A form has arrived through the post, inviting us to nominate ourselves for the Bookseller Retails Awards 2006. Obviously, we would love to be named Bertram Books Independent Bookseller of the Year, though I would settle for the Random House Group Award for Oustanding Contribution to Bookselling ("an individual who has made a significant contribution to advancing not only their own business but the sector as a whole, not just in a single year but over a period of time... a dynamic, positive force in the business of selling books, setting the pace, driving standards and expanding the market" - yup, that's me, though not sure what they mean by "driving standards" - I am actually a very bad driver). Though perhaps we should be angling for Direct to Consumer Bookselling Company of the Year for our internet presence - "innovation, excellence, customer relationship building and high service standards" - OK we've only had our online shop for a week or two, but surely that describes the blog almost precisely? I mean, we did change the font for you, and stopped moaning, and everything. Then there is The Bookseller Manager of the Year - "recognising the huge contribution of store managers... from recruiting, training and motivating... to delivering outstanding levels of customer service, developing local initiatives and staging author events." And store managers can nominate themselves! BTTS - are you thinking what I'm thinking?
Still I think I'm going to have to dampen down my enthusiasm for this game. Even if we do nominate ourselves and WIN WIN WIN, we won't actually be able to make it to the ceremony. A table for ten costs £1399 plus VAT - we'd bankrupt the shop, plus we'd have to invite seven mates, which I'm not sure we can rustle up between us.
2007 it is, then.