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A letter to Indie booksellers from baker and food writer Dan Lepard

June 1, 2011

Hello,

In September my baking book Short & Sweet is published. As a baker and food writer I encourage home cooks to seek out local independents: whether that be small flour wind or water mills, specialist ingredient suppliers that stock a rarer selection than any supermarket offers, and – in turn – those maverick entrepreneurs who make shopping a personal and human experience. Like many of you, I’m also an active presence in the online world. So I would like to help you, as independent and skilled booksellers, as much as possible to promote and sell copies of my book this Autumn.

Though Short & Sweet is very easy to read and follow, with recipes that have been tested by readers of my Guardian newspaper column, and many times in my kitchen, it doesn’t shy away from explaining the more complex and arguably more interesting aspects of home baking. It’s full of advice and tips, aiming to guide the reader into making the best or appropriate choices when baking at home.

You offer the same to your customers: a guide to book buying that isn’t simply a glossy frontage but a personal experience based on experience and knowledge. That fact needs to be the first thought when any potential reader is choosing whether to go online or local when they buy their books, and I want to help get that message across.

1. First off, I’d like to invite some independent booksellers to spend a day with me baking, so you can see that we are coming from the same viewpoint. We won’t have that many places so if you are interested please email lucy.howkins@harpercollins.co.uk in the marketing department to get your name in the hat. We will most likely be baking at my home in south London.
2. Around publication I will be busy talking to the food media about the book, but I’d love to come and visit some of you. So if you have the resources put on a good event that’s right for your customers and for my baking experience, please pitch your ideas to my publicist by emailing rebecca.mcewan@harpercollins.co.uk.
3. We will be doing extensive national, regional and local press and, where possible, it would be helpful if I could mention the best independent booksellers in a particular county. So if you have a strong food and drink selection let your HarperCollins sales rep know so we can link everything up.

These plans are a starting point and I’m very open to more ideas from you, but first I just wanted to make contact ahead of publication to see how we can help you. Short & Sweet is a brilliant book that I’m very proud of and I hope it will be a favourite of yours too.

Best wishes,

Dan Lepard
Short and Sweet by Dan Lepard

29th September 2011, Hardback, £25, 452pp

978-0-00-739143-1

Website:  www.danlepard.com

Twitter: @dan_lepard

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1 Comment

  • Reply Tracey mason June 7, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    Hello Dan,

    I have a bookshop in Melrose in the Scottish Borders and would love to have you come here for a demo and a talk. Coincidently, I have a large commercial kitchen in my house and my husband loves baking bread! We could have the demo at the house. I had a gift wrapping seminar at the house, advertised at the bookshop, that did very well. Would you please get in touch? I love the idea!

    Cheers,

    Tracey Mason
    Masons of Melrose
    9 Market Sq.
    Melrose TD6 9PQ
    01896 754 393 office
    01896 822 196 shop
    01896 661 591 fax

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