Independent Booksellers Week to promote reading groups

Independent Booksellers Week to promote reading groups

National Reading Group Day is among the new features designed to boost the importance of indie retailers during this year’s Independent Booksellers Week.

The Booksellers Association has just announced that the annual IBW will take place between June 18-25th. The key aim this year is to boost the number of retailers taking part, and to raise the profile of bookshops across the UK.

For the first time, IBW includes National Reading Group Day on 25th June, when booksellers will be encouraged to promote reading groups. The BA will also be providing resources to booksellers on reading group titles, how to run a reading group day, and pointing booksellers in the direction of existing publisher resources for reading groups.  "It promises to be a really vibrant part of the week this year," a BA spokesperson said.

From April, the trade body promises a “major” public relations campaign in preparation for the week, which will include promotion of an IBW Book Prize and a matchmaking hotline – linking indies with authors who are willing to visit and hold readings. The BA is also working on plans to create “branded point of sale” material for bookshops.

Independent retailers in 2011 are expected to follow on from previous years and celebrate the week by holding events such as competitions, author readings, and other themed activities.

“This year’s IBW promises to be another great promotional period for booksellers, publishers and authors alike, and we hope that all independents will make the most of the opportunity,” said Meryl Halls, head of membership services at the BA.  “Independent Booksellers Week gives us the opportunity to highlight the many entrepreneurial, energetic, community-based booksellers and showcase how they are successfully providing an excellent, personal service for their customers.”

Over 250 independent booksellers took part in IBW in 2010, holding over one thousand events. Publishers interested in participating should contact Meryl Halls at the BA
meryl.halls@booksellers.org.uk or call 020 7802 0811.