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#1 2010-12-04 18:09:50

Kay Green
Admin
From: Hastings, UK
Registered: 2007-04-03
Website

Woolfson and Tay, Bermondsey, London

Woolfson & Tay is a new independent bookshop, cafe, and gallery in Bermondsey Square, London SE1, featuring an exciting series of author talks, poetry open mics, and photo exhibits.  From December, a new monthly event, The Life Stories Cafe, inaugurated by poet Dorothea Smartt.

http://www.woolfsonandtay.com/life-stories-cafe.html

[NB I'd Like to cool off my recommendation a bit here, having just dicovered that this shop charges authors/publishers for running reading/signing events. I do appreciate that it's a hard life being an indie bookshop these days but it's the same hard world for indie publishers.]

Last edited by Kay Green (2010-12-17 07:57:41)

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#2 2010-12-05 10:30:27

neilmarr
Member
From: Menton/Monaco, France
Registered: 2010-11-07
Website

Re: Woolfson and Tay, Bermondsey, London

Thanks, Kay. Interesting. If you don't mind, I'll pinch this info and circulate some of my authors in the UK who might be interested in booking an event and stocking shelves. Cheers. Neil


BeWrite Books -- www.bewrite.net

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#3 2010-12-05 12:25:27

Kay Green
Admin
From: Hastings, UK
Registered: 2007-04-03
Website

Re: Woolfson and Tay, Bermondsey, London

Please do - that's precisely what Booksy's for!

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#4 2010-12-06 08:03:38

neilmarr
Member
From: Menton/Monaco, France
Registered: 2010-11-07
Website

Re: Woolfson and Tay, Bermondsey, London

We're already setting up one event: a reading and signing by Steve Attridge, a well known TV, cinema and theatre writer in the UK whose debut novel, *Bottom of the List*, we released earlier this year. Several other BeWrite Books authors and poets are also taking a look. So thanks again, Kay. A Booksy hit. Neil


BeWrite Books -- www.bewrite.net

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#5 2010-12-06 08:36:51

Catherine Edmunds
Admin
From: North East England
Registered: 2007-04-04
Website

Re: Woolfson and Tay, Bermondsey, London

Great stuff!

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#6 2010-12-17 07:57:08

Kay Green
Admin
From: Hastings, UK
Registered: 2007-04-03
Website

Re: Woolfson and Tay, Bermondsey, London

I'd Like to cool off my recommendation a bit here, having just dicovered that this shop charges authors/publishers for running reading/signing events. I do appreciate that it's a hard life being an indie bookshop these days but it's the same hard world for indie publishers.

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#7 2010-12-17 10:32:19

neilmarr
Member
From: Menton/Monaco, France
Registered: 2010-11-07
Website

Re: Woolfson and Tay, Bermondsey, London

Yup, Kay: Two of our BeWrite Books authors have been in touch and smelled a rat, though neither has yet been told up front that there's a fee charged for holding events on top of the usual high brick-and-mortar commission on books sold at signings, etc. Treat with caution, folks. Cheers. Neil


BeWrite Books -- www.bewrite.net

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#8 2011-03-03 01:45:17

Woolfsontay
Member
From: 12 Bermondsey Square, London
Registered: 2011-03-03
Website

Re: Woolfson and Tay, Bermondsey, London

Hi all, and Kay, thanks for the kind words. Hope you drop by if in the area. Was surprised to read about us charging authors/publishers for author readings and signings and wanted to clarify. We don't charge publishers for author events, however we do rent out our gallery space for launches after business hours. You can check out our rates and also terms and conditions on our website www.woolfsonandtay.com/gallery-hire.html. This information is publicly available. So am not too sure what neilmarr's comments refer to as we have not received any queries directly from authors, at least not that we are aware of, as most of the organising for author events has been through publicists, agents, or publishers themselves. As for "high brick and mortar commission" do you mean the extra 2-5% discount on event copies? Hope this reply helps clarify matters. All the best, Fran and Shivaun, Woolfson & Tay

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#9 2011-03-03 09:20:41

Kay Green
Admin
From: Hastings, UK
Registered: 2007-04-03
Website

Re: Woolfson and Tay, Bermondsey, London

I am very sorry if I have misrepresented you. I will check the details with the author who approached you on our behalf and if I've got it wrong, will post a correction shortly.

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#10 2011-03-03 09:50:02

neilmarr
Member
From: Menton/Monaco, France
Registered: 2010-11-07
Website

Re: Woolfson and Tay, Bermondsey, London

Renting gallery space, an additional percentage on already high retail sales commission/discount, a 3 per-bottle levy when an author supplies the wine. That's fair enough? If you think so, Fran and Shivaun, then I apologise for appearing unreasonable. But what's free and generous about this 'offer'? These authors are bringing business, promotion and prestige to your shop. Neil

Last edited by neilmarr (2011-03-03 10:12:23)


BeWrite Books -- www.bewrite.net

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#11 2011-03-03 15:25:14

Kay Green
Admin
From: Hastings, UK
Registered: 2007-04-03
Website

Re: Woolfson and Tay, Bermondsey, London

I think I can see where a misunderstanding may have crept in. I have contacted the author and he says, as his discussions with the shop staff took place by telephone, he has no verbatim record of what was said but it may well be that he was looking for a reading/signing type event in the shop whereas the staff went straight into an assumption that we were after hiring the gallery space. He says (and I quote...)

"My memory tells me that they wanted to charge us 200 to hold our book launch, or charge for tickets. If they said there was no charge to anyone, then we would have gone ahead. The fact that we didn't go ahead implies to me that they did want to charge. Also, I don't recall a distinction being made to me between shop space and gallery space..."

