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The amazing story of The Big Green Bookshop in Wood Green

Tim West and Simon Key opened the Big Green Bookshop in March 2008, after the Waterstone’s where they worked in Wood Green closed, leaving the area with no dedicated bookshop. After much joy and much frustration and a huge amount of help and support from the local community the shop opened its doors to fanfares and cheers and a cake or two.

With over 50 years of book selling experience between them they’re trying to run the kind of bookshop that they’d like to visit themselves, a bookshop with a thoughtful range of titles, friendly knowledgeable staff and some cracking gems that surprise and excite its customers.

The book will be about how we set the shop up and, against all odds, how it’s managed to keep going. It’ll be an unreliable diary, in which I’ll use a mixture of posts from our blog and advice on how to run a small business.

There’ll be sections about using social media, building a community, and also advice about growing your business. The book won’t just focus on the successes either and I’ll talk about all the cock-ups we’ve made too.

There’ll be stories of the authors and celebrities who’ve visited the shop and where we can, we’ll ask them to say what they think about the shop themselves.

There’ll be book reviews, each one relating to something that’s happened to the shop.

Our hope is that with your help we can publish the book to mark the 10 year of the anniversary of the shop next year.

The Customer is Always the Hero

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

We have been asked a number of questions about the plan for our book “Open a Bookshop, What Could Possibly go Wrong” and we thought we’d use this forum to answer one of them.

Question: Will you be telling funny stories about your customers?

Answer: No.

Longer answer: Really, really no. Our customers made this shop, quite literally. They make the effort to come to us, when there are other…

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