Sunday, March 20, 2011

It's a Portable Bookshop

Today was the glorious (soft) launch of the Crouch End Portable Bookshop.

These are the things you need to know about the Crouch End Portable Bookshop

  1. I am now going to call it the CEPB to save time.
  2. It is an idea from the brain of Chris Meade.
  3. I like Chris Meade, he is clever.
  4. The idea is to set up temporary, but regular stalls in different cafes, bars, shops and public spaces around Crouch End with a small selection of wonderful books carefully chosen (by us) for each venue.
  5. It is looked after by a man dressed rather spectaculary in 18th century attire
  6. His name is Robin
  7. There will be 5 or 6 venues in Crouch End that will house these pop up bookshops.
  8. The advertising of this will be particularly twitter led.
  9. Robin is @raliel , The bookshop itself is @portablebooks , we are @biggreenbooks ,and Chris Meade is @ifbook and @theunlibrary.
  10. The potential for this idea is almost limitless*

So now you know what it's all about. If you want to know a bit more you can always check out Portable Books website.

The launch was at Kiss the Sky, a rather brilliant bar in the heart of Crouch End, and we'd decided that we'd choose a very wide selection of books for this launch. In future, we will choose different but clearly defined stock profiles to suit the venues, but we thought a general range would be good for the first day. So there we're local interest, fiction, kids, crime, and some titles chosen especially for the launch too.

This is the magnificent Robin in action (taken by @the_anke)

He's just sold the last copy of the Lovecraft Anthology that we supplied for the launch (we know Robin is a Lovecraft fan, so we were playing to his strengths).

We'd printed out loads of leaflets explaining the project to potenetial customers, which Robin gave out throughout the day, so hopefully news is spreading. However, lots of people had heard about it already and Robin reported that the day had gone really well, we sold well over 10% of the stock we'd supplied him (if we sold 10% of the stock in our shop every day, life would be marshmallows and bunnies).

Here is another fantastic photo of Robin on the stall (taken by @themanwhofell)

This is hopefully going to be happening daily soon in some great places in Crouch End and we really think this could be something special. Chris, Robin and I are coming up with some fantastic ideas for the bookshop (author signings, readings, Crouch End walks, short story performance, special one off huge promos for titles we love, Portable Bookshop reading Groups etc etc), and the potential for it is staggering.

Guerilla bookselling at its best.

Look out for news of the next Portable Bookshop. Coming soon.

Closer to home, the shop itself had a rather good weekend too, and as such the Strugglometer was dusted off and calculated thus.

We are now past the 2/3rds mark, on 68%. This is good news, and with 9 days to go until 'Gum Day', (see february 25th's blog), there is still every chance we can get close to our target.

Please keep telling everyone you can about the bookshop. Please.

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