JULY ALREADY: the sun is shining, Wimbledon is over for Andy Murray, and the holiday season is upon us, oh yes, but there’s still plenty happening in and around the Christian book trade. Don’t forget to shout out with your news if you’d like to be included in the next news roundup… and if you’d like to keep up to speed with the news as it emerges, follow the UKCBD twitter feed:Follow @ukcbd
- 4th July is UK Independents’ Day
- Cambridge Bibles publish first English Language flipback®
- Christian Marketplace news roundup
- From Mental Illness to Christian Bookshop Owner: Paul Slennett’s Story
- IVP Summer Reading Sale Now On!
- Living Oasis Update: Julie Jowett leaves Harrogate for Spain; Liverpool plans September Opening
- Maggi Dawn on the move
- Scam Warning from Sovereign World
- Social Media Update: Look who’s tweeting (and more)
4th July is UK Independents’ Day
ARE YOU READY? Have you put a poster up? If not, now’s the time to grab one because Monday 4th July is Independents’ Day — atrocious wordplay but a superb initiative from Skillsmart Retail to try to bring some footfall back to the UK’s indie retailers. Anne Seaman, Skillsmart Retail’s Chief Executive, explains the thinking behind the campaign:
We are delighted to lead this campaign and support small retailers. Raising awareness amongst the public is one of the biggest challenges smaller retailers face and our message is about encouraging the public to use their local high street and understand how important a diverse retail sector is.
It’s also essential that local retailers understand that to compete today they need to be top of their game. The time for sitting back has passed and action is required: Your high street needs you!
Find out more and get involved:
h/t Amanda Taylor, Cambridge Bibles
Cambridge Bibles publish first English Language flipback®
CONGRATULATIONS to Cambridge Bibles on becoming the publisher of the first English language flipback®, the Transetto: a new, ultra-compact edition of the King James Version Bible that breaks with tradition by opening vertically rather than horizontally. Published, of course, with the much-publicised 400th KJV Anniversary in mind, the Transetto is available in special trade packs of nine copies plus one free if you request the POS display tower: orders via Lion Hudson.
For those who are beginning to feel that they’ve already seen more editions of the KJV this year than their sanity can handle, don’t panic: more English language flipbacks have just emerged hot off the press from Hodder:
Christian Marketplace news roundup
The latest Christian Marketplace news roundup is out, along with a report detailing all the Christian Resources Together 2011 Award Winners: Stott wins Book of the Year award. Congratulations especially to CLC London and Quench Maidenhead, Large and Small Retailers of the Year respectively.
From Mental Illness to Christian Bookshop Owner: Paul Slennett’s Story
PAUL SLENNETT’S REMARKABLE STORY has made local headlines in the Yellow Advertiser, Bookseller marks 40 years in the business:
A BOOKSHOP owner celebrated 40 years in the business with a message of hope.
Paul Slennett, who runs Christian bookshops in Southend, Chelmsford and Brentwood, said: “I put my trust in God and he helped me turn my life around. He can do the same for anyone.”
The 64-year-old has come a long way from the youngster who ended up in a psychiatric ward, confused and depressed.
Now, as well as the shops, Mr Slennett is behind the Jesus is Alive Mission, which supports overseas aid work, is an author and happily married with four grown-up children who all work with charities.
He said: “I was troubled as a child and teenager. But that all changed when I was in the mental hospital.
“God came to me and said he would be my father and guide, as long as I did what he asked.
“I have done that, and have had a fantastic life as a result.”
After he was made redundant from a job at a ships’ chandlers ‘which was taking up far too much of my time’, God told Mr Slennett that he wanted him to open a Christian bookshop in Southend…
IVP Summer Reading Sale Now On!
IVP’S SUMMER SALE has started, with up to 50% trade discount off selected biography and fiction titles from 1st July to 31st August. To qualify, place an initial order for any mix of 20 or more of the offer titles: download the trade flyer (pdf) for details.
Living Oasis Update: Julie Jowett leaves Harrogate for Spain; and Liverpool plans September Opening
IT’S NOT ONLY farewell to Nottingham and Worthing today, but also farewell to Julie Jowett, who has now left Living Oasis Harrogate and her role as the company’s National Sales Manager for what looks very much like a real oasis as she joins her husband at El Palmeral, a retreat/guest house for the over-25s in Spain, tried and tested by none other than Mike Norbury. Congratulations, Julie, and very best wishes for the new venture.
Meanwhile Living Oasis Liverpool have posted photos of the shop’s interior on facebook, announced a proposed opening date of some time in September and now have their own dedicated website, livingoasisliverpool.co.uk. At present they’re still facing £20k budget deficit but remain optimistic and are advertising for investors to help meet the shortfall:
We need to raise just 20,000 pounds more and we have the finance to complete phase 1. If you would like to contribute please contact the store.
There’s optimism and there’s optimism, however: the who we are page describes the shop as being “one of a growing, national chain of stores” — an interesting claim, given the last 6 months of store closures; but unlike the stores that have closed, Liverpool does seem to have solid backing from the local Christian community:
The Liverpool store has its own steering group, chaired by Baptist Regional Minister Revd. Phil Jump and comprises representatives from NCT, local churches, representatives of groups and organisations already working in the city centre, and local Christians with a business background
Here’s to September and beyond!
Maggi Dawn on the move
CONGRATULATIONS to Maggi Dawn, author of a number of books — latest, The Accidental Pilgrim, due out in July — who is on the move to pastures new in the USA to take up an appointment as Dean of Marquand Chapel and Associate Professor of Theology at Yale Divinity School.
Hope they allow you plenty of time for your writing, Maggi!
Scam Warning from Sovereign World
I wondered if you could use your blog to warn Christian publishers and the trade in general over a scam that was successfully used against another Christian company and has been tried against Sovereign World (which failed, as we were pre-warned).
They use card details to pay for books, which appear to be authorised when processed (but it actually later fails in transaction at the bank end, as the card is usually reported stolen). You think you have their trust, so when they ask you to pay for their shipping cost via Western Union to the shipping company that they allocate (their shipping company won’t accept cards) it seems legitimate. The buyer pays for the shipping to you via card, and you then think you are safe to pay on the buyers behalf the shipping company via Western Union. But no… you are not safe because the credit card payment never makes it to your account, and you pay a stranger about £1500 (not a legit shipping company) to Western Union, which is not traceable. They take the Western Union money, disappear and your card payments don’t go through… You lose £1500.
I am wanting to warn the Christian trade, as they appear to be targeting us.
Social Media Update: Look who’s tweeting (and more)
A BRIEF SNAPSHOT: if you haven’t already found them, you can now:
- Blog with Geoff Wallace of Marantha, Uxbridge, at myshopblog
- Explore Kingsway’s New Release catalogues at issuu.com/kingsway
- Follow the Booksellers Association and Books Alive, Hove, on twitter: Follow @BAbooksellers Follow @BooksAlive86
- Get to know Buxton Christian Bookshop on facebook
Last but not least: don’t miss the Quench Bookshops blog: a superb example of a Christian bookshop using WordPress.
Twitter, Facebook, Issuu and WordPress are all free services — if you’re not using them to engage with your customers and boost your shop’s online profile, it’s time to get up to speed. If you don’t understand why, pay a visit to Vicky Beeching’s new blog, CyberSoul. For more and more people, the supposed distinction between the “real” and “virtual” worlds is becoming an increasingly false dichotomy — head on over there today and join the conversation where spirituality meets technology … or collides with it, as the case may be…