Reading Partners have just launched their exciting Reader Meets Writer programme, as part of the National Year of Reading. Big names including Kate Mosse, Hanif Kureishi, Iain Banks, Alexander McCall Smith, Mavis Cheek and Clare Francis will be appearing at libraries across England throughout 2008.
This marks a change in attitude within the UK publishing industry which has traditionally favoured bookshops over libraries for book events. But following the success of a similar campaign in 2007 when over 7,000 library users attended 80 events and generated over £25,000 in book sales, publishers are becoming increasingly aware of the power of public libraries to deliver quality audiences.
Before becoming a librarian I spent over 6 years in the commercial sector organising author events. Since then I’ve organised and attended my fair share of library events and I have to agree that there’s something quite special about a public library audience. There’s a brilliant atmosphere in a public library when a famous author stops by to chat about his/her books; and an enthusiasm and energy that cannot be matched by bookshop customers.