Pritchard's of Formby, The Travel Bookshop of Notting Hill fame, the Harbour Bookshop of Dartmouth and Derwent Bookshop in Workington - all due to close shortly, all had their closures announced this week. All good bookshops, all doing the right thing with author events, all locally popular, and all, at least occasionally, stockists of Five Leaves' books. Who do they blame? Supermarkets, taking away the mass market; WH Smith undercutting them on price for mid-list books; Amazon; eBooks; greedy landlords (don't they know a recession is on?). Add to that library closures, cutbacks in school buying, the closure of Borders and whatever is happening at Waterstone's and we have to conclude that we can't continue as we have been doing. The staff at Five Leaves Towers will shortly be having a summit meeting to go through our future plans. The office cat has been warned that Whiskas will be changed to Kit-e-Kat or a Kwiksave own brand. It really is that serious.
Meanwhile, the number of people doing creative writing classes proliferates. Who is going to publish them? Who will sell their books?