Some GOOD news for Bookshops

When the second lockdown was announced, the UK seemed to take a collective sigh, freshly deflated at confirmation that these strange times were not yet near an end. Perhaps, as the news sunk in, we even shed a tear, or raged a little, as we wondered, ‘How will it affect me? How will it affect my work – my loved ones – my holiday plans – my health – my future?’

One of my first thoughts (close on the heels of those listed above) was, ‘What about my new book? What will a ‘release’ look like in lockdown? How will I sign readers’ copies?’ And then I thought, ‘What about bookshops? How will they survive yet another closure?’ And soon after that, I started to imagine a world without independent booksellers, and then I really did shed a tear, and then I really did rage a little.

BUT shortly after that first reaction, I heard news of two initiatives related directly to the independent booksellers’ industry, and I want to tell you about them here and encourage you to get involved and help secure the future of our bookshops. THIS IS IMPORTANT … here’s the detail:

Firstly, an exciting new website has launched, called It started in the US in early 2020, with the aim of rivalling Amazon by supporting indie booksellers and streaming 30% of all sales to them. It has been a huge success, and now it has launched in the UK. You can shop on the site like any other mail order store or you can search for a local bookshop you’d specifically like to buy from. I just checked in and see that in its first few days it’s already made over £46,000 for independent booksellers.

The other enticing thing is that authors are encouraged to create a page on which to share book lists and recommendations, which I’ve found to be a fabulous way to discover new titles and writers (click on my ‘Fiction from Isabel Ashdown’ image to see what I mean). I will be buying ALL my books this way until the high street opens up again (and beyond), and I urge you to do the same. IT IS WONDERFUL!

The second brilliant initiative comes from author Holly Bourne who is trailblazing with #SignForOurBookshops – also in a bid to encourage readers to buy from the high street booksellers during lockdown, with the promise of a signed bookplate from their favourite author.

If you’re on twitter or instagram check out the #SignForOurBookshops hashtag to see which writers are involved – and get your orders in quick as many are limited!

I too will be signing a limited number of bookplates to send to bookshops and readers across the UK! If you’d like one, all you need to do is email me at giving your name and address + providing proof of purchase/pre-order for my new book 33 Women from any independent/high street bookshop or via – and we’ll speed one out to you!

Finally, I’d like to send out a huge message of thanks to all you booksellers, readers, bloggers, reviewers and book champions – with your continued support physical books WILL survive and thrive on the high street!

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