Thursday, August 20, 2009

BA and PA to move on with 'Bookaholism'
19.08.09 Graeme Neill in The Bookseller

The Booksellers and Publishers Associations will "definitely" progress the Bookaholism idea first mooted at this year's Book Industry Conference, as well as a number of other initiatives generated by the event. These include developing new promotions on backlist, an "Antiques Roadshow" for books, joint lobbying for the protection of copyright, creating a central returns hub for the trade and developing an adult dimension to World Book Day.
At a recent meeting of the BA/PA Liaison Group, delegates discussed the 18 ideas suggested at June's conference in Cambridge, which was chaired by marketing consultant Damian Horner. Ursula Mackenzie, Little Brown c.e.o. and publisher joint chair of the group, said: "At present, we are prioritising the suggestions and we want to focus on those initiatives which we believe can make a real practical difference."

David Cooke, Tesco category manager and retailer joint chair, said: "We will definitely be progressing the Bookaholics idea with Damian Horner. This is extremely exciting and has already progressed beyond the concept presented at the Cambridge Conference." He added: "There is also strong support for working with Victoria Barnsley and her team at World Book Day, to see if a new WBD initiative can be developed for adults. Already some great new ideas have been put forward."MacKenzie added: "The Liaison Group will also be taking on board suggestions for a new campaign to promote backlist, and there could well be a number of further ideas which can be usefully progressed. In a recession when trading is so difficult, it is so rewarding to see the booksellers and the publishers on the Liaison Group working so well together to help develop the market."
A cross industry group, including W H Smith, Random House and Gardners, began working on the "bookaholic" concept earlier this year. It was unveiled at the BA Conference and is aimed at promoting the value of reading. Writing on, in response to criticism of the concept posted online after the BA Conference, Horner stressed: "At this point all I would ask is that people suspend their cynicism and allow the next stage of the development process to happen."

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