The Week Ahead…

By Lucy Broughton, on 16 November 2014

Monday 17th November
Ray’s Jazz: EFG London Jazz Festival presents Tomorrow’s Warriors Youth Orchestra featuring Nathaniel Facey

Ray’s Jazz kickstart their EFG London Jazz Festival events with a full-blown set from the Tomorrow’s Warriors Youth Orchestra. The concert will also feature soloist Nathaniel Facey of Empirical fame.

Venue: The Auditorium, Level Six
Tickets: Free. To reserve, simply visit the website.

Tuesday 18th November
Sales, Marketing and Promotion – GROUP PRESENTATIONS

Author Management
Focus: Rights Management
Led by Sam, a masterclass with Diane Spivey (Little, Brown) and Lynette Owen (Pearson) on rights management.

Thinking Drinkers: Drinking Thinkers – an Evening with
Ben McFarland, Tom Sandham
Thinking Drinkers: The Enlightened Imbiber’s Guide to Alcohol

This event is free but reserve your place by email piccadilly@waterstones.com
Join enlightened imbibers Ben McFarland and Tom Sandham for an evening of illumination and entertainment as they take us on a cultural tour of nips, shots and pints from the Wild West saloons of America to the whisky wildernes of the Outer Hebrides via Gin’s degenerate London lanes and the anarchic absinthe-addled avenues of France. With samples and tastings, this will be an evening to remember!

Wednesday 19th November
Horace Warner’s “Spitalfields Nippers” A Magic Lantern Show by The Gentle Author

This event is free but reserve your place by email: piccadilly@waterstones.com
This Magic Lantern Show reveals an astonishing archive of photographs taken by Horace Warner. These take us to the byways, alleyways and yards of Spitalfields 1900 and the hidden worlds of a lost tribe: the Spitalfields Nippers. They will be giving away large poster prints of the Spitalfields Nippers to all at this event!

Thursday 20th November
Publishing Skills – InDesign Workshop part 2!

London Haunting with Chris McCabe and Scott Wood
In the Catacombs: A Summer Among the Dead Poets of West Norwood Cemetery

This event is free but reserve your place by email piccadilly@waterstones.com
In this darkly intriguing London Salon, Chris McCabe steals us away as he uncovers the stories of the dead poets buried in West Norwood Cemetery to reveal their still-unsilenced voices amidst the London psyche. Alongside, host of the London Fortean Society and author of London’s Urban Legends: The Corpse on the Tube reveals a geography of plague pits and morbid memorials. Hosted by Tom Chivers from penned in the margins, this will be an evening of Gothic intrigue.

Friday 21st November
Perhaps you could get ahead with the Author Management coursework?

Saturday 22nd November
Meet James Franco
Actors Anonymous

Meet the actor, director, screenwriter, producer, teacher and author, at this exclusive signing. Please note James Franco will be signing copies of his books only. Copies of ‘Actors Anonymous’, ‘Palo Alto’ and ‘Directing Herbert White’ will be available to purchase on the day at Waterstones Piccadilly, proof of a Waterstones receipt may be required. Please arrive early to avoid disappointment.

ASSIGNMENT COUNTDOWN – less than a month until the Author Management deadline!

Tweet of the Week!

By Lucy Broughton, on 22 October 2014

Each week we will pick a tweet that we think you just should not miss out on…

This week, predictably, Tweet of the Week has to go to @DWill_ . With 17K retweets and 12K favourites, and the whole book industry expressing their jealousy of being trapped in a bookshop, you probably did see this… but it was definitely the highlight of Twitter this past week and I couldn’t not choose it!

Bookshop sleepover anyone?

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Books Are My Bag – Part 4

By Britt S Van Klaveren, on 10 March 2014

Another piece from the Books Are My Bag adventure! This blog is written by Naomi Barton

To read a book is to partake of a universe unknown.
Of course, you might have heard of said universe. You might have a picture of it, based on a fancy blurb. An excited tweet. Your favourite critic’s latest jibe.

But to actually sit down with the printed word flowing in front of your eye, is to live somebody else’s mind. It is not mere verbiage on a hunk of paper, not the three hours your eyes might take to scan it. It is most certainly not the ten or so pounds (Ten whole pounds! Gasp!) that you have exchanged for it.

To read is a ritual. An act of change, no matter how inconsequential. And all rituals must have a before, an after, and an in-between.

This in-between-ness is where your local bookshop plods in happily and sets up shop.

Stop staring and just walk in already. We promise not to bite. Unless we’re on Hagrid’s curriculum.

Stop staring and just walk in already. We promise not to bite. Unless we’re on Hagrid’s curriculum.

A tiny buzzer sounds as you cross the threshold of Victoria Park Books, subtly alerting its owner to your presence. It is muted, unintrusive. The door shuts behind you, and you take in the spill of light from the backyard, battered little child-sized beanbags on the warm wood floor, and the books.

