Thursday, November 08, 2007

Rogue Statesman


A great article about this here thing we're doing (amongst other things) appeared in the New Statesman today Here's a link. I did the interview a few weeks ago, and Sarah Birke managed to make me sound a lot more eloquent than I was at the time. She obviously knows what she's doing. Also, did I really say 'reciprocate'?. If I did, then well done me.

In other news, if you happen to see a man wearing a cowboy hat skulking around in a bookshop today with a notepad, shiftily writing down ISBNs(IT'S NOT 'ISBN number' OK) it's probably a figment of your imagination, and you should probably ignore him.

I'm taking some wise advice today and I shall be registering

Thanks Kieron, if I can reciprocate (yes) in any way, please let me know.


Karen, Selborne Road, N22 said...

I'd noticed the boarded-up Waterstone's on Green Lanes but hadn't known what you were up until my leftie, New Statesman-reading friend said 'you're getting a new bookshop in Wood Green - read the article'. That's brilliant. You can count me in as one of your 250 loyal customers. I'll be watching the blog to find out when opening day is. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Hey guys, hope you're well. You know I have no contact details for you and would love to meet up for a drink.
Can't wait for opening day, I'll see you there and lend a hand if you need it.

Mark said...

Nice coverage in the New Statesman - momentum seems to be building nicely. But get cracking with that opening stock list because it is the NIGHTMARE JOB FROM HELL.

Trust me on this one. And I believe Mr B in Bath will back me up...

You see, you *think* it will be great fun. But it's utter torture. And your bookselling experience will work against you. You'll agonise over the sheer range of books out there. You'll look in horror as the cost of the stock mounts up. And they'll be blood on the carpet as some favourite authors and sacred cows are thrown out to allow you to squeeze everything in the shop.

You need nerves of steel and an iron discipline (which sadly I'm completely lacking in but Nicki has in spades).

And when you've slaved away at this for weeks, you'll still have customers coming in on opening day and staring incredulously at your children's section saying "Wot? No Enid Blyton?". At this point you will start quietly weeping.

Seriously, I'm sure you'll do a better job than I did, and it looks like you have the blogging community out in force on your behalf. My tip: plan the whole exercise like the proverbial military campaign (but not Iraq - bad example). Subdivide the whole job into sections, divvy each section between different people, go for less stock than you think you'll need (you'll have space and budget to add extras at the last minute - and you can place more books on face-out), and set a deadline for the entire job as well.

Then you can waltz into Borders (or wherever) on a mission and not get distracted (like me).