I was asked this question — albeit somewhat tangentially — at a recent meeting. Is it Phil Groom’s blog or is it a trade blog?
To clarify, then: technically speaking, in terms of legal ownership, it’s my blog. I own the domain christianbookshopsblog.org.uk (along with several other related domains).
In practical terms, however, it’s an open forum: I set it up and registered the domain as an extension of the UK Christian Bookshops Directory specifically to serve the Christian book trade. As stated on the About page:
UKCBD, the UK Christian Bookshops Directory, is an independent, voluntarily maintained project which exists to promote the Christian faith by providing a two-way resource to the Christian community: an easy way to find your nearest Christian Bookshop, and an easy way for Christian Bookshops to get online.
My aim here is to provide a place for Christian booksellers, authors, publishers, suppliers and their customers — in short, anyone with an interest in Christian books and/or music — to exchange ideas, news and views, discuss the latest reviews and generally get more interactive.
To that end a letter has already been circulated to every member of the Booksellers Association‘s Christian Booksellers Group — my thanks to the BA for that — and I am in the process of inviting input from authors, booksellers, publishers, suppliers, several of whom have already contributed guest posts.
But it really is an open forum: you are welcome to join in at any point that interests you. Hit back at the reviews. Reply to the comments. Don’t just watch this space: be part of it; and if you’d like to contribute a main post, please do get in touch: my contact details are here. Please don’t wait on ceremony: you are hereby officially invited!
As for my own role here: I upload the main posts, whether they’re my own observations on what’s going on in the trade or other people’s contributions, and I act as moderator/referee. But free speech is the order of the day: comments won’t be normally be removed or edited unless they’re obviously spam, abusive or offensive. The golden rule is speak as you’d be spoken to: in other words, please be polite and considerate.
Please also note that opinions expressed are those of the contributors concerned: they should not be taken as representing the views of any particular group or organisation unless otherwise stated. In particular, my own comments are mine and mine alone: I do not speak on behalf of either the BA or LST.
As the site gets busier there will come a point where I’ll need help managing it: if you’d like to volunteer for that, again, please do get in touch.
And finally, for anyone who may be wondering, you’ll find my personal blog here: Phil’s Boring Blog.