The Book Hive in Norwich has teamed up with seven independent publishers to create a bookshop awning that also doubles up as an advertisement for the imprints.
Phaidon, Faber & Faber, Pushkin Press, Granta, Salt, Melville House UK and Peirene Press have all paid to have their logos featured on The Book Hive’s new awning, in a collaboration which “shows the strength of the bond between independent bookshop and independent publisher,” the indie outlet’s owner Henry Layte told The Bookseller.
Also featured on the awning is the bookshop’s own mini-press Propolis and a Unesco City of Literature logo to reflect the honour that was bestowed on the East Anglian city in 2012.
Layte said: “We needed awnings to protect the books from sunlight but we couldn’t afford them, so I hit on the idea that other types of shops—electrical retailers, for example—often put the brands they stock on their shop fronts, so why not bookshops?
“It seemed like a good idea, especially as our relationship with small presses and indie publishers is what we, as an indie, can really focus on and benefit from.”
Layte continued: “I approached the independent publishers that we stock regularly in the shop and suggested that for a small fee, sponsoring the awning would give them the chance to have a big advert on the front of a well-known bookshop—and it surprisingly proved to be very popular.”
He added: “Readers don’t necessarily always know the names of publishers and this is a way of trying to remedy that, but it is also good to show that support of independent bookshops from independent publishers is a two-way thing. We support them by stocking many of their titles, and they have now supported us.”
Layte added that although the new awning had only been up for little over a week, the independent’s customers had already been reacting to it positively.