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The Ramblings of A Few Scattered Authors. 15 British children's authors from the SAS (Scattered Authors Society) get together to tell it like it really is. Tips on writing, not-writing and all the assorted hopes, dreams, fears and practicalities of our profession.
1. BOOKSELLER SUNDAYS: An invitation to writers from Meryl Halls at the Booksellers Association

This is the first in our new series of guest blogs by booksellers. These blogs are designed to show life behind the scenes of a crucial but neglected relationship – the one between writers and booksellers. Here Meryl Halls shares news of some exciting initiatives and invites writers to participate in the events such as ‘Strictly Come Bookselling’ during the fifth Independent Booksellers Week, which this year takes place between 30th June and 7th July.

My main responsibilities lie in working with independent booksellers, and over the last five years we have established a thriving Independent Booksellers Forum, which organizes events and campaigns for the 1000+ indie bookshops still operating in the UK and Ireland.

I’ve always been a book-lover, and my earliest and most vivid childhood memories revolve around our annual trips from Scotland to visit family friends in Meldreth, near Cambridge. A trip to Heffers Children’s Bookshop was the highlight of every trip (for me, if not for my brother!). I can hardly put into words the excitement of walking through the door and smelling ‘that’ smell.

As a teenager and student, I worked in the local indie bookshop in my small Scottish home town, though it is now sadly long-closed. Whenever I am home visiting family, one of the biggest pleasures for me, my husband and my two teenage children is to visit the wonderful Main Street Trading Company in St Boswells. So, you could say I have the perfect job – and you’d not be far wrong!

At the BA, our umbrella brand for our indie activity is IndieBound, a marketing campaign begun in the USA, which focuses on the importance of shopping locally, shopping independently and creating a strong community. When we introduced the campaign into the UK, it immediately resonated with UK booksellers and it has provided both the BA and our members with opportunities to start a meaningful conversation with customers about how important their consumer behaviour is in keeping retail areas diverse, bookshops thriving and high streets healthy.

We have migrated our IndieBound messages about community engagement and shopping locally into our more recent ‘Keep Books on the High Street’ campaign, which is currently entering a new phase, and is reaching out to authors for support. You can see more here.

We will be back in touch with SAS members about the campaign, but in the meantime if you are interested in providing us with a quote in support of indie or high street bookselling, or – even better – if you are prepared to record a short spoken piece on the same subject, we would love to hear from you – email us here. The American BA has just launched a very similar initiative called ‘Why Indies Matter’, and you can see some of your fellow authors talking about indie bookshops on this link to the US IndieBound site.

The main reason, though, that I’m deligh

10 Comments on BOOKSELLER SUNDAYS: An invitation to writers from Meryl Halls at the Booksellers Association, last added: 6/4/2012
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