Jo Guia, owner, will peer over her computer and gently ask you if you need any help. She knows children better than most, their desire for an original familiarity. Your child might be reading Maisie, but Jo will deftly take out a volume by someone you haven’t heard of yet. You should know without a doubt that your child will love it.

“Good on you for bringing them up right,” she says, modestly. “Not enough children read anymore.” To be on the safe side, she organizes book readings for infants and toddlers too.

Mommy, you need to accept my subversive understanding of the cultural ramifications inherent in gastronomy. Of course I like Green Eggs and Ham.

The store is designed for children more than their parents, despite who’s holding the purse strings. The books are shelved in a chronological flow, with picture books low on the ground and teen fiction high above, out of the grasp of curious fingers with too-tender minds. One solitary wall in a corner houses Adult Fiction, keeping parents occupied. Harvey the dog whimpers plaintively at you if denied a pat on the head.

I cat, therefore I am.

Every single element of this place says it is about you and what you are going to read, paying silent tribute to the ritual path you have just begun to tread.

This, is the core difference between Amazon and your local bookshop.

Amazon pays homage to the clean, jingling Cash Machine In The Sky, and good devout priests they are too. Books are their currency—as against Victoria Park Bookstore, saying loud and proud, that Books are My Bag. Books are you and me and the entire world bound by the genius of one mind reaching out to the fertile grounds of another, and books can be our everything.
But sometimes, everything isn’t enough.

The Wardrobe only took us to Narnia.

It’s not enough to close your eyes and clap your hands anymore.

Join the Books Are My Bag Campaign, and go buy something from your local bookstore. It’s worth the price.

Placements, Book Fair and World Book Night

By Laura A Lacey, on 27 April 2013

It’s been a busy few weeks for us UCL publishers. We’ve been on work placements, essay-writing, job hunting, dissertation planning, World Book Night celebrating and London Book Fair-ing.


Most of us are in the middle of our 5 week industry placements. So we are in publishing houses across the capital, with a couple further afield: everywhere from Penguin to Bloomsbury, and literary agencies to digital publishers. A lot of us have also been given the chance to work in different departments, including editorial, marketing, publicity, sales and production. We’ve been getting a taste of what it’s like to work in a real life publishing house and putting into practise all the skills we’ve been learning in the past months, as well as learning some new ones.



15th-17th April was The London Book Fair, which many of us were attending for the first time. It was certainly a unique experience! Some students were there as representatives of their work placement companies but we all got time to wander around in awe and soak up the atmosphere. Some of the seminars were particularly interesting, including SYPs ‘How to Get Into Publishing’ where our very own Samantha Rayner was a speaker and some of our class were involved in the organisation. I’d like to say a big thank you to all the publishers, agents, printers, authors, speakers and organisers who made us feel so welcome and put up with our questioning when they almost certainly had better things to do.

And lastly, a belated Happy World Book Night for Tuesday. A couple of our students were givers for the event this year, handing out 20 copies of one of their favourite books. Congratulations to Julia Kingsford for making the event run so smoothly and thanks again for the inspiring lecture she gave us a couple of months ago. Long may WBN continue!

Read all the books you wish you’d read…

By Laura A Lacey, on 29 March 2013

Oyster last year announced they had raised $3million to create a service for eBooks that works along similar lines to Spotify. They seek to oystercollectively license eBooks from publishers: including fiction and non-fiction, and everything from bestsellers to classics.

Oyster have partnered with media and technology companies, as well as publishers. This mirrors the growing trend across the creative industries as owners of intellectual property seek to exploit their copyright in all possible formats, and sellers try to provide services above and beyond simple content delivery.

The trendy-looking New York-based team (pictured) are focusing on Access, Discovery and Mobile:

ACCESS: By adopting a subscription model they believe readers will be able to enjoy books more freely, dipping in and out of new authors without investing money: ‘This leads to a more fulfilling experience built exclusively on taste and relaxed reading’.

DISCOVERY: They realise that discoverability comes down to many factors and a lot of chance. They believe by combining ‘discovery with consumption’ they are removing frustration that comes from receiving recommendations in many locations.Readers will enjoy the process of discovery by sharing the same library with their friends, with no need to hunt for links.

MOBILE: Their claims as far as mobile goes are perhaps less easy to agree with: they claim their market research has shown that all readers (from avid to casual) ‘love reading on smartphones’. This has certainly has not been my experience. Perhaps it will be in future – as mobile devices become larger and more comfortable to read on it is thought ‘phablets’ will be one of the most prolific devices for sale.

Only time will tell if their venture will be successful and how many publishers will be willing to give up their content for a limited fee. Currently it is in testing mode with just a few. Their aspirational aims certainly sound idyllic:

“We are building Oyster for an audience that aspires to read more. Read all the books you wish you’d read. We hope to bring books to the center of people’s lives through a beautiful product and the feeling that the world is your oyster.”