Friday, April 12, 2013

Name the New Bookshop - The Result

We ran a competition asking people to come up with names for our new bookshop/toyshop in Brookmans Park. The winner getting £50 to spend in the new shop and also having the privilege of cutting the ribbon on the opening day.
We had around 300 entries (292 to be exact), and last night was the night we chose the winner.

This is a blogpost all about what happened.
Are you ready to read it?

The process of choosing the name involved pens, cider, shouting, excel spreadsheets, telephones, lager and brains.

I put all the names that had been entered onto a spreadsheet. This spreadsheet was sent to 6 trustworthy and honest people who were asked to mark the ones they liked.
From the information I got back, I was able to put together six separate sh... ohh blah blah blah.

I went to the pub with Tim. Also with us was Helen Wright, a reporter from the Welwyn and Hatfield Times.

Helen ponders

I was drinking Grolsch, Tim was drinking Adnams and Helen was drinking Coke with lots and lots of ice.
From the 300 odd suggestions we had got it down to about 70 by the time we'd finished our first pint.
It was important to be brutal in these early rounds.
Names that had fallen by the wayside included;

Book Me Up
Brain Boggling Books
Diney land
Follow the Yellow Book Road
Goblins and Goggly Eyes
Super Tastie Books and Toys

We then moved on to round 2.
Spreadsheets featuring popular and not so popular choices were scrutinised.
Spreadsheets. Mmm
We each went through the less popular lists and chose names we thought were worthy of further contemplation. Toys and Tales got through to the later rounds, despite only getting two votes from the six people who chose. Also, I was very fond of The Cave of Wonders, so that was pushed through to the later stages.
I should mention at this point that there were six names that were always going to make the finals. These had been chosen by pretty much everyone we asked as worthy of consideration.
These names were;

Books on the Green
Bookshop on the Corner
Brookmans Bookshop
Brookmans Books
Little Green Bookshop
Small Green Bookshop

We had worked our way through another pint now and another swathe of names had been discarded.

Grolsch. £4.00 a pint !

Wobbly Books
Twice Told Tales
Toy Train
Toy Story
Book Bash
Bizzy Bee Books

So we got to the final few.

I'd been tweeting a few things throughout the evening and here was a massive online support for The Little Green Bookshop.

Tim and I had to decide whether this was the right thing to do. It was a BIG decision. We discussed what would happen if we opened a third or a fourth shop. Would we call it the Medium Sized Green Bookshop, or the Gargantuan Green Bookshop? We decided that it had to go.

so now we were down to these.
Bradmore Green Bookshop
Brookman's Books
Books in the Park
Brookman's Books

We were down to six.
This was tricky now. So I put on my magic hat.
Left handed contemplation.
There were too many Brooks and Books. And we also had still got a big soft spot for "Toys and Tales", even though it didn't make it through to the finals.

Crossings out and more booze left us with the final three names.

Brookman's Books

What a huge decision.
When we named the Big Green Bookshop, Tim inserted 3 pens into his face. Let's relive that magic.

Here we go.
Remember that we all liked "Toys and Tales"? This made a big difference.

Brookmark? NO

Brookmans Books?  NO

Our new shop will be called;

toys and tales

I know! It was a real outsider.It kept sneaking through each of the rounds. But here we are. We loved Toys and Tales, but never thought it had the full boof to be a name on its own.  
But Tuffets gave it the full boof.
Let us know what you think.

Friday, April 05, 2013

Literary Festival - an announcement

Here is some stuff about the Literary Festival that we've been awarded £10,000 to put on.

1. It will take place from Friday October 11th til Sunday October 13th.

2. The theme of the Literary Festival is "London; a Celebration".

Storylines by dex available here

Once we get some of the money, we can really start work on the Festival, but now that we have a theme, we can start to put together some ideas.

Here's a few ideas we've come up with (and we're just spitballin' here):
  • Future London
  • London Crime
  • Alternate London
  • London authors
  • Books based in London
  • Literary tour of London
  • Having the different venues we're going to use represented by tubelines.
  • Each of these venues (or tubelines) specialising in a particular topic, ie Poetry, Children's, Art etc.
  • Having a short story competition with the theme "London".
  • An author from every borough of London
  • A-Z of Literary London
Anyway, those are a few ideas.

The main target the Council has given us, having agreed to give us the money to put this on, is to get new people to come to Wood Green. What we want to achieve is to get people to come to a Literary festival in Wood Green, because it's a Literary Festival.
That fact that it's in Wood Green is just a bonus.

Now, we need your ideas.

Off you go.

Black Feathers book launch tonight at the Big Green Bookshop

  Tonight at the Bookshop, we're holding the launch party for Black Feathers, the spellbinding new novel by Joseph D'Lacey.
I am very excitied about this book.
Black Feathers by Joseph D'Lacey (signed)
Black Feathers
Those of you with good memories will know that I first met Joseph when he became the first author to visit the Big Green Bookshop. He turned up 15 days before we even opened!
His first published novel, Meat, is a truly staggering book, leading horror legend Stephen King to state "Joseph D'Lacey rocks!", and Joseph followed this up with the equally dark Garbage Man and Kill Crew (sadly no longer available).

 Since then, his career has been something of a rollercoaster. He got picked up by a US publisher and also one in Australia to publish a couple of novellas, but then his publisher in the UK went bust. It was a dark time for Joseph and it can't have been easy at all.
It was at this time that I approached him and told him that I wanted to publish his next book myself. And that's what happened. Splinters, a collection of the best of Joseph's short stories from the last 12 years was published last November, by Timeline Books (my publishing company).

It's something that I am very very proud of and hopefully it's introduced some new readers to Joseph's extraordinary prose.
In the meantime two more of Joseph's books were published (SnakeEyes and Blood Fugue).

And now, here we are. The launch of Black Feathers.

Black Feathers is a beautiful combination of folklore, fairytale and dark apocalyptic fiction. Set over two very different time periods, one modern day, the other generations into the future, it follows the journeys of Gordon and Megan. Although there are hundred of years separating them, both are searching for the elusive Crowman. Some say he will bring destruction to the world, others say he is the planet's saviour, but all Gordon and Megan know is that they must find him.
It is surely the most accomplished of Joseph's novels to date (and I've read them all). If you haven't read his stuff before, this would be a wonderful introduction.
I'd be so pleased if you could come along tonight to help us celebrate with Joseph. He has been one of our biggest supporters and he deserves huge huge success.
There'll be wine and an exclusive short film too. And, of course, there'll be Joseph. One of my favourite authors of all time.