It’s amazing what you can do with a bit of velcro and some chain stitch. For example, here we have the Bonnier stand at last weekend’s Gardners Trade Show:
So why did I spend Sunday morning sticking MAGGOT MOON posters up with velcro in Coventry? Gardners are a wholesaler who sponsor, as part of the Bookseller Association Conference, a trade show so that the booksellers can see what’s happening across the different publishers.
Basically its lots of publishers in one room, showing their new titles for Christmas and giving booksellers chance to have a look at proof copies, ask questions and generally say hello.
From a publishing point of view, it’s great to get feedback on what we’re doing, how our jackets look, whether we’re producing the right material for the bookshops and generally chatting about books. It was very heartening to have booksellers come up to the stand and tell us how much they loved the list and grab a handful of postcards for the shop to help them promote it or to be able to introduce the list to people personally. It was also lovely to speak to people who we normally just speak to on Twitter (yes that means YOU @storytellersinc).
Admittedly there is a further, more personal, benefit. Seeing everyone else’s new titles – the big change for me moving from bookselling to publishing was that I suddenly went from knowing what everyone was publishing or the next 3 months, to knowing only what my company was publishing for the next 3 years. Also, we were opposite the HC stand which had the new Oliver Jeffers on show. Not a bad thing to flick through (and try to steal) on a Sunday in Coventry.