You may have seen Kenilworth Books on BBC Midlands Today celebrating re-opening its doors, and now the shop based at Talisman Shopping Centre has been recognised for its work during lockdown too.
The independent book shop has been awarded the Bounce Award for Bookish Bounciness award by sales and marketing agency Bounce Marketing.
The award recognises the fantastic work the shop has done during lockdown, particularly in promoting children’s book Mrs Noah’s Garden and helping it to still be a success in difficult times.
Owner Judy Brook and director Tamsin Rosewell have been busy during the time the shop has been closed, supporting the demand for books in Kenilworth with deliveries on their ‘book bike’.
Books on walks near Kenilworth have been popular, and behind the scenes they have been working directly with publishers on books such as Maggie O’Farrells Hamnet and the aforementioned Mrs Noah’s Garden.
Famous for the shop’s artistic window displays, Tamsin says that the pandemic has given the shop a chance to think even more creatively.
She said: “We don’t aspire to be a large chain store. We aspire to be exactly what we are: a small, commercially intelligent little shop that is agile enough to think and operate differently when it needs to – and Covid-19 has provided us with an opportunity to push our thinking!
“We’ve been trading locally since May 1 by taking orders on the phone and by email, but we’ve also used this time to explore other ideas.
“We’ve used the strength of our relationships with publishers – and our existing reputation among them for high volume sales and active social media – to create new trading agreements and to use our website to enable people to buy a kind of edit of what we think are some of the best and most interesting books being published.
“For example, we’ve teamed up with publisher Hachette to sell signed copies Maggie O’Farrell’s Hamnet – which was to be one of the big festival draws this year.
“We’ve also helped Penguin Books launch and take orders for the new collaboration between Greenaway Award-winning illustrator Jackie Morris and Robert Macfarlane, The Lost Spells – much anticipated sequel to The Lost Words.
“With the UK Crime Book Club we came up with the idea to launch a giant game of Cluedo across social media to launch M.W. Craven’s latest crime thriller, The Curatorm and people can join in from across the country. We’ve also collaborated with Oxford-based publisher David Fickling Books, to fulfil some of their book orders.
“They don’t trade off their website (most publishers don’t), but by collaborating and cutting out the creaky existing distribution network, we both benefit.
“We’ve also been advising the large publishing houses on how to generate revenue through virtual events, and are already planning three-way collaborations with a UK theatre to host major events for the book industry.
“These are all huge opportunities for us, and all have been made possible only by the fact that we are free to think fast and imaginatively.
“We’re not interested in competing with Amazon. We’re interested in being independent!”
Kenilworth Books is now back open for business at Talisman Shopping Centre, alongside many of our other retailers and tenants.
For more information on how we are keeping Talisman safe for shoppers and staff visit http://www.talismankenilworth.co.uk/guidance-shoppers-shops-re-open/.