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Bookollective co-host Portsmouth Book Bash

By The Bookollective Team, Jun 29 2018 02:11PM

This week saw the arrival of the first ever publishing specific networking event in Portsmouth, Hampshire. Co-organised by locally-based publisher and writer Abbie Headon and book PR and design agency Bookollective, the Portsmouth Book Bash was held at the Hunter Gatherer speciality coffee shop. The evening offered the Pompey book crowd the chance to come together and swap war stories about life in publishing, start new collaborations and cross-fertilise ideas.

The event capped an exciting recent time in all things books and Portsmouth. Back in March, the Central Library announced new Arts Council funding to help boost storytelling and writing in the city, with a new Writers Room facility which celebrates and promotes historical and new local writers. Plus this week the city's biggest music event Victorious Festival announced it will showcase books for the first time this year, with its first literary tent #literacylive featuring author readings and giveaways.

Co-host Esther Harris of Bookollective, which will also run #literacylive at Victorious Festival said: "It's a really exciting time to be bringing something new and bookish to Portsmouth. Regional is no longer a dirty word in publishing, which has traditionally been London-centric. In fact, it's the very opposite. Following the Northern Fiction Alliance's recent open letter to publishing imploring they take a wider view of the UK, it feels like the industry is finally 'on the move'. Orion Books are on tour in schools and communities across the UK right now, HuffPostLive is hosting from Birmingham next month and looking to specifically find new bloggers and northern stories and there is Weidenfeld & Nicolson's 'Hometown Tales' series which has found, published and mentored new voices from around the country. It's such a positive step and we're very happy to be a small part of it."

Co-host Abbie Headon also launched and signed copies of her new book THE POWER OF YES - Positive and Practical Advice to Help You Live Life To The Full, published by Ilex. She said everyone who was working in publishing and Portsmouth based or interested in entering the industry was welcome to come along.

Abbie said: "It was a really fun evening. More and more people in the creative industries are working freelance now, so you're either on your own or working from home a lot. It can be isolating. So, to get together with like-minded people and talk shop in a friendly, informal atmosphere really helps. And it's really important the industry realises that you don't have to live in London to work in publishing."

Abbie said: "We will hold another Portsmouth Book Bash in the Autumn. Watch this space!"

If you'd like to register for the next event or for more information contact abbie@abbieheadon.com or esther@bookollective.com

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Favourite book:

To Kill A Mockingbird 

by Harper Lee


Best tip for authors:

Tell me your life story. It's the personal ups and downs and how you've overcome them that sometimes help us pitch you and the book.


Publishing career highlight:

My first byline in The Mirror and ghost writing a newspaper feature for a client that saw her get a phone call from the Defence Secretary saying how impressed he was.


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Favourite book:

Pride and Prejudice 

by Jane Austen


Best tip for authors:

Good design is good business; it builds your brand and conveys professionalism. As an author, your book is your business; don't let your hard work down with poor presentation.


Publishing career highlight:

Getting my first award for cover design! It's always an amazing feeling when you're acknowledged for doing something you love.




Favourite book:

The Tiger Who Came

to Tea by Judith Kerr


Best tip for authors:

You are unique and so is your book, so create a unique publicity campaign that suits you. Most importantly, don’t quit - I always tell my authors that writing their book is actually the ‘easy’ bit, promotion takes patience and determination.


Publishing career highlight:

I was proud to be selected as a finalist in the Publisher’s Publicity Circle Awards for one of my paperback non-fiction campaigns, but my career highlight has to be winning the title of Young Business Person of the Year at the Inspire Business Awards.

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