There are definite rumblings beneath the surface of the publishing world that the industry should spread from its London roots. Not everyone who wants to work in publishing want to move to the big city for their careers, and so the calls for gatherings and events outside of the capital are gathering in number.
So, with a fit of zealous energy, I decided to take up one such call and start the Book Bash in Bath.
Beginning with the wonderful Sam Missingham, Events and Engagement guru from HarperCollins, as the Borough Book Bash, the event was planned to connect those who work in the industry in an informal and fun environment. I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the event when I was in London over the summer and found it an interesting (and slightly terrifying) experience. I knew – coming away from that night – that I wanted to try my best to set up a similar arrangement in the Bath and Bristol area.
I’m not going to lie: it has been quite a stressful experience. The last time I had to gather a large group of people together, it was my wedding… and those people had to show up. This was a whole different kettle o’ fish. Rounding up the publishing masses when no one knows who you are is quite daunting, but I did my best. I’ve learned from it and y’all better watch out for the next round!
The night itself went better than I could’ve hoped for, really. There were some cancellations – as always happens – but the turnout was fantastic, and everyone said they had a great time and how pleased they were that the event had been set up in the first place.
What was really great was the mix of people who came. Yes, I admit, there were a lot of students there as that’s my main base of contact, but there were people involved in the industry across multiple disciplines there and it was so great that they felt they got something out of the evening too. Writers, publicists, designers, editors – they all came to talk with like-minded people and develop connections and support.
I’m exhausted but absolutely thrilled. I was buzzing once I got home and haven’t stopped, despite the need for copious amounts of coffee and the bright light of my phone constantly flashing from all the notifications I’m getting today!
There were plenty of requests for the Bath Bash to continue in the future, and so it must. In the run up, with the anxiety that comes with putting anything like this on becoming difficult, I was thinking we would only have a single event, that I couldn’t possibly do it again. Well, I changed that thought last night and it will be happening again. There might be some changes, but the point is the same: to bring us all together to celebrate our industry and help support and encourage each other to achieve more and better.