Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Where's the Justice?

George RR Martin at the ComiconImage via WikipediaIf I was to release a book that has been embargoed to one of my customers a few days early publishers tell me that I would have sanctions taken against me, not least non-supply of future releases prior to publication.

An employee at Amazon, working in Germany, has released 180 copies of the new fantasy novel by George RR Martin, A Dance with Dragons. The official release date is the 12 July, the thousand page novel has been six years in the writing and is subject to a strict embargo by its publisher. We haven't seen our copies yet.

Martin has threatened to mount the head of the guilty employee on a spike. Will Amazon's supply be cut off by his publishers? Of course not. Is bookselling a level playing field? You've got to be joking!
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Wednesday, 15 June 2011

10 reasons to Shop Local

Around Retford town 21 Jan '11 Beautiful day #...Image by Roger Bunting via FlickrThis Saturday sees the beginning of Independent Booksellers Week when we indies promote the reasons why you should buy your book with us rather than in chains, supermarkets or online. The independent bookshop experience is only one of the reasons why you should shop in your local town.

1. Independent shops create distinctive shopping experiences, stock different, traditional and often local products.

2. Local shops sell a wide range of great products at affordable prices.

3. Shopping local creates and retains jobs - evidence shows that for every £10 spent in an independent shop £25 is generated for the local economy compared to £14 spent in multinationals.

4. Shopping local can save you money – not only are many products priced competitively, travel costs, parking and time are all reduced.

5. Shopping locally helps to retain strong and vibrant communities.

6. Local independent shops invest more in their communities and support many local activities and organisations.

7. Shopping local saves the environment – no need for long car journeys to out of town stores.

8. The loss of local retailers often leads to the loss of other local services. As shops disappear so do hairdressers, vets, dentists, etc..

9. Local shops are for everyone - most people can get to their local shops easily and this is especially important for elderly, vulnerable and young people and those without transport.

10. Local traders survive by their reputation so will often go out of their way to give great customer service.

Next time you write your shopping list try to think "Could I buy this in my high street?" Every little helps.
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Tuesday, 14 June 2011

The Man Behind War Horse

Autograph session with Michael Morpurgo at Sal...Image via WikipediaCongratulations to the producers of War Horse which won five awards at the Tony Awards on Sunday - New York theatreland's equivalent of the Oscars.

The play uses life-sized horse puppets to show how the animals were used in the First World War and is based on a book written by Michael Morpurgo. Amazingly the book was first published in 1982. I say amazingly, because we still sell at least a couple of copies a week nearly 30 years later in leafy Retford.

Morpurgo's latest book, Shadow, about an Afghan boy who befriends a dog whilst fleeing the war, won the Red House Children's Book Award (voted for by children) on Saturday. He has previously won the award for Kensuke's Kingdom and Private Peaceful, two more books which outsell anything in our children's section, now that J. K. Rowling's books are backlist.

His books are not easy, comfortable reads but are gritty, realistic and thought-provoking and children (and adults) love them.
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Sunday, 17 February 2008

Where's Retford?

On a trip to Rufford Park on a lovely spring day, it was rather annoying to notice that at the new A1/A57/A614 Apleyhead junction, between Retford and Worksop (and the most direct route into the area from Nottingham) there are no directions to Retford! Do we not exist? Come on highway agencies a little help to get people into the town would be helpful.


Oh dear! The knives are out for Delia Smith in the press following comments she has made publicising her new book How to Cheat in Cooking. She is quoted as saying she does not "do organic" and that "cheaply-produced chickens were vital for poorer families who could not afford to buy free-range or organic produce". In the Sunday Times Lydia Slater criticises Delia's recipe for shepherd's pie using tinned meat, ready diced vegetables and frozen potatoes. "Laden with plastic bags from different supermarkets, I staggered home. The shopping trip took an hour, assembling and cooking the ingredients, a further hour. The result was ... okay." She calculated the cost of the meal as just under £7, "I couldn't help noticing that Tesco Finest shepherd's pie would have set me back just £3.79" This seems to be somewhat at odds with Delia's aim to provide nutritious meals at bargain prices.

How to Cheat in Cooking is currently (17/02/08) on sale at Bookworm for the bargain price of £10.