U.K. wholesaler Gardners is opening a separate sister company in France to mitigate the "frustrations, paperwork, and additional costs" for European customers since the beginning of 2021 due to the changes introduced by Brexit, the Bookseller reported.
Parent company the Little Group said Gardners EU "offers the same great range of 500,000-plus books, film, music, and merchandise as Gardners UK but without the administrative complications and costs.... This new business provides our suppliers and customers with the seamless service they have come to expect. As we progress into 2022, additional services will be added to our European offer."
The two businesses will "work alongside each other to form a cohesive partnership allowing customers to order quickly and hassle free from within the EU," according to the company. "There is a focus on intra-EU trade, so currently there are no customs charges, border fees or duty at the point of delivery. There are also no brokerage fees to contend with."
Existing Gardners UK customers can open an EU account, with both accounts running concurrently. Gardners EU will also accept new customers who want to have a single account only with Gardners EU.
Nigel Wyman, sales and marketing director, said the company's goal is to "offer customers the very best experience, and the service they need in this ever-changing landscape."
Simon Morley, buying director, added: "This will enable publishers to work even more closely with us enabling the depth and range of their books to be purchased with speed and efficiency within the EU and removing the possible frustrations in the chain of supply."
|Sharjah Publishing City
In a joint venture with the Sharjah Book Authority, Ingram's Lightning Source has opened a print-on-demand facility in the Sharjah Publishing City Free Zone, "one of the first large-scale POD operations in the Middle East," the partners said.
The new facility provides POD and distribution services for publishers and retail channels across the Middle East and Gulf regions. Its presence will expand access to content and enable publishers to meet consumer demand more rapidly in the area.
Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, chairman of the Sharjah Book Authority, said that the new facility "represents an important addition to the free zone's operational capabilities and will offer publishers, retailers and other stakeholders significant opportunities to expand their access to books and content, as well as their outreach into regional markets." He added that the facility is "is indicative of the strategic opportunities Sharjah provides to publishing business in the region, and also firmly reflects on the emirate's leading status on the global cultural stage."
John Ingram, chairman of the Ingram Content Group, said that POD "is fuelling the modern-day publishing industry, making the digital and physical distribution of diverse content across different languages and regions seamless. This new facility will bring these world-class innovations to scale in the Middle East in a way that will benefit the publishing world and consumers alike."
David Taylor, senior v-p for content acquisition international at Ingram, added, "Ingram works with tens of thousands of publishers from around the world and is trusted with many millions of their titles in our Lightning Source print on demand supply model. The Sharjah operation will be an additional distribution option for our publishers, and there is great excitement about the potential."
The continued rise in books sales in Germany, compared to previous years, "is good news for booksellers, who are preparing for the holiday rush," the European & International Booksellers Federation's NewsFlash reported. "In weeks 1 to 44, the book sales increased by 5%, compared to the same period last year, as well as by 2%, compared to 2019. However, retail book trade is lagging behind, with the sales deficit of almost 4%."
Author Bernardine Evaristo will be the next president of the Royal Society of Literature, succeeding Marina Warner, who is retiring at the end of 2021. The first writer of color and only the second woman to be named president of the organization, she will act as an ambassador for the society and its overall mission, the advancement of literature.
Evaristo was elected a fellow of the RSL in 2004 and has been the society's v-p since November 2020. She currently chairs the RSL's Open Fellowship recruitment panel in its first year; she also took part in the 40 Under 40 Fellowship initiative as a panelist. In 2021, she was appointed a Sky Arts Ambassador and launched the Sky Arts RSL Writers Awards providing mentoring with RSL Fellows to emerging writers of color.
Noting that she is "deeply honored to take on the role," Evaristo said: "Literature is not a luxury, but essential to our civilization. I am so proud, therefore, to be the figurehead of such an august and robust literature organization that is so actively and urgently committed to being inclusive of the widest range of outstanding writers from every demographic and geographical location in Britain, and to reaching marginalized communities through literature projects, including introducing young people in schools to some of Britain's leading writers who visit, teach and discuss their work with them."
Marina Warner praised Evaristo as "one of literature's most passionate and effective advocates. She is a garlanded writer of brilliant inventiveness and long been a leading inspiration in the vision of the RSL. In the lingering aftermath of the pandemic, her vivid, strong spirit, experience and dedication will bring fresh dynamism and energy to all our plans and activities."