When Gayle Lazda from the London Review Bookshop, Picador commissioning editor Kishani Widyaratna and Daunt Books publisher Zeljka Marosevic launched a fundraiser for booksellers earlier this week they hoped to raise £10,000 ($12,000).
Days later £7,000 was in the bank and then Penguin Random House UK and the UK Booksellers Association stepped in.
The BA pledged £30,000 and PRH said it would match donations up to £50,000, spurring the fundraiser organisers to raise their target to a now easily attainable £100,00 ($120,000).
The UK trade journal The Bookseller explains,
Funds are available to anyone who works in a bookshop in the UK or Ireland, who finds themselves in hardship as a result of the impact of Covid-19. This includes traditional booksellers alongside staff working behind the scenes in a bookshop, such as cleaners or IT support staff.
The Book Trade Charity will administer all grants for people based in the UK on a case by case basis, and the Booksellers Association are exploring how this might be administered in Ireland.
Via The Bookseller.
In normal times this would seem an overly generous gesture, but with every bricks & mortar bookstore in the country shuttered one wonders if £100,000 can even begin to provide the assistance needed.
Let’s hope that other publishers who have relied on bookstores to build their business these past decades will step in to assist booksellers in this hour of need.