This year, Shell celebrates the 10th anniversary of its staff African Network. As part of the celebrations, Tamarind and various African and Caribbean exhibitors were invited to sell at the Shell African Network Expo yesterday. After spending two hours in security (!) we set up a stand with lead titles and discounted overstocks for sale. Staff on their way to the cafeteria or the company gym stopped to admire the stalls and buy art, fashion, furnishings and of course, books. The network’s chair led by example, buying over £30 worth of books for her children. Over the lunch period we sold 112 books, including 15 copies of the Barack Obama biography.
Tamarind catalogues will also go into goody bags for another network event tonight, where the star of one of our biographies, Attorney General Baroness Scotland, will be speaking.
Our most prolific author this year, Malaika Rose Stanley, launched her latest book, Miss Bubble’s Troubles, yesterday at Brecknock Primary School. Around 100 students from Years 1 – 4 attended the very special occasion. Malaika read an extract from Miss Bubble’s Troubles and then asked students to help her perform the “Brecknock Rap”: an original rap about Brecknock school and students, which Malaika composed herself. At the end of the launch, students helped Malaika officially ‘launch’ the book by counting down from ten to blast off! The launch was also attend by journalists from the Camden Gazette, Ham & High and Islington Gazette.
In advance of publication of her new book Boys Don’t Cry, Malorie Blackman stopped by our office. She reminded us why she writes best-selling titles starring black protagonists.
Click to find out more about Boys Don’t Cry.
Karin Littlewood, Ken Howard and Malaika Rose Stanley joined many other authors and illustrators on the billingof this year’s StarLit Festival. The festival celebrates Children’s Book Week by bringing the best book workshops to schools in the Shoreditch and Hackney area every day for a week.
Best of all, after fun and games with an author or artist…
The children got to chose a book…
And have it signed!
You can only imagine our excitement when Vanessa Feltz’s production team called us on Wednesday. They wanted to hear Tamarind’s perspective on Black History Month on Friday’s show. Although a newcomer to radio, Patsy ‘the Commissioner’ Isles stepped up to be interviewed for the benefit of BBC Radio London listeners. In the absence of a poorly Vanessa, another DJ chatted live with Patsy on Friday 8th. You can hear the broadcast on BBC iPlayer until midday on Friday 15th. Patsy is on two hours into the broadcast.
This time of year is always like a military operation at Tamarind. The editorial staff become booksellers on the road, couriering a mobile shop to education and cultural events, and meeting readers old and new. Boxes of books, hundreds of plastic bags, posters, rubber bands, table cloths and paraphernalia clutter up the office.
Every day for a week we’ve been either preparing for an event, or at an event. The first weekend of October loomed large and busy too: two days at the Times Educational Supplement show in Kensington Olympia, meeting educators, local government staff, nursery owners and trainee teachers. We discounted our overstock titles to £1 each especially for the show, a perfect offer in a time of budget cuts, and gave a poster to each buyer to bring positive images of black children to their homes and classrooms.
In 2 days, with 4 staff, in 5 square metres of space, we sold 1,054 books!
It’s Black History Month!
At this time of year, businesses, cultural organisations and schools celebrate the history and culture of Africa and the Caribbean. To help get your celebrations underway, we’re giving away a book every weekday on Twitter and Facebook. Follow Tamarind Books to enter daily competitions and win!