Earlier this year a new bookshop was launched in Leatherhead. With the closure of Peter Snell’s famous and well-respected bookshop, an opening for a new bookshop in Leatherhead was on offer.
Carrie and Tom, the new owners, were excited to offer support to Indie authors and the opening launch was well attended, books supplied.
For me, as it was fairly local, I was thrilled to take along my books. I did wonder at the time about the quantity suggested, ten of each book, (as I then had six books in print), but was pleased to gain support and enthusiasm from Carrie and Tom.
I had been booked for an event in early August.
Despite a bit of confusion over dates and timings I turned up on Wednesday 7th August for my event.
I was well looked after and had plenty of time to chat, and boy did we chat!
The shop is a small concern and is trying to incorporate and encourage the local community as well as indie book writers.
When I arrived, the shop front was welcoming and bright and I was thrilled to see my books ready and on display.
Over the four hours I was in the shop the footfall was slow but having just undertaken an author day, in WHSmith, it can be the same wherever you are. In fact, I sold as many books, despite a lot more conversations from passers-by in WHSmith, but the welcome and support in Book Potato was greater.
We were able to discus and come to a happy arrangement.
I have been in contact with other bookshops who may or may not buy a book from Gardner’s but at least I can actually see the sales.
Carrie and I discussed further ideas regarding advertising and the store is indeed trying to develop this and do what it can.
The initial front window big book display would not work for me, due to genre and size of my books, but the new display screen is appealing. This could work well for a smallish publishing group or company. Or even a local event page.
All in all, I am grateful for the welcome and friendly greeting I received.
Yes, there are some empty shelves, yes, there is more to do but it is clear they are making every effort. With book clubs and proposed events being organised they are going in the right direction
As an indie writer and supportive of this new independent bookshop, especially as it is local to me, I wish it well and will certainly try and attend other events if I can… Hopefully with a few more passers-by.