UKCBD News Roundup: The Floods in Drought Edition

Big UKCBD Spring Clean Continues

SIMPLY A REMINDER that there’s never been a better time to review your shop’s UKCBD entry: it’s raining out there here in drought-stricken Bedfordshire and, having just been signed off work for another four weeks courtesy of my broken ankle, I’ve got plenty of time on my hands to keep on keeping on with those updates. Either give me a shout with any changes needed or wait your turn…

The ten most recent updates are featured on the UKCBD homepage and all the latest updates are catalogued here, oddly enough, under Latest Updates

The Big UKCBD Spring Clean

Durham Cathedral Shop: New look, new location

Diocese of Durham: Work begins on new Cathedral Shop

Diocese of Durham: Work begins on new Cathedral Shop

LAST WEEKEND saw plans unveiled for the long awaited all-new bright-and-shiny shop at Durham Cathedral. As regular readers will know, the shop has had a turbulent history in recent years: once dubbed the best theological bookshop in Britain, it was abandoned by SPCK to the Brewer brothers, then unceremoniously dropped by them when it became too hot to handle.

The Cathedral authorities now seem set on course to leave that history behind, albeit in favour of something that looks more akin to a museum-style gift shop than a theological resource centre.  Exactly when the current shop in the Great Kitchen will close hasn’t been made clear. As the saying goes, watch that space…

Read all about it…

Goodbye UK Christian Handbook, hello Christian Resources Directory

Bible Society's Christian Resources Directory

Bible Society’s Christian Resources Directory *

ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST in the transition from print to e-edition as Bible Society have announced the end of the long-established UK Christian Handbook in favour of an online only service, the Christian Resources Directory*. Given how quickly such publications go out of date, it’s an eminently sensible move, although the concept of an online directory that doesn’t include website links as standard leaves me somewhat baffled: a sort-of retro-Google that delivers dead-end search results (unless, of course, you don’t have a website, in which case you could be onto a winner).

As with its print predecessor, basic “Bronze” entries (single category, company/organisation name, address & phone number only) are free of charge, whilst those who can afford to stump up £50/£95 per year can upgrade to “Silver” or “Gold” respectively (multiple categories, more information and prioritised listings in the search results).

It’s early days yet and the project clearly needs some fine tuning as most categories are not cross-referenced to other related categories. Choose wisely when you register your business: if you opt for a listing under “Christian Bookshop and Resource Centre”, for instance, your shop’s details won’t be shown in a search for “Christian Bookshop”, vice-versa and so forth for other categories. At present, the way to find most Christian bookshops irrespective of category seems to be a search for Christian Books* but even that omits those who have opted for the simpler “Books” category (and vice-versa). The good news is that listings can be edited and recategorised very easily; the bad news is that there appears to be no business verification or vetting process: register, create an entry and bingo, it’s live within seconds.

I’m considering a “Gold” listing for UKCBD, which will effectively put every Christian bookshop onto a level playing field towards the top of every chosen category: if you’d like to contribute towards the cost of that or discuss other possibilities for working together, please either give me a shout or make a donation. Thank you.

* Please note these are one-off courtesy links by way of introducing the new directory: I’ll be happy to consider providing further links when and if Bible Society are willing to reciprocate free of charge…

Lion Hudson authors win Ultimate Christian Library Book Awards

CONGRATULATIONS to Andrea Skevington and Canon Andrew White, winners of this year’s Ultimate Christian Library Book award, as announced at CRE last week; and a well-deserved double win for Lion Hudson publishers:

Ultimate Christian Library Book Awards 2012

Ultimate Christian Library Book Awards 2012

More Christian Bookshops on Facebook

ONE OF THE JOYS of the Big UKCBD Spring Clean has been discovering even more Christian bookshops on facebook. It’s making my old Facebook Roundup for the Christian Book Trade look decidedly out of date: updates there in due course, all being well. These are some that I’ve discovered this month:

Whenever possible I’m adding social media links (facebook, twitter, google+) to UKCBD entries as and when I find out about them: if you’re fussbooking or tweeting and your shop’s entry hasn’t been updated, once again, please give me a shout.

Quench closure in St Albans jeopardises Music Centre

WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER: famous words from our glorious Prime Minster David Cameron, and proving painfully true in St Albans as the Music Centre where Quench St Albans (which closed down at the end of last year) was based is feeling the repercussions of the shop’s closure. From a report in the St Albans Review:

St Albans Review: St Albans Music Centre told to pay £100 a month more

St Albans Review: St Albans Music Centre told to pay £100 a month more

Elizabeth Barber, from St Albans Music Centre, has told the Review how she was dealt a devastating blow last week.

The owner of the 53-year-old business in Holywell Hill said on the same day she received a letter to say she has been nominated in the Specialist Shops category in the Retailer of the Year competition, she also received notice of her business rate increase.

Mrs Barber said after the music centre’s tenant, Quench Christian Bookshop, was forced to close, her main source of income was lost.

Read the full story: St Albans Music Centre told to pay £100 a month more

Shoptalk: the CLC Bookshops blog

Shoptalk: the CLC Bookshops BlogCONGRATULATIONS to CLC Bookshops on the launch of their new blog, where you’ll find book reviews, news and commentary from the management and staff of the shops. Early days yet but well worth a look if you’d like to know what’s happening in the world of CLC Bookshops UK.