We've now started holding these twice a year and we're now forced to look for bigger venues. Hopefully, this is a sign of success.
We try to find somewhere that will give us the space for free on the understanding that we will spend generously in the bar. Often we're asked to cover a minimum spend but that is normally easily met – a couple of drinks per person and a few snacks usually covers it.
This is what happens at the event:
You arrive. You get your drinks / food and generally chat to anyone.
London prices or Manchester prices. No pressure to spend. We seem naturally to cover that minimum spend. Sometimes it’s possible to order lunch in advance and have it waiting there for you as you arrive.
We sell all books produced this year at an advantageous rate. If you have author copies left over you want to sell, you can bring them along.
The bell rings every five minutes. I have a cute little brass bell I call Esmeralda. I ring it and you move on to the next person. You get to speak to as many people as possible. You can promote yourself to readers and swap tips with other writers. Bring your business cards / postcards / book marks to hand to other people.
Latest news from us
We tell you about what's new. At the December event in London we also announce the theme of next year's annual anthology. Delegates to the event may also share their news though this has to be prearranged with us.
Authors read for up to five minutes each, depending on how many want to read. It needn't be from work represented here.
We make a collection for a charity. Sometimes we produce a charity book. In that case, our choice of charity is obvious.
Big book swap
We ask everyone to bring along a book to swap. You get to take one home at the end of the afternoon. You can bring along one of your previous titles or just a book you have enjoyed reading. Your non-writing friends of course may bring along a book they have enjoyed.
Reviews are so important for authors that we hope everyone will review any books they take home with them.