Thursday, January 28, 2016

PRH's Makinson on Being a Bookseller and Publisher

Shelf Awareness

"I [own a bookshop] with my brother, who runs it. It's in the county of Norfolk in England. It is a relatively small bookshop, but people in the company always worry that I regard this bookshop as the bellwether of the entire global book economy. We have a bad weekend in Norfolk and I come into the office and say, it's terrible, we are all doomed--or the opposite. But I do actually find owning a bookshop quite interesting in understanding at a very local level what is going on. 

The danger of somebody doing the sort of job that I do is that you look at this big picture where you're publishing 15,000 books a year around the world, and you have a macro view. But you also need to have the opportunity to drill down quite deeply. So I do actually follow quite carefully what happens to my little bookshop in Norfolk.

"One of the things I was talking about yesterday is the importance of community and how essential it is that publishers actively support bookshops. And one of the ways is by encouraging them to be centers of cultural and commercial activities."

--John Makinson, chairman of Penguin Random House, in a q&a with Mint after speaking at the Jaipur Literary Festival

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