Monday 8 June 2020

#PassTheBookplate – a bookselling boost on shifting ground

Independent bookshops have been quick to adapt to the extraordinary changes that have altered our landscape.  We’ve seen indies trading online, over social media, through newsletters, over the phone – basically continuing to do what they do best: being agile and imaginative!

Many are now planning to at least partially reopen their doors on Monday 15th June, and we wanted to come up with a plan to give them some support – at least in their first month of reopening.

So we’ve made a simple, low-cost plan that can happen fast!  Tamsin Rosewell from Kenilworth Books has used their bookshop network to ask high profile authors to sign bundles of bookplates for independent bookshops.  The last thing bookshops need right now is to have to take a risk on buying signed stock.  If we can instead send them signed bookplates, bookshops can order what they need, when they need it, and sell bookplated books in a steady stream.

If you’re a bookseller and you’d like to join in, let @IndieBookshopUK know – Stephen Baird has been helping us plan the simplest way to manage this.  We’ll be dividing up the bookplates as fairly as possible and posting them out as they come in.  Tamsin has envelopes and a whole load of large letter stamps to hand!

We’d love the help of other high profile authors who can help indies generate sales – so please contact us if you’d like to join in.  You can email or contact your publisher and ask for bookplates!  Authors have used postcards and bookmarks too, so if you have anything like that to hand that can be signed, we’d love to use it!  Publishers, if you’d also like to offer your support, please also email Tamsin.

A huge thanks to Philip Pullman, Sophie Anderson, Nicola Davies, Liz Flanagan, Michael Palin, Laura Cumming, Elspeth and Kate at Penguin Random House and all at David Fickling Books, for their help in getting this started.