Text Resize


The SoA teams up with the Booksellers Association to support high street bookselling

03 July 2012

We are supporting the BA’s Keep Books on the High Street Campaign, which includes Independent Booksellers Week, a national celebration of independent bookshops, taking place from 30 June to 7 July 2012.

We are contacting members to ask them to show their support for bookshops during IBW, and we are also working with the BA to organise a bookshop event tour in the run-up to Christmas.

SoA members who have already expressed interest in supporting the campaign:

Sebastian Barry, Antony Beevor, Simon Brett, Tracy Chevalier, Wendy Cope, Lindsey Davis, Helen Dunmore, Michael Frayn, Max Hastings, Michael Holroyd, Steve Jones, Tom Holland, Juliet Gardiner, David Kynaston, Deborah Moggach, James Runcie, Anne Sebba, Claire Tomalin, Joanna Trollope and Sarah Waters.

Many more are expected to come on board. Please contact us if you would like to get involved.

Nicola Solomon, General Secretary, said:

“Authors are passionate about bookshops and our members want to support their survival in any way they can. Bookshops provide a crucial role in helping readers find new works and in supporting literary culture across the UK & Ireland. We don’t want to wait until it’s too late to support the brilliant booksellers that are out there. This partnership will allow us to show authors how they can support bookshops across the UK and provide practical assistance on how to lend their voice to the campaign.”

Claire Tomalin, member of the SoA, said:

"With our libraries are disappearing, the prospect of bookshops going the same way is desolating. Bookshops are an essential part of the culture of any civilized country, and they need cherishing and protecting as much as endangered houses and gardens are protected by the National Trust."

The Booksellers Association recently announced that the number of independent booksellers fell to 1,094 by the end of 2011, down from 1,159 in 2010 and 1,289 in 2009. Among the 73 bookshops which closed last year were Dartmouth's famous Harbour Bookshop, founded 60 years ago by Christopher Robin Milne, and The Travel Bookshop in Notting Hill, made famous by the Hugh Grant film.

Independent Booksellers Week

This week, bookshops all over the country are hosting hundreds of themed events from literary lunches and author readings to creative writing workshops and children’s parties. IBW is designed to showcase how the independent booksellers provide a distinctive, personal service for book lovers and the unique role they play in their communities.

Support includes:

  • Authors including Joanne Harris, Peter James, Gervase Phinn, Susan Hill and Ian Rankin taking to shop floors and serving behind the counter in ‘Strictly Come Bookselling’.
  • Taffy Thomas, the UK’s first storytelling laureate, talking about the stories in his new book of folk tales at Bookends in Carlisle on Wednesday 4 July.
  • Crime in the Court, a crime festival at Goldsboro Books. Authors confirmed include: Mark Billingham, Lindsey Davis, Sophie Hannah, S J Watson and Laura Wilson.  
  • Love Charing Cross Road, a day-long festival on 30 June, organised by Foyles and Blackwell’s in Charing Cross Road. Highlights include events with Simon Callow, Ben Aaronovitch and John Lanchester and young adult authors Sarwat Chadda and Sara Grant .

Ways writers can get involved

Show your support for bookshops

  • Get involved with IBW events and activities
  • Buy your books from your local bookshop
  • Support booksellers by adding the Bookshop Search button to your website or author profile on this website (details below)
  • Spread the word on Twitter (using the #IBW12 hash tag) and on Facebook

Support booksellers by adding the Bookshop Search button to your website

The Bookshop Search button works in conjunction with the URL below and provides a real alternative to online-only booksellers.

The click-though search will bring up results for all Booksellers Association members (including chains and supermarkets). 

Use this link with the Bookshop Search button: http://www.booksellers.org.uk/Search-Tools/Bookshop-search.aspx



Help map the Literary Landscape

Members might wish to contribute to the Guardian/National Book Tokens Bookshop Map. Anyone with literary interests can add to this interactive map, so take a look: http://www.guardian.co.uk/national-book-tokens




Contact us

If you would like to get involved with the bookshop event tour in the run-up to Christmas, please contact us.

Related articles



An annual subscription (£95 or £68 if you're under 35) entitles you to unlimited advice on all aspects of the writing profession.


Already part of the Society?