing customer.”
The promotion will launch to consumers officially on 14th September, with a celebrity-led photo campaign. Some shops have already organised events to mark the release. A “Pimp My Bag” bag-decorating day will be held at Much Ado About Books in Alfriston, East Sussex; children’s book centre Seven Stories in Newcastle will hold Twitter competitions throughout the week of the launch.
Independent bookshops will give away bags to the first 75 customers, and afterwards give them to customers who purchase a certain amount of books. They can also sell the bags individually, setting their own price.
Alan Staton, head of marketing at the BA, said: “Books Are My Bag is the biggest-ever cross-trade promotion of books and bookshops, so we urge all our members to seize the opportunity, place their orders if they haven’t done so already, and start thinking creatively about ways to distribute their bags.”