On a recent adventure to London, I was fortunate to meet one of my favourite authors, Lisa Jewell and got the opportunity to talk to her about her involvement in the exciting new venture, My Independent Bookshop. Lisa was one of the first authors to be involved with the project and here’s what she had to say about it.
“I was having breakfast with my publishers to celebrate our new contract and Najma [Lisa's publicist] mentioned that they were about to launch a new on line bookshop; a virtual translation of that moment in all readers’ lives where someone says they’ve read this amazing book, that you must read it and the handing over of it. I do this with my sister, I turn up with a pile of books and then she gives me a pile of books in return. Obviously you can use Twitter or Facebook to shout about great books, but then you are assuming that somebody has seen it and that they make the effort to check it out. So the concept behind my Independent Bookshop was to find a way of recommending incredible books that went much wider than your sister and your circle of friends and followers on Twitter.
“Najma explained that My Independent Bookshop would be like a virtual street of bookshops and I was so enthusiastic about it, I said; “This sounds absolutely wonderful and exactly what the internet needs” and about two days later she sent me an email saying “Since you were so enthusiastic about the idea, would you like to open one of the first shops?”
“So yes, I had to work very very quickly because there wasn’t much time. I had to choose twelve books that I loved, based around a loose theme of domestic thrillers which is obviously the hot genre of the moment and I wrote a little review for each one and then it launched.
“It’s a beautiful bookshop with a stunning selection of handpicked books, that you want everybody to read and to talk about. As an idea, it’s miraculous, as everyone is always looking for recommendations”
My independent Bookshop is an interesting new website which was created by Penguin Random House in collaboration with Hive. Designed entirely for book lovers, the website gives people the opportunity to share their love of books and to create their own bookshop. Simply pick twelve of your favourite books, upload a photograph with a brief review and then voila! You can pass your recommendation onto all your book loving friends.
Founded in 2011, hive proudly support a network of hundreds of independents from across the UK’s book-selling community. Their mission is to help raise the awareness of high-street bookshops amongst internet shoppers, by attracting those people who want to shop locally in their hometown – but who also enjoy the convenience of shopping online. Hive help to bring these two worlds together. With hive, every time you make a purchase, you’re also supporting a local independent bookshop by continuing to do what you love – buying your books and eBooks, online.
Check out the Facebook site www.facebook.com/myindiebookshop to see a wide selection of books, follow @myindiebookshop to see the news of what well-loved authors have chosen and why not consider setting up your own shop to share your some of your favourite books?
The Third Wife by Lisa Jewell is out now (Century Hardback £12.99) @lisajewelluk. Check out my review and if you’re quick there’s a special offer on the ebook where you can buy The Third Wife for just £1.99