Over 90 express interest in Big Green Bookshop's indie alliance

Over 90 express interest in Big Green Bookshop's indie alliance

The Big Green Bookshop has received a "fantastic" response to its proposal for an independent bookshop alliance, with over 90 expressing interest since the idea was first mooted on Tuesday (16th January).

Following the controversy surrounding the deep discounting of Philip Pullman’s first The Book of Dust novel last year and Waterstones' exclusive deal to sell 5,000 signed special editions of the title, Simon Key, co-owner of the Big Green Bookshop in London’s Wood Green, proposed setting up an independent bookshop alliance through which indies can work together to negotiate better discounts and exclusive offers with publishers.

Over 90 bookshops including Gutter Bookshop in Dublin, Imagined Things in Harrogate and Golden Hare Books in Edinburgh have expressed an interest in being part of such a consortium, which Key said was "fantastic".

He told The Bookseller: "I'm really pleased with the reaction, we’ve had such a fantastic response. The problem when this has been tried before is I think it’s very difficult to get enough people interested to make it effective, that’s why its so encouraging it’s had such a big response in such a short space of time. I hope those who are thinking of joining see this and actually join."

Key said the next stage would be to set up a forum so interested bookshops could communicate and discuss what they’d like from the alliance. Key will also be meeting with a various trade members this week - including publishers - who are interested in how they can help. He also said the alliance had "tentatively" received an offer of funding, but could not reveal any more details until it was confirmed. 

In the meantime, Key wants to keep the conversation going. "I don’t want it to go quiet, or there to be nothing seen to be happening," he said. "The more the idea is out there, the more other bookshops will think of joining."

He added: "Although I'm still trying to run a bookshop as well, traditionally January is not the business time, so it’s been a good time to get it started. The important thing is that we make some money from this. The idea is that the voice of 100 bookshops is louder than one; we would be a strong force."

Interested bookshops should email ‘Yes’ to indiebookshops@gmail.com.