The Booksellers Association of the United Kingdom & Ireland Limited

Academic publishing chiefs urged to work in campus bookshops

Meryl Halls

The Booksellers Association's managing director Meryl Halls called on bosses and heads of department at academic and specialist publishers to join its Shopfloor Booksellers initiative at the sector's annual Academic Book Trade Conference (10 - 11 May). 

The scheme has been running succesfully for the trade arm of the publishing industry for two years, seeing some of the publishing's biggest names - such as Penguin Random House chief Tom Weldon and Pan Macmillan c.e.o. Anthony Forbes Watson - taking part and praising the insight they gleaned.

Speaking at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Stratford upon Avon, where the conference is taking place, Halls said: "We are pleased to announce today we are launching the Academic Shopfloor Booksellers project and challenging publishers present here today to sign up, take a day out of the office and spend it in a bookshop. Not visiting a bookshop, but working in a bookshop - and possibly even hoovering, 

"There is no better way to appreciate how bookshops operate than to work in them. I do encourage you to sign up."

Later speaking to The Bookseller, Halls agreed the project could help the two arms of the trade work more collaboratively. 

"It is about bringing the industry closer together and will hopefully help publishers to think of booksellers in their conversations all the time," she said. "For publishers, often a simple idea can come from it which they take away and find useful. We then urge booksellers to spend a day in a publisher's offices." 

Also announced at the Academic Book Trade Conference was the winners of the ABT awards:

Academic Publishers of the Year- Oxford University Press

Chain Bookseller of the Year - Blackwell's

Rep of the Year - Stevie Thomson, Oxford University Press

Bookseller of the Year - Greig Watt, Bookseller of the Year

Bookshop of the Year - John Smith's, Glasgow University

Book of the Year - Writing For Science Students by Jennifer Boyle & Scott Ramsay (Palgrave)

Photos from the conference can be found here