Andy Rossiter has been appointed president of the Booksellers Association, as Nic Bottomley steps down after two years.
Rossiter runs Rossiter Books in Ross-on-Wye, Monmouth and Leominster, with his wife, Victoria Rossiter, following over 20 years at Waterstones and Ottakars, where he managed stores in Plymouth, Portsmouth, Manchester, Deansgate and Cardiff. He was Ottakar’s Manager of the Year in 2006.
Rossiter (pictured) has been involved with the BA since he co-founded Rossiter Books a decade ago. He started by being part of the Independent Booksellers Forum and has been on the BA Advisory Council for over seven years. He leads the Supply Chain Working Group and was formerly vice-president at the BA from 2018 to 2020. He will act as president of the BA for two years until 2022.
He said: “The BA is an amazing organisation that I have been very keen to have played an active part in. We have benefitted hugely over the years from hearing how other booksellers run their businesses. That sharing of best practice and the willingness of booksellers to share their ideas and experiences at Conferences, Forums, and Bookshop Socials over the years makes our industry remarkable so I’m extremely proud to now become BA President.”
Hazel Broadfoot, owner of Village Books in Dulwich, and Fleur Sinclair, owner of Sevenoaks Bookshop, were made vice-presidents at the BA's AGM.
Broadfoot said: "It's an absolute privilege to serve as a vice-president of the Booksellers' Association. The BA is an incredibly effective organisation, punching well above its weight and delivering real benefits for we members. It's an unusually collaborative trade body and over the years my business has benefitted from ideas generously shared by my fellow booksellers. I'm looking forward to working with the team, and hope to put my experience, both as an independent and a chain bookseller, to good use on behalf of our bookselling community."
Sinclair added: “I’ve made incredible friends and learned so much from booksellers I’ve met through the BA, and my time on the Council. It is the most supportive and enabling organisation and I’m really looking forward to working with them more. These are challenging times, challenging in new ways, and the BA is always active and open to helping members in whichever way might be best.
“It will be a great honour to serve as the BA vice-president, and I am particularly proud to be doing it as a person of colour. Bookselling can be a wonderful job, but there is a disproportionately low number of bookshop owners who aren’t white and middle class. During my tenure as vice-president I will be looking for any possible ways to try and address this imbalance.”
BA m.d. Meryl Halls said: “We are really thrilled to have booksellers the calibre of Andy, Hazel and Fleur take on the presidency and vice presidency of the BA at this crucial time for bookselling. Between them, they have decades of experience, enthusiasm, creativity, commitment to the bookselling community—and the respect of their peers. All of us at the BA are delighted to be working with them, and look forward to Andy’s tenure as president with great excitement.”
Paying tribute to outgoing president, Bottomley, Halls added: “I took over as m.d. of the BA at the same time as Nic became BA president and there can have been no better partner to embark on that adventure with than Nic. I would like to thank him personally, and on behalf of the whole membership, for his incredibly creative, visionary and collaborative presidency.”
The new positions were announced at the BA AGM on Tuesday 10th March, which was attended by over 35 booksellers, having been rearranged after the cancellation of London Book Fair, where the AGM was scheduled to take place.