Hello readers, my name is Tamsin Ballard and I’m a relatively recent recruit to Newgen Publishing. Despite being based a shade over 100 miles from the office, I have received an incredibly warm welcome from a close-knit team and become quite adept at video conferencing. My role as a team leader is fairly self-explanatory: I head up two teams of project managers who produce books and journals. I am also an account manager for two leading academic publishers ensuring smooth running of production on their titles and working with them to produce great content.
While writing the above the postman rang my doorbell armed with two parcels of books and I confess I abandoned my task and immediately started tearing them open. Inside, carefully wrapped in pale blue tissue paper and sealed with colourful stickers were my Christmas orders – a stocking filler for my youngest, two new crime novels for my thriller-fanatic mother-in-law and a little treat for me. I find choosing books for other people terribly hard so bookshops with knowledgeable staff and a well-curated selection are lifesavers – you can never trust those pesky Amazon reviews! And so, having buried the lede, I come to my indie bookshop recommendation: the inspiring and friendly Crediton Community Bookshop.
Located in Crediton, Devon, you don’t need to be local to make the most of their expert staff and volunteers. In addition to being members of Bookshop.org, they have a great website, are regular posters on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and will also happily provide reading recommendations by email (see below for links). In these times of Covid their innovative thinking has enabled their customers to stay topped up with good reads throughout lockdown. You can arrange a private browsing session to shop in safety, have your order delivered by bike and during November they have waived delivery fees for all postal orders (so get cracking with your Christmas shopping folks!).
Doing exactly what it says on the tin, Crediton Community Bookshop has been owned and run by community shareholders since 2013. The staff and volunteers work tirelessly to promote literature and run fantastic events such as author readings and visits to schools; story time for pre-schoolers; book fairs; writing, literacy and creative workshops and reading and discussion groups to name but a few. And remember that free shipping offer? You can choose to donate that cost to Crediton Foodbank – you don’t get that with Amazon Prime!