‘I’d been a disengaged 1980s teenager who’d left school with little except for an ace typing speed, a curious imagination & an appetite for reading anything not on the syllabus’ – This month I’ve been talking to the lovely bods at The Bridport Prize, who awarded me my first writing prize and set me on a path to publication. The competition is now open for 2022 entries.
I’ve been blown away by the kind reader support for 33 Women since it released in November, and I’m delighted to see it doing so well in the Amazon charts in its first few weeks on sale! Please keep the reader reviews coming in – I love to see them – and please forgive me a little showing off now as I share a few of my nice press reviews below …
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 Bookshop.org. 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 IsabelAshdownBookplate@outlook.com 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 Bookshop.org – 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!
With less than six weeks until release, I thought I remind you of a few ways in which you can pre-order my new thriller 33 Women, so that it lands with you the moment it’s available.
There are so many independent book stores around the country who I would urge you to buy from. It’s great to support the high street, and many of them now offer a mail order service. Here are just a few (and you can find more near you by clicking on the red box):
And many of the usual online and high street retailers will also be stocking the paperback. Here are a few to choose from:
Thanks for reading folks!
My Newsletter & Your Data: thank you for subscribing! This is a no-spam zone. Occasionally I will send you news about my books, events and any special promotions I feel may be of interest to you. I promise I will never sell or pass on your details to any other third party, and of course you may unsubscribe at any time.