Monday, January 21, 2008

Three cheers for Waterstones!

At last a book retailer has come out and publicly acknowledged the role that writers play in the running of their business - namely that without us they would not have one. The retailer in question is of course Waterstones - the largest book chain in the UK with some 220 odd branches - almost half of which I am proud to say, my own book can be found in.

The retailer has taken the bold step of running a year long campaign celebrating writers in the form of what they call 'Writers Year'. This will feature amongst other things, a promotional campaign selected by an author (yes you did read that right), a bursary for a budding writer (let's hope this is not confined as usual to novelists) and a celebration of local titles. These will I assume vary then from branch to branch - I wonder if my local branch will be interested in mine now I have introduced myself to the manager and sold at least two copies through their store - possibly in fact more?

The campaign was unveiled at the chain's supplier conference at Bafta in London on Friday 18th January. Waterstones plan to run a different event each month throughout the year celebrating the art of writing. This kicks off in January - this month in fact, with the Waterstone's Guide to Getting Published which is to be launched on their website. This will be launched later this week, so I must remember to have a look and see if I can some comments.

In May an author (who remains to be seen) will select 40 titles for the Writer's Table promotion. Waterstone's said the campaign would be "the perfect opportunity for a writer to go public about the books and authors that shaped their writing and share these titles with their readers". In April Waterstone's staff will have the chance to win a week at a writing course run by writing foundation Arvon. The two winners will be selected by a panel of Waterstone's staff and industry experts. Maybe I will apply for that full time job I saw advertised in my local branch after all ...

No comments: