Bookshop News – 16th April 2013

Dear all

The campaign is building up. On a clear day we can just about see the first glimpses of Northcote Books, sparkling creative community hub and excellent bookshop. Update:

  • Bookshop Build-up! The core of a committee has been formed and is bravely tackling the priority tasks. It will expand in the coming weeks. From its first meeting came the idea of a Bookshop Build-up, to spread the news, raise expectation and keep interest alive in the forthcoming months, while all the necessary hoops are gone through and stuff done back stage.  So we hope to organise an event or two!  Watch this space.  Contact us if events are your thing.
  • It looks as if the offer of being part of the re-vamped library is an opportunity we should take, for many reasons. We have again met with Diana Edmonds from GLL, the social enterprise taking over Wandsworth libraries, and also the designer who is likely to be working on the Northcote Library re-design, which includes a café. We had open and positive discussions about the bookshop, where it could go, how it could work as an independent unit, the hours, the window displays, etc. The idea of a profit share was mooted.
  • Have met councillors Peter Dawson and Jonathan Cook, who were keen to find ways to support us, for example through the Big Society Fund if we apply.
  • Have also met many of you individually who kindly signed up in support and offered specific help. Every conversation over coffee and emailed idea from you adds to the project, and many thanks for those.  The meetings continue: hassle us if you have not had a response despite offering wonderful golden skills.
  • Know a lawyer? We are setting up working groups on finance and legal aspects, inter alia. Our group has wide and varied talents but the search is still on for a book-loving lawyer, ideally someone with experience in corporate law.  Do you know of anyone who might be able to help? It is really just for the initial input in getting the legal structure of the bookshop established.  Cooperatives UK provide guidance and you would be part of a working group.  Please contact us if any cheery enthusiast can give us a hand.
  • There will be a lot to sort out in the coming months, ranging from establishing the vision and scope of the whole project, working with schools, contacting the French community, deciding what online model to follow, using social media, involving authors and other artistic and creative people, visiting other bookshops, getting their advice and seeing what good things they do, designing and running stalls at places eg the Northcote Rd Fete on 7th July or the ShoutSouth festival on 13-15 June, celebrating storytelling for children and young people in South London at  the South Bank University.
  • What can possibly go wrong?!  We can find out at a course laid on by The Booksellers Association on Thursday 6th June 2013. Their Introduction to Bookselling, offers “a thorough grounding in every aspect of bookselling, from the very beginning”.  It costs a lot, the full price is £ 225 plus VAT, but if several of us sign up, we get a discount. We have no funds as yet, but I thought I would just mention it in case this would interest you. Of course, we intend to have a professional manager plus experienced staff for the bookshop, but the more of us who know the basics the better. When funds permit this may be something that we can use to help train up our volunteers. Contact us if you would like to go at a discounted rate.
  • The website:  is up and running.  Subscribe, blog is now working, keep an eye on it.
  • Spread the word. Thanks everyone




PS Nice to know: the London Literature Festival is at the South Bank from Monday 20 May 2013 to Wednesday 5 June 2013.