By Tehzib Janjua and Shuangyue Zhao
For this issue, the Bookshops team wants to highlight some bookshop and indie press campaigns and, in doing so, raise some awareness to much deserved campaigns.
Books Are My Bag
Running campaigns in collaboration with the Booksellers Association, Books Are My Bag aim to celebrate and support bookshops across the UK and Ireland.
Books Are My Bag can keep you up to date with reading awareness events (such as World Book Day, Irish Book Week and Independent Bookshop Week) along with providing you with the ability to discover new bookshops via their map and search feature.
Free Books Campaign
Born during the first UK lockdown and stemming from the recent closures of nearly 130 libraries, Free Books Campaign aims to reduce the financial barriers that prevent book ownership and stifle engagement in reading. They donate books to individual readers, libraries, youth centres, schools and more. Additionally, Free Books Campaign have taken this opportunity to support authors of colour who are otherwise underrepresented in the publishing industry and in the education system.
Through Bookshop.org you can order books online whilst supporting your local bookshops.
Bookshop.org is the answer to your ethical book buying concerns. Through Bookshop.org you can find the perfect book(s) for you, whilst supporting your local bookshops. So, how does it work? When buying from Bookshop.org you're given the option of sponsoring a specific bookshop (available to select via their map tool) who will then “receive 30% of the cover price (or almost all of the profit) on your orders for a year. Otherwise, 10% of the cover price of your order will contribute to an earnings pool that will be evenly distributed among participating independent bookshops each month.”
Either way, this campaign ensures that your local bookshop won’t miss out from you shopping online, and with over two million pounds raised for local bookshops you can be certain that buying online won’t negatively affect smaller booksellers.
If You Give A Child A Book
If You Give A Child A Book is a campaign conducted by WKBW and the Scripps Howard Fund, simply meaning every five dollars you donate buys one book for a child who needs it most. But what difference will this make?
Studies show that children who lack ongoing access to a rich selection of books spend far less time reading, resulting in lower reading proficiency and a struggle to complete high school and prepare for the world beyond. Nowadays, unfortunately, many children from low-income neighbourhoods are lacking access to high-quality books. Therefore, your donation will plant the seeds for the children’s future success and help break the cycle of poverty.
This year, WKBW and the Scripps Howard Fund partnered with Every Person Influences Children (EPIC) to provide schools with more resources to reinforce students’ reading outside the classroom, and to help them build home libraries.
Books are significant enough to change a child’s life. If children have access to reading materials that represent different abilities, cultures, beliefs, races and ethnicities, they will be able to treat the world with more respect, empathy and acceptance, and meanwhile grow up as more self-confident and imaginative adults.
Indie Bookshop/Press Campaigns
Independent bookshops and small book presses have been playing an irreplaceable part in keeping the bookselling industry alive, and they could sometimes use your support. We selected two recent campaigns from indie shops and publishers: give them a hand if you can!
Bell Press (Books)
As a small press publisher of literary anthologies, Bell Press is going to publish a 2023 Poetry Day Planner and two unique anthologies in the Fall 2022 Season. Framework of the Human Body tells the untold stories people carry on our skin and in our bones, and Rituals explores the presence and significance of ritual. You can support the Kickstarter here before 2 October 2022 6:25p.m. to help Bell Press with pre-sales and growing the audience for these books.
Quindrie Press is an award-winning and Scottish Eisner-nominated indie comics publisher whose new comics collection Tilt: Six Tales is now live on Kickstarter. This book features brand new stories from six fantastic UK creators and is available in both print and PDF formats.
Campaigns run by Quindrie Press have made great achievements. For example, last November, their book crowdfunding was so successful that over 150 donated copies were sent to LGBTQ+ people in prison, trans people in need and libraries in underprivileged areas. Many trans people in a difficult financial situation accessed a free copy of the gorgeous anthology When I Was Me: Moments of Gender Euphoria. You can support here by 29 September 2022 5:00p.m..
Ultimately, through campaigns such as these, we can continue to support indie presses and bookshops whilst gaining a new favourite bookshop/read. The Bookshops team hope you’ll take some time to check out these campaigns and maybe be inspired to start/contribute to one yourself.