Christmas is, for authors and publishers, the most important time of the year for selling books and is a major lifeline for our bookshops.
With so few independent bookshops around now, it is nice to be able to share news of one that is not only continuing to do well but is also stocking local author Richard Hardie’s Young Adult novels, Leap of Faith and Trouble With Swords.
Image Credit: Unless otherwise stated, all images were kindly supplied by Richard Hardie.
It has been a while since I last interviewed Richard but he has been busy with Authors Reach, the collective he formed with Sarah England, Catriona King, Gina Dickinson and Shani Struthers. Despite writing in very different genres (horror, crime, paranormal and, for Richard, Young Adult Fantasy), all of the authors bought back the rights to their works and are now actively marketing and promoting them, supporting each other in the process.
I believe co-operatives like this will become more common (there is at least one crime one I know of) as even authors who are published traditionally still need to do their own marketing and get word about their books “out there”. The trick is to do this without people getting tired of hearing you go on about your book! And, of course, the great thing about a collective is you support one another and costs are shared.
The great news is that P&G Wells of Winchester are stocking Richard’s Young Adult books. I know them due to their connections as the official bookshop for the Winchester Writers’ Festival. (I’ve bought many a helpful and informative writing book from them!). And now over to Richard…
It’s less than 2 weeks to Christmas and, like everyone, I’m looking forward to the festive cheer and mountains of food. However, like most people, I’m all too aware that there are so few shopping days left to find those last minute presents and make Christmas morning wonderful for young and old alike.
As I’ve been based in Winchester for the past few weeks I went to the Cathedral’s Christmas Market a number of times and marvelled at the array of craft, clothes and food items available. It’s a Winter Wonderland without the snow, but great fun with lots of bargains if you know where to look.
And knowing where to look is the point of buying presents because Winchester is full of small, winding streets with lots of local shops that sell those items never sold by the bigger chain stores.
One such shop is Winchester-based P & G Wells which is probably the largest independent bookshop in Hampshire. Located in College Street, near the cathedral, the old building is deceptively small at the front and yet inside it seems to be a vast line of shelves with books of all kinds.
Upstairs is an even more fantastic treasure trove of books for children of all ages and tastes. The whole floor is totally dedicated to children and Young Adults, with a superbly equipped reading room to one side.
Claire Maltby runs the department (as she once did at Waterstones) and also organises talks and events at local schools and libraries. P & G Wells is also a leading light at the annual Winchester Writers’ Festival.
The children’s department may be the largest in Hampshire and many other counties, but even so it can only have a relatively small proportion of published books on its shelves. It is therefore with great pride that I can say that P & G Wells stock both my books in the Temporal Detective Agency series (Leap of Faith and Trouble With Swords). They can be found on the Fantasy shelves. It’s a great opportunity to solve at least one Christmas present problem.
Please go in and buy a Christmas present to be treasured and tell Claire I sent you! I’ll even sign a copy if you like!
My third book in the Temporal Detective Agency series should be finished early in the New Year and available to buy in April or May. That means lots of book signings, school visits and library talks…. all of which I love!
Setting up my publishing company, Authors Reach Limited, has taken much more time than I expected, but it’s now fully established with distribution agreements and availability of all of our books through Waterstones.
Therefore 2017 looks as though it will be a tremendous year and will be one where Authors Reach authors will be able to do what we always intended…. and that is to get out and meet our current readers and hopefully welcome new ones!
A Happy Christmas to everyone!
Getting a bookshop to stock your book takes a lot of hard work and some luck. So well done, Richard, for this marvellous achievement. P&G Wells have a fantastic reputation so to get your novels in here is a great success. It is also wonderful having a local author and local bookshop supporting one another in this way.
Naturally, both Richard and I would urge you to buy books for Christmas (format really doesn’t matter, honestly!) and if you can support a local independent bookshop at the same time, so much the better. Sadly we have precious few of them left now.
But whatever you read (and however you do so!), Richard and I hope you have a very happy and book-filled Christmas!
Read blog posts by Allison Symes published on Chandler’s Ford Today.
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