The more information we got, the more we realised that it was quite a big deal. They were expecting 25,000 visitors and we would be the only bookseller there. We would be looking after all the celeb chef signings and we needed to bring down enough copies to meet the demand.
First things first then. How could we persuade publishers to let us have all this stock? Our credit limit with most of the big publishers just isn't enough to cover the cost of the numbers of books we needed, so Tim and I started asking nicely. Most publishers were great, although we did have to pay a bit of dosh to some of them.
Special thanks goes to Gardners and Bertrams, two big book wholesalers who both did a great job of getting the bulk of the stock to us.
Next. How would we get the books to Earls Court. We don't drive and there were around 100 boxes of books to take to the venue. Step in Marky Market. If you don't know who Marky is, he's a bit of a legend. Twice a week he wakes up at 2am and visits all the London meat markets, buys nothing but the best produce and then delivers this personally throughout London during the day to his customers. read more about him HERE . Follow him on Twitter if you do that ( @MarkyMarket ).
Mark volunteered to take us down to Earls Court in a Zipvan, so bright and very early for me, I headed to the bookshop last Thursday and Mark, Tim and I filled the poor van to the very brim.
Once at Earls Court we unpacked, I bid Mark adieu and started unpacking the books. I had some help for a few hours, as Katie, my girlfriend came down at about 10am to lend a hand, and by about 5pm things looked lovely.
So, the following three days, with help from Carmel and Laura, we sold lots of books, looked after author signings and generally had lots of fun.
The show was even busier than predicted, but i'm very pleased to say that I think we did a pretty good job. We had the right books, we kept the stall looking good despite being mobbed at times and I think the chefs liked us.
I also saw this....
Well, it seems we did do OK, because yesterday, the organisers from the Cake International Show at Birmingham NEC, asked us to be the official bookshop there.
So in early November we'll be on our travels to the Midlands.
No doubt we'll be asking you for favours to enable us to make this possible, but we're so pleased that it all worked out so well last weekend.