Industry gears up for The Great Bookshop Debate

Industry gears up for The Great Bookshop Debate

Authors want both online and bricks and mortar retailers to thrive, Louise Doughty has said.

The Apple Tree Yard (Faber) author (pictured) will be speaking at The Great Bookshop Debate during Independent Booksellers Week on 2nd July from 7.30pm-9.30pm at the new flagship Foyles shop in Charing Cross Road, which will focus on the future of bookselling.

The debate will probe questions such as how authors feel about their readers shopping for their books online, how traditional bookshops meet the needs of multi-channel customers and how publishers can make sure that high street bookshops thrive in a cut-throat commercial environment.

Doughty said: “All authors are passionately attached to high street bookshops: the opportunity to browse, the expertise of the staff, the chance of a decent coffee while we are at it...but we almost all own e-readers and, like any other book buyer, love the swift access of online shopping as well as loving other people having access to our own works.” She added: “We are a greedy breed: we want both outlets to thrive. Does the battle for bookselling need to be Godzilla versus the Mutos or can the two come to a cheerful accommodation? Authors are very much hoping they can.”

Besides Doughty, panellists will include author Mark Forsyth, author, Kate Gunning, key accounts manager for Penguin Random House, Siôn Hamilton, retail operations director at Foyles, Robert Hiscox, founder of Hiscox Insurance and co-owner of the White Horse Bookshop in Marlborough, Wiltshire and Nicholas Lovell, a writer, consultant and gamer.
The debate will be chaired by New Statesman editor Jason Cowley.

The event is being held as part of Independent Booksellers Week - an annual celebration of independent bookshops nationwide, which takes place from 28 June-5 July.
Tickets are free and places can be reserved by going to the Foyles website.

Also taking place at Foyles during IBW is a special Independent Booksellers Week edition of Literary Death Match, “the world's biggest live literary gameshow”.

The event, which will feature 4 authors, three judges, two rounds and one finale, is being held in conjunction with Windmill Books and will take place on Thursday 3rd July from 7:30pm-9.00pm.

Alexandra Heminsley, Carys Bray, Nick Harkaway, John Boyne will be at the event and tickets are £7 and available in advance from the Foyles site