At the same time, on my side of the equation, I wasn't made aware that unpaid for space in the shop was available, except as a possible option of allowing the shop to ticket the event and charge everyone - including the authors and their guests - for entry, but I think it was partly the percentage of cover-price that the shop asked for as standard which put me off. I am well aware that it's hard for indie booksellers to make ends meet but it is equally hard for printers and small press publishers, let alone the poor old authors right at the end of the line! I feel very strongly that it's in our interests to work together and build opportunities and book sales rather than trying to extract increased profits from each other.

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#12 2011-03-04 12:30:09

neilmarr
Member
From: Menton/Monaco, France
Registered: 2010-11-07
Website

Re: Woolfson and Tay, Bermondsey, London

Profits on books, Kay, are made in only one legitimate way -- their honest sale at a fair price to the general reading public. Promo is in place to encourage that, though some publishers are big and wealthy enough to factor in the costs. Many are not. My own feeling is that if anyone should recieve payment and expenses for a local signing or a talk, radio or TV interview, etc, it is the author himself. Otherwise, some authors might volunteer to give up their own time free of charge to assist in promotion of a title/publisher/bookshop. But certainly they should not be expected to pay for the privilege of working so hard at something that ain't really their job (unless under a contractual agreement with a publisher who builds compensation for such extramural work into advance consideration and arranges all events). There is an ongoing discsussion on these lines if anyone cares to look for it. Best wishes. Neil

Last edited by neilmarr (2011-03-05 00:36:52)


BeWrite Books -- www.bewrite.net

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#13 2011-03-04 14:05:14

Kay Green
Admin
From: Hastings, UK
Registered: 2007-04-03
Website

Re: Woolfson and Tay, Bermondsey, London

Yes! Most of the bookshop events we've done have been a happy collaboration between shop, publisher and author to bring books to the attention of potential readers and, happily, most of the time the events result in good friendships and increased sales. Off to look for on-going discussion...

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#14 2011-03-04 14:48:47

Kay Green
Admin
From: Hastings, UK
Registered: 2007-04-03
Website

Re: Woolfson and Tay, Bermondsey, London

....where, where where?

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#15 2011-03-05 00:43:37

neilmarr
Member
From: Menton/Monaco, France
Registered: 2010-11-07
Website

Re: Woolfson and Tay, Bermondsey, London

Try Victoria Strauss at Writer Beware for starters, Kay. The promotional affairs under discussion here are supposed to be a matter of cross-pollination --- of mutual benefit, with each party offering what resource he has to throw in -- not yet another crafty way to make an author pay for his right to write and be read. It hurts me. It hurts me in the way vanity publishing, 'subsidised' publishing and author mills hurt me. It is not bloody cricket! It is not sharing, it is cashing in. If you have a gallery for hire and with extra charges, say so. Don't pretend you're doing writers and readers any favours. Sue me if you dare. Neil

Last edited by neilmarr (2011-03-05 00:46:19)


BeWrite Books -- www.bewrite.net

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#16 2011-03-05 02:02:35

Woolfsontay
Member
From: 12 Bermondsey Square, London
Registered: 2011-03-03
Website

Re: Woolfson and Tay, Bermondsey, London

Hi Neil and Kay, thanks for your comments. We don't charge authors for readings or signings. We are appreciative that we have received the support of quite a few authors who have been generous with their time and given us a chance by agreeing to do author events at ours though we are fairly new still. We don't levy charges on wine brought by authors, though we have never had a situation yet where authors have brought their own wine. With fee-paying events, we don't charge authors or speakers and usually offer three complimentary tickets to each speaker. On some events, usually performance-based, where we have been approached to be the venue to host the event, and where the performer wants to charge a fee, we usually agree on a door split - in these circumstances there is no charge to the performer for the use of the space. There is only one space in the shop which is used for events, exhibitions, author readings, book launches, tai chi, meditation, childrens' storytelling, elders writing workshop etc - this space is our cafe/gallery space. We reiterate, there are no extra hidden charges. The charge for rental of our space is on our website. This rental applies for after hours launches and other private events, and this offering does not differ markedly from other indie bookshops who have the benefit of extra space. Best, Fran and Shivaun

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#17 2011-03-05 02:54:35

neilmarr
Member
From: Menton/Monaco, France
Registered: 2010-11-07
Website

Re: Woolfson and Tay, Bermondsey, London

Most kind of you. Thanks for explaining. You are offering a room at a charge (or on a gate take) and you take an added sales comission above what you usually claim. Fair enough. Your site clearly states a 3 levy on each bottle of wine provided free by a contributing author, so I'm not surprised not many choose to stock the wine table. But thanks for putting us right. Where, though, is the special thingie here? What are you offering (in fact openly publicising) that is such a kindness to an author or even a square deal? Seems to me you're simply renting space and taking a slice of any cake the author can sell on the premises you rent him. Bit like a rave party or a social club function room. Sorry if I misunderstand. I really am. And I'd rather now withdraw from this discussion because it's almost 4.00am my time and I've been working from the crack of dawn on behalf of authors who don't pay me a penny piece but merit every minute. I've been a pro in this game for over forty-five years, and I have no real love and admiration for those whose ideal is not to create but to exploit. Of course, I don't number you among them. I'm afraid I will not re-visit this thread because it upsets me. Neil


BeWrite Books -- www.bewrite.net

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#18 2011-03-05 12:59:11

Kay Green
Admin
From: Hastings, UK
Registered: 2007-04-03
Website

Re: Woolfson and Tay, Bermondsey, London

Well I guess honour is satisfied from my point of view Fran and Shevaun, as you've had a chance to state your policy and taken it - but I am still confused. Had I known Woolfsontay's suggestion to ticket the event was mooted with the intention of paying the readers, I would have jumped at it - it's hard enough to get money into the pockets of authors at any stage of the game!

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