Four indies launch virtual events programme

Four indies launch virtual events programme

Four independent bookshops have pooled their knowledge and resources to organise a series of virtual events in response to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Linghams (Heswall), Book-ish (Crickhowell), Forum Books (Corbridge) and Booka Bookshop (Oswestry) are launching a series of ‘At Home with…’ events which will be held on Facebook live, to enable people to continue to engage with authors and other readers but from the safety of their own homes. 
The idea was initially conceived by Sue Porter at Linghams who had been contacting publishers to pitch the idea. Now, working alongside her are Emma Corfield-Walters (Book-ish), Helen Stanton (Forum Books) and Carrie Morris (Booka Bookshop).

Book-ish and Forum books were announced as regional winners for the Independent Bookshop of the Year Award in March. Linghams and Booka have both previously won the award.

The first event will be with bestselling author Jack Monroe, author of Tin Can Cook, on 20th April. Robert Webb will talk about his book Come Again on 22nd April and Sebastian Barry will also be hosting an event on 27th April. 

Porter commented: “All booksellers will be hit dramatically by the coronavirus outbreak and this is one way that we can continue to deliver our events programme whilst also combating the social isolation that many people may feel during the next weeks and months. We all know each other well and have been thinking about what we can do – working as a team we can pool our resources and skills. It is a great opportunity to do something positive in these uncertain times.” 

The bookshops feel that in uncertain times, banding together will help curate event experiences to "bolster readers during very difficult times and provide an income stream to help safeguard their future business potential".