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The UK Booksellers Association (BA) is relaunching its Shopfloor Publishers scheme in which senior publishers are invited to spend a day working in a bookshop to see what life is like at the sharp end.
“Offering senior publishers an invaluable opportunity to experience bookselling first-hand, the scheme aims to further increase collaboration between bookshops and publishers,” the BA said.
The scheme will operate a ‘swap’ system, allowing participating bookshops to send a member of staff to a publisher. BA MD Meryl Halls said: “Having run our Shopfloor Publishers scheme a couple of times in the past, we’re excited to be rolling it out as a year-round offering to our member bookshops and to publishers across the book industry.
“The feedback from booksellers and publishers who have taken part in the scheme previously has been overwhelmingly positive, with the initiative leading to greater understanding on both sides and opportunities for collaboration. We look forward to hearing from any publisher that would like to take part.”
Broadfoot, BA president and owner of Village Books in Dulwich, south-east London, said: “Following the pandemic, and the changes wrought on the industry by it, and by the current cost of living crisis, it feels like the time is right to relaunch this collaboration project and bring booksellers and publishers together.
“For publishers, working in a bookshop for a day can be an eye-opening experience: it is a chance to appreciate what booksellers do while witnessing consumer behaviour up close. We’ve been delighted that a number of bookshops have been reciprocally invited into publishing houses and we hope to see that happen again this time round; booksellers will be equally enlightened by seeing the inside workings of publishing.”
Faber executive chair Stephen Page and Canongate CEO Jamie Byng spent time at Main Street Trading Company in St Boswells when the scheme first launched in 2017. In fact, Page already had plenty of experience working in a bookshop. He spent more than a year with Sherratt & Hughes in Croydon, south London, in the 1980s.