Haggerston-based independent bookshop Burely Fisher Books has launched a kickstarter campaign to fund a new events space which is intended to "support independent publishing".
Opened by Jason Burley and Sam Fisher in February this year, the bookshop runs at least one event a week and has experienced "very successful engagement" with local residents and a responsive mailing list of almost 600. Burley also owns Camden Look Books.
According to the pair, the events programme has "outgrown the space that we have on the ground floor of the shop", and the funds raised by the Kickstarter campaign will be used to expand the range of events that the pair are able to run in the shop, as well as the audience capacity.
Burley and Fisher intend to expand the shop into the basement area which will provide more space to hold events.
The campaign page says: "Online retailers offer the illusion of choice whilst directing their readers to their mass market selection. Jason and Sam wanted to provide a platform for books undervalued by these retailers, as well as a meeting place where people could get together with their authors to talk about them.
"The new space will allow us to run film events, catered events, arts and crafts events (such as ceramics and life drawing) and the community will also be able to hire the space below our bookshop. Importantly, we will be able to run events during the day, and to keep the bookshop open while events are taking place."
Kit Caless, co-director of Influx Press, confirmed the bookshop's dedication to supporting indie presses. He told The Bookseller: "Jason took the first book we published at his original shop in Old Street [Camden Lock Books], back when we didn't have distribution and I biked around London trying to convince bookshops to take it. His faith in our press at that time was invaluable and a real confidence boost. With Burley Fisher Bookshop you can see that same, unwavering commitment to supporting independent publishers shining from the tables to the shelves. Visibility is so key to selling books and shops like Burley Fisher, where the selection is so hands on, are crucial for an independent publisher's survival. When you walk in and see Fitzcarraldo, And Other Stories, Galley Beggar, Blue Moose and so many other independent publishers prominently displayed, it's really pleasing.
"Last night we crammed a bunch of people into the shop for an event. It was great fun, but we would have loved to have got more people in the space. Opening up the basement is a really great move for Burley Fisher and for publisher like us. We get to use a bigger space, but we can still be confident we'd be looked after in the same caring way we always have."
Donors have already pledged £3,776 of the shop's £7,500 goal with 26 days to go. Pledges can be made here.