Independent booksellers Allison Jinks, Jess Paul and Sheryl Shurville have joined the Booksellers Association (BA) advisory council, as membership to the association passes 1,000 for the first time in eight years.
They will join with immediate effect, alongside Lucy Swinburn, head of books at W H Smith, who has succeeded Ben Carrington.
Meryl Halls, m.d. of the BA, said: “We are delighted to have Alison, Jess and Sheryl join the Booksellers Association’s advisory council. All three are dedicated and knowledgeable booksellers who come with experience and industry insight that will be invaluable to the BA and its members as we look ahead to post-lockdown bookselling.
“As bookshops come together during a challenging time, with BA membership rising to numbers not seen for nearly 10 years, it is more important than ever that we have experienced, representative and committed booksellers on hand to help steer policy and ensure that we tackle the most important issues facing bookshops today.”
The council, led by BA president Andy Rossiter, founder of Rossiter Books, is comprised of 21 booksellers from across the UK, and includes representatives from Waterstones, Gardners, W H Smith and Blackwell's. It focuses on advising the BA on pressing issues within the bookselling community, as well as consulting on policies, messaging best practice and action that needs to be taken in the publishing sector and wider book trade environment. To date, 1,005 independent bookshops are now members of the organisation, up from 875 pre-pandemic.
Allison Jinks, owner of Wallingford Bookshop in Oxfordshire, said: “The bookselling community has played such a supportive and friendly part in my own bookshop experience that I hope I can help others in the same way and play a part in shaping our future.”
Bristol-based bookseller Jess Paul, who owns Max Minerva's Bookshop in north Bristol, said of her appointment: “Being on the BA council is a real privilege. I'm looking forward to learning more about our industry, collaborating with booksellers to overcome challenges and celebrate our successes.”
Sheryl Shurville, owner of London indie Chorleywood Bookshop, added: “Having sat on council a few years ago, I thought now would be the right time to get involved again. The Booksellers Association has been an inspiration during lockdown. They have been steadfast and practical with their advice over the past difficult months, which we all so greatly appreciated, so I am thrilled to be given the opportunity to offer a little bit back. I feel privileged to have over 20 years' experience of the book trade, and I've enjoyed every moment.”