The Booksellers Association of the United Kingdom & Ireland Limited

BA Advisory Council

 
The BA's membership is represented by an Advisory Council of booksellers, who discuss and advise the BA Board on policy issues that affect all BA members. It meets at least three times a year and aims to reflect the demographic balance of the membership. Council Members usually serve no more than two three-year terms. The BA Officers also sit on the BA Board.
The Council representatives are listed below and are happy to hear from any BA members. If you want a particular issue brought to the notice of a Council meeting, do email Meryl Halls meryl.halls@booksellers.org.uk, Managing Director of the Booksellers Association, who would be happy to hear from you.

 

 

The BA Officers

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PRESIDENT
Andy Rossiter
ROSSITER BOOKS
Along with my wife, Victoria, I opened branches of Rossiter Books in Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire in 2010, in Monmouth, Monmouthshire in 2011 and in Leominster, Herefordshire in 2018. I am a member of both the BA Council and the BA’s Independent Booksellers Forum.

Before starting as an independent, I was a chain bookseller and manager for 24 years: I’ve managed Waterstones and Ottakar’s stores, including Plymouth, Portsmouth, Manchester Deansgate and Cardiff. 
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VICE PRESIDENT
Hazel Broadfoot
VILLAGE BOOKS
Hazel has owned Village Books in Dulwich since 1996, it was founded in 1925 and the team are now looking forward to celebrating its 100th birthday!  Hazel previously worked at Waterstones in its infancy, running several branches and latterly sitting on its Board. 

Hazel loves that she can earn a living by talking about books all day long and gets a kick every time she connects a reader with a book.  She values the collegiate nature of bookselling, saying that “booksellers are so generous with their ideas and support”.
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VICE PRESIDENT
Fleur Sinclair
SEVENOAKS BOOKSHOP
I bought Sevenoaks Bookshop (est. 1948) since November 2015, purchasing the shop after working there part time and running the bookshop writers’ group.

Before bookselling, I trained in photography and worked in the fashion industry as a photographers’ agent.

 

The members of the BA Council

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Adam Hewson
HEWSON BOOKS
Adam is a lifelong bookseller, in the 1980s managing an independent in Bath, in the 1990s with Waterstones, first in the shops, then at Head Office, in the 2000s managing shops across Books etc., part of Borders, until they closed down in 2010. 

Adam is Head of Book Buying at the RHS and in 2016 set up Hewson Books (in Kew and Sheen).

Adam loves to share his bookselling knowledge and skills and was involved in training managers at Waterstones and Books etc. He currently focuses on non-book sales, window displays and by supporting BIC and challenging the supply chain.


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Alison Manning
The Wallingford Bookshop
Ali bought The Wallingford Bookshop in 2008, taking over from 2 previous careful lady owners. Prior to this she was a medieval historian and worked for many years at Warwick Castle, