Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Books Are My Bag Campaign - support local bookshops in your constituency, 14 September 2013

Dear Mr Jones, We are writing to ask you to support an exciting new campaign promoting local bookshops, Books Are My Bag, which will launch on Saturday 14th September 2013, sponsored by The Publishers Association and The Booksellers Association, and supported by The Society of Authors.

As we are sure you are aware, many of the UK’s high streets are struggling and in particular bookshops are closing at an alarming rate. Over the last five years independent bookshop numbers have declined from 1535 to 1028. This is a worrying loss as evidence shows that bookshops help sustain the nation’s reading habits in a way which online sales do not. In other words, when bookshops are closed readers are lost. Bookshops are that vital link between new writers and new readers and in maintaining a diverse and robust publishing industry, which contributes £5bn per annum to the UK economy.

According to research commissioned by the Booksellers Association (Source: Censuswide, June 2013) 88% of British book buyers are concerned that there are fewer bookshops on the high streets than 5 years ago. 92% of book buyers think action needs to be taken to support high streets, and 77% of book buyers think bookshops make high streets more appealing.

That is why booksellers and publishers are taking action and are launching Books are My Bag, a nationwide campaign designed to raise awareness of and engagement with local bookshops.

During the campaign we are encouraging people to go and visit their local bookshop, many of which will be holding bespoke events in celebration of the campaign. Booksellers will also be giving away specially created Books Are My Bag branded cotton bags, and a wider PR campaign launch will also follow. WH Smith, Waterstones, Blackwells, Foyles, John Smith, Easons and almost 700 independents book stores are behind the campaign.

We are asking Members of Parliament of all parties if they could join the over 100 people of note who have already done so and show support for this great campaign – perhaps through visiting a bookshop in your constituency on 14th September. We can help facilitate this, along with any media support you may require, such as photo opportunity, statistics and draft quote. We would also welcome any general statements in support for the campaign, in recognition of the importance of our high streets and the bookshops they are home to.

To help facilitate this, we would be grateful if you could email us including the information below.

Further information is also available at http://www.booksaremybag.com/

Yours Sincerely



Tim Godfray Richard Mollet
Chief Executive Chief Executive
The Booksellers Association The Publishers Association
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If you would like to be included in this campaign, please email the following details to: ghersh@publishers.org.uk

Name:

Constituency:

Party:

I support this campaign: Yes No

I will try and visit my local bookshop on September 14th: Yes No

Quote ( if applicable ) in favour of the campaign:

Gemma Hersh
Head of Public Affairs
The Publishers Association
29B Montague Street
London
WC1B 5BW
t: +44 20 7691 1409
e: ghersh@publishers.org.uk
w: www.publishers.org.uk

The Publishers Association Limited is a company limited by guarantee incorporated in England and Wales.
Registration number 3282879; Registered office: 6th Floor, 25 Farringdon Street, London EC4A 4AB