Independent Bookshop Week is underway in the U.K. and runs through June 25. The annual celebration of indies, which highlights their vital role in the communities, was launched in 2006 by the Booksellers Association and celebrated its 15th birthday in June 2021. Hachette UK is the main sponsor.
This year's IBW "promises the biggest line-up the campaign has ever seen, with newly confirmed authors Kate Mosse, Shon Faye, Jason Reynolds and Sarah Winman taking part in activities across the country, ranging from poetry showcases and cooking demonstrations to Jane Austen-themed parties and eco-bag making sessions," the Bookseller reported.
"Independent bookshops are magical places, staffed by passionate and enthusiastic booksellers who have the uncanny knack of always being able to find you exactly the right book, at exactly the right time," author Joanna Cannon said. "Independent Bookshop Week is a time to celebrate and support bookshops across the U.K., and I'm so looking forward to being a bookseller for a day with the wonderful Alex at the gorgeous Bert's Books [Swindown]."
Emma Bradshaw, head of campaigns at the BA, added: "The breadth of events organized by booksellers across the U.K. and the number of bookshops taking part is larger than ever. After two years of the campaign taking place under Covid restrictions, we're thrilled to see so much in-store activity lined up. Whether they are joining an author event, attending a children's story time or family activity, enjoying special offers and promotions, or just buying their next great read, we know all book-lovers are in for a treat this June."
The ninth China Shanghai International Children's Book Fair has been postponed for the third time due to Covid-19. The event, originally scheduled for November 2021, was initially rescheduled for March 20–22 this year, then postponed again until July 22–24. It has now been rescheduled to run November 18–20 at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Convention Centre. Shanghai has been under strict Covid lockdown measures recently, and even though restrictions across the country are easing, there are no assurances that the new date will hold.
CCBF organizers said: "The health and safety of all our exhibitors and visitors being our priority, we are sorry for the inconvenience this new development may bring you. The organizing team is now handling all the proceedings derived from this new situation in the best interest of our exhibitors and visitors.
"We are continuing to work with determination on making the upcoming CCBF a great occasion for the global children's publishing community to connect with the Chinese market. Until we can all be reunited in person in Shanghai, the fair has adapted to the current context and is ready to offer exhibiting opportunities to publishers from China and beyond. We are also looking forward to resuming your favorite accompanying programs and events."
An "oral history of Harry Potter at 25" was featured in the Guardian, which spoke with several book trade veterans who played a role in Bloomsbury's release of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone on June 26, 1997, and the decades-long Pottermania aftereffects, including:
Barry Cunningham, head of children's publishing, Bloomsbury (now publisher, Chicken House): "One day the literary agent Christopher Little rang me and said: 'I've got this great book, would you read it?' Although he didn't tell me that everybody else had turned it down, I could tell from the manuscript that I wasn't the first to see it. I took it home that night and read it. The most common question everybody wants to know is 'Did I see it immediately?' I can't pretend that I did, but I knew children would love it."
Rosamund de la Hey, children's marketing director, Bloomsbury (now founder of the Mainstreet Trading Company, St. Boswells): "I was 25 and new to the job, and the very first manuscript I was given was Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Barry handed it over with the words: 'Read this. I think it's a bit special.' I read it overnight and was completely blown away. I came back into the office slightly possessed. Before the editorial meeting, I rolled the first three chapters into a scroll, shoved in a load of Smarties and tied it with a purple ribbon. The scroll was inspired by the Hogwarts school setting and the Smarties were to say, I think it will win the Smarties prize [for children's books]. The children's list had only been going two years, and it hadn't been an outstanding success. We knew we were up against it."
Thomas Taylor, illustrator of the first book jacket, who was also working in a children's bookshop in Norwich at the time after finishing art school: "We had 10 of the first hardback editions stacked up on a table at the front of the shop. I kept thinking I should buy one, but thought I'd wait for the signed copy they were going to send me. About six months after publication, I began to realize this book was becoming really quite popular. My colleagues kept saying to customers: 'Do you know who this is? He illustrated the cover art.' People didn't believe it because why would I be standing behind the till? It was very awkward and embarrassing. Of course, those 10 books all went and I didn't buy one, so I never had a first edition." --Robert Gray