Saturday, 29 June 2013

Independent Booksellers Week

Independent Booksellers Week (IBW) fast approaches (29-6 July),   In honour of IBW, the Independent Alliance of publishers has commissioned five limited edition exquisite Written Word prints, featuring handwritten extracts from distinguished authors Mark Forsyth, Simon Armitage, Robert MacFarlane, Yan Martell and Ruth Ozeki.

The Written Word prints include extracts from globally lauded titles, Life of Pi (Martell), The Etymologicon (Forsyth), Man with a Golf Ball Heart (Armitage), The Wild Places (MacFarlane), and A Tale for the Time Being (Ozeki), shortlisted for the IBW Book Award. These will only be available in independent bookshops during IBW

Beautifully reproduced on exquisite A4 FSC accredited offset paper, the handwritten text is complemented by the authors signature and book jacket image.

Independent Booksellers Week (IBW) is a national celebration of independent bookshops across the UK. The weeklong festival, now in its seventh year, brings together authors, publishers, bookshops and book lovers to acknowledge just how special independent bookshops are and their valued place on the high street.

The Written Word prints are part of the IBW Bookseller Collectibles range. Originally launched in 2012, the BA has worked with as many publishers as possible to create an even bigger exclusive range this year. This year bookshop customers will find a facsimile pocket hardback of Roverandom by J.R.R Tolkien (Harper Collins), a facsimile edition of And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie (HarperCollins) and a collection of never-before seen envelope art from letters sent to Andersen Press founder and publisher Klaus Flugge ornamented by leading illustrators (Andersen Press). There will also be a tempting collection of Children’s Collectibles on offer such as limited gift editions of There, There by award-winning Sam McBratney, Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner and of Judith Kerr’s classic children’s favourite The Tiger Who Came To Tea, as well as some very special events with Illustrators in Residence at bookshops across the UK, courtesy of Bloomsbury Children’s Books and a fabulous interactive Find Wally Hunt by the publishers of Where’s Wally, Walker Books.

Simon Armitage
Mark Forsyth
Robert Macfarlane

Yann Martell
Ruth Ozeki

This is a fabulous opportunity for literary fanatics and cultural enthusiasts alike to get hold of an exciting piece of exclusive literary heritage. Each print is priced at £20 and will be supplied in a tube which the customer can then frame.



The headline IBW event will be a debate at the Southbank Centre in London on Wednesday 3rd July. Entitled The Perfect Storm: Why Bookshops Are in the Frontline in the Battle for the High Street, chaired by James Runcie, Literature Director of the Southbank Centre, the debate will be an opportunity for the book industry, media and members of the public to meet to discuss the issues facing bookshops today. The panel will include leading independent bookseller Nic Bottomley (Mr B’s Emporium), award-winning author Kate Mosse, Chair of the Society of Authors Anne Sebba , Gordon Wise of Curtis Brown literary agency and Lindsay Mackie (New Economics Foundation).

Tickets can be booked from

Authors across the country will be taking part in AuthorFest, a series of high profile talks and events encouraging British book lovers to support their local bookshops. Bestselling writers including Antony Beevor, Kate Mosse, Rachel Joyce, Ann Widdecombe, Richard Madeley, Deborah Moggach, Kate Humble, Jack Straw, Malorie Blackman and Ruth Ozeki will be visiting bookshops to discuss why they matter so much to them and the valuable role that to play. Events include:

· Kate Mosse – Sarratt Village Hall (Chorleywood Bookshop), Tuesday 2nd July, 7.30pm
· Antony Beevor – Dulwich Bookshop, Tuesday 2nd July, 7pm
· Rachel Joyce – The Shire Hall, Monmouth (Rossiter Books), Thursday 4th July, 7pm
· Deborah Moggach –Jaffe & Neale, Chipping Norton, Monday 1st July, 6.30pm
· Richard Madeley – City Books, East Sussex, Thursday 4th July, 5.30pm
· Kate Humble – Sussex Produce Company (Steyning Bookshop), Wednesday 3rd July, 7pm
· Ruth Ozeki – Jaffe and Neale Bookshop, Chipping Norton, Wednesday 3rd July, 6.30pm
· Jack Straw – Watford Grammar School for Boys (Chorleywood Bookshop), Monday 1st July, 7.30pm
· Malorie Blackman – Jewish Free School, Kingsbury (Bookworm Bookshop), Friday 5th July

Meryl Halls, Head of Membership Services, BA commented: “High street bookshops are having a tough time at the moment, and booksellers are responding by going to greater and greater lengths to make their shops appealing to customers with events, offers and many other community initiatives. We are delighted that so many authors are rallying around independent bookshops. These events will give authors the chance to add their voice to the debate about the crucial role of bookshops in the community and how shoppers, the book industry and politicians can work together to recognise the value of bricks and mortar bookshops and keep them on the high street.”

There will also be signing events with two very special authors, who have both published books before the age of ten. On Saturday 29th June at 11.30am, Victoria Agomo, who turns 10 just before IBW will be reading from her book Silly Sarah. Eleven year old Erica Weiler who has just published her second novel Far From Home will be at the Nomad Bookstore in Fulham on Saturday 29th June at 3pm.

Other bestselling authors including Simon Mayo and Ann Widdecombe will also be supporting IBW by trying their hand behind the tills in a series of ‘Strictly Come Bookselling’ events across the country.

The IBW Book Award is unique in that it is the only award chosen by independent booksellers in the UK. A shortlist of ten adult titles and twelve children’s titles was announced in April and the winners will be announced on Saturday 29th June. Previous award winners have included Jeanette Winterson, Edmund de Waal, Eva Ibbotson and Michael Morpurgo.

Parents will have the chance to help their children discover more about their local independent bookshops with a series of interactive events across the country. Bloomsbury Children’s Publishing have created a unique Illustrator-in-Residence project, with eight of their top illustrators will be volunteering their skills and becoming ‘illustrators in residence’ in their local bookshops during the Week. Over the course of the week each of the illustrators will visit a number of shops in their local area, holding workshops, storytelling sessions and designing window displays. Catch the illustrators at these bookshops: Under the Greenwood Tree, Clapham; Foyles Bristol; David’s Bookshop, Letchworth Garden City; Bags of Books; Lewes, East Sussex; Book Nook, Hove; Stanfords, Bristol; Wenlock Books, Much Wenlock; Seven Stories, Newcastle Upon Tyne; The Mainstreet Trading Company, St Boswell’s; Blackwell's Bookshop, Edinburgh.
Over 110 bookshops will be orchestrating a series of Where’s Wally hunts, with Wally hiding in local businesses in towns throughout the country. Culminating in a grand ceremony with fantastic prizes to be won, it’s the perfect opportunity to energise the whole family whilst celebrating the importance of local businesses to communities. The biggest hunt so far has been organised by the Fable bookshop in Abergavenny, which has got 23 businesses involved including the local museum, library and tourist information centre.

Founded by three songwriter friends as a collaboration with their local independent bookshop, Mr B’s Emporium, Bath, the band will be touring bookshops and festivals across the UK to perform songs written about books, including “A shop with books in” extolling the virtues of local booksellers. Click here for their tour dates.

Some independent bookshops have created bespoke Festivals to tie in with IBW, including Goldsboro Books (London WC2) Crime in the Court crime writers festival on 4th July, with authors including Mark Billingham, Robert Goddard and David Hewson. The Chorleywood Bookshop will also be hosting the Bloomsbury Cooks Food Festival on 29th June, a celebration of renowned cooks and their recipes with authors such as Paul Hollywood and Wendi Peters.

For more information about IBW, visit

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