Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Support a Bookshop and Win a Book

Ann Alexander’s poetry collection Too Close arrived from the printer today, so it joins Sue Guiney’s novel A Clash of Innocents as the second book from Ward Wood Publishing. With Mike Horwood’s poetry collection Midas Touch due out in a few weeks we’ll have a small but select set of books on offer by Christmas. So, it seems like time for a competition to support local bookshops and give readers a chance of winning one of these books.

If you buy from a local bookshop rather than buying online then send me a message by posting a comment here or by Facebook message. You can also contact me via the wardwoodpublishing.co.uk website. I’ve found local bookshops supportive and you can already buy our books off the shelves in some branches of Waterstones, Daunt Books and from the independent bookshop Sandoes. I know there are copies in stock in the Hampstead Waterstones, and also Daunt Books Marylebone Road.

These might not be close to you, so the best way to support a local bookshop is to go in and order books through them. This helps the bookshop, helps the publisher and author (as online booksellers often ask for a large discount and are sometimes unreliable – especially the main one!) and it helps buyers as there’s no extortionate postage. You also have the pleasure of going into a real bookshop for a browse and to enjoy the look, smell and feel of books!

If you order one of our books through a bookshop then let me know and you can choose one of the other two books to get your name in a prize draw. Let me know which bookshop you ordered from, and also let me know where you see our books on the shelves so we can name and promote local bookshops. If you already bought one of our books from a bookshop you can also tell me that for a chance to go into the draw.

I know this competition might not be possible for everybody – although it would be interesting to try ordering the book through bookshops in other countries. We’re certainly supplying a bookshop in Cambodia so I know it can be done. Not to worry if you can’t do it – I’ll have a different competition for another book next week.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Support a Bookshop on National Poetry Day

I'm stuck at home with a cold and cough this year and can only remember how much I enjoyed National Poetry Day in the Southbank Centre last time. My thoughts have drifted to how I can enjoy National Poetry Day at home and also champion poetry.

Here's what I've come up with. Let's go and order the next poetry collection we want from our local bookshop. This not only costs less than paying the exorbitant postage charged by Amazon, it also gets poetry into the bookshops.

I've had a heartening response from bookshops recently, and notice that they often order a few copies of a book rather than just one. This doesn't only support the bookshop, it also results in a higher percentage going to the publisher and consequently also supports the authors. Online booksellers can ask for a discount of up to 60%, which is incredibly hard on publishers and their authors.

Added to that it's a real pleasure going into bookshops. If you want to join me today by going into a bookshop and ordering poetry then I'd love to hear feedback on how it was for you.... Did it feel good? Does your bookshop have a cafe, readings and events? Maybe a book club? I think it's time we got back to the bookshops, those of us who have got used to shopping online.

I have nothing against online booksellers. In fact I often complained about bookshops not stocking poetry and was delighted when Amazon and others appeared to make it easier to get the books I wanted. The internet also lets us order direct from publishers, or find the authors on Facebook to see if they'll send us a signed copy.

A casualty has been the high street bookshop and I find I have a sudden longing to do my shopping there. I've been in touch with bookshops since the first Ward Wood book by Sue Guiney was launched, and this has reminded me of all those enjoyable times browsing among actual shelves rather than webpages.

Waterstones and Daunt Books also surprised me by being so willing to talk and order books, and there were even bookshop managers at Sue Guiney's event. Bookshops also welcome signings and other events and don't charge - publishers and authors just take the wine along! So they're extremely important at a time when it's hard to meet costs for publishers specialising in non-mainstream forms.

If you order poetry (or anything else) from a bookshop, please give some feedback on how it went. And perhaps some tempting descriptions of those bookshops too....
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