The sun didn't shine in London on Wednesday evening but the mood at Bookollective's Summer Drinks Party was still Club Tropicana! More than 70 industry movers and shakers joined the ambitious young agency at Waterstones Tottenham Court Road to swap war stories and hear from inspirational speakers such as Librotas book mentor Karen Williams, the savvy editor West Camel of hot-right-now Orenda Books, and DUST author Mark Thompson who gave a heartfelt speech about his bumpy road to publication before signing copies of his debut novel.
But although the brollies were out, the mood was buoyant. Bookollective were celebrating being named in The Bookseller's list of Rising Stars 2017 and thrilled that its raison d'etre – helping authors shine and connecting people in the industry – had been recognised. Co-founder Esther Harris introduced the evening: "Everyone in this room is two things: super creative and super helpful. In this group alone we have Stormzy's illustrator, the 'Amy Whitehouse of poetry, an Amazon Storyteller Award finalist, niche indies, bloggers, mentors and many more. The whole point of Bookollective is that if we provide the opportunity, there is so much talent here that can easily cross-fertilise and help one another. So if you need an introduction to someone, just ask." The event, which was free of charge and open to all, was due to finish at 8pm but guests were still chatting at 10pm. Anna Burtt, Rights Manager at RedDoor Publishing commented: "Everyone is really buzzing and engaged. Huge thanks to the Bookollective team for a great event!"
Tom Tivnan from The Bookseller said this week of the Bookollective team:
"A key part of The Bookseller's Rising Stars is identifying people who are thinking about new ways and different business models to respond to the book trade's rapid changes. Bookollective does this in spades and in a short time have carved out a much-needed niche with Aimee's, Esther's and Helen's blend of experience, savvy and formidable talent."
The party was supported by Books Are My Bag, with publishers Harper Impulse, Bloomsbury Publishing, Orenda Books, Bonnier Zaffre and No Exit Press all generously supplying books for a complimentary goody bag.
Twitter has been buzzing post event:
@WaterstonesTCR - 'The champagne has popped for the Bookollective summer party, feat. a signing with Mark Thompson!'
@HarperImpulse - 'We had a BLAST at the Bookollective summer party last night!'
@OrendaBooks - 'So pleased to be able to contribute to fabulous event!'
@West_Camel - 'Thanks to the Bookollective trio for a great evening.'
@AbbieHeadon - 'Mr West Camel talking about the one and only Karen @OrendaBooks Sullivan, Queen of all Noirs and all-round lovely person.'
@mbennett_author - 'Lovely summer party Bookollective. The book treasure was such a treat. It was great to meet and hear about folks' book stories, so thank you!'
@Sarah_Swan2 - 'Awesome evening, networking with #publishers, #bloggers, #authors, #agents. Thanks @Bookollective! LOVE the goody bag! What a book haul!'
@amcrossland1 - 'Wow got the most amazing haul of #summerreading at last night's Bookollective event, thanks so much for a fab evening!'
@bookstothesky - 'Bibliopique: When you've been given a big pile of books & all you want to do is binge read but you have to work.'
@nicola_cyoung - 'Thanks Bookollective for an informative evening of networking. Head is spinning with #bookpr ideas now.'
@thumbingpages - 'Had such a great time last night at the @Bookollective event! Love the tote bag and books as well.'
@BlackDoorPress - 'Thanks for another great event last night! Informative and inspirational as usual. See you at the next one!'
The next Bookollective event will be held in September and a date will be announced shortly via Twitter @Bookollective and www.bookollective.com/events