Steve Briars of Christian Resources Together has issued a call for nominations for this year’s awards, which must be received by him — preferably by email to steve AT creonline.co.uk — no later than this Friday, 12th March 2010.
The awards, for Publisher of the Year, Card & Gift Supplier of the Year and Sales Representative of the Year, will be presented on Tuesday 4th May at the Stronger Together – Weaker Apart Retailers & Suppliers Retreat being held at the High Leigh Conference Centre.
Regrettably I can’t be there myself (midweek during LST term time is always difficult) but for those who do plan to attend, there’s still time to take advantage of the ‘early bird’ offer for Booksellers Association / Christian Suppliers Group members at £94 + VAT = £110.45 per person. The ‘early bird’ offer ends 19th March, after which everyone, BA/CSG member or otherwise, pays £104 + VAT = £122.20. Books may be exempt from VAT but, alas, we as booksellers are not: thank you, Gordon (and an aside for the organisers: I personally would always prefer to be quoted VAT-inclusive prices, please; much as it’s interesting to know how big a slice of the cake HMG are taking, what my budget has to account for is the price I must pay at the till).
Points to consider when making your awards nominations are:
Publisher / Card & Gift Supplier of the Year
- Support to the retailer
- Speed and efficiency of delivery
- Quality of information
- Marketing support
- Customer relationship
Representative of the Year
- Regularity of visits
- General timekeeping
- Product knowledge
- Commitment to retail
- Customer relationship
Feel free to leave honorary nominations in the comments here, but please remember that for your nominations to count towards the CRT Awards, they must be emailed to steve AT creonline.co.uk by Friday of this week.
Speaking with my LST Bookshop Manager’s hat on (yes, the hat in my twitter profile pic), for Publisher of the Year I’m torn between IVP and Norwich Books & Music. I think on balance Norwich win as they not only provide trade ordering and stock availability information across their entire list via pubeasy.com but have upped their game considerably during the last few months, with 24 hour despatch now standard for trade orders placed before 12 noon. IVP, on the other hand, whilst continuing to provide a 24 hour despatch service, have remained static, let the side down with Adrian Warnock’s Raised With Christ, and still do not provide online stock availability or trade ordering. Sadly, neither organisation offers online invoice payments via batch.co.uk.
For Rep of the Year, I’m equally torn between CPR’s Raymond Witty and STL’s Roger Compton: both are worth more than their weight in gold and have been very helpful and supportive over the last year. Gentlemen, I thank you and take my hat off to you: you both deserve to win.
For Card & Gift Supplier, alas, I don’t do consistent enough trade with anyone to be able to give a fair assessment.
Who gets your votes, and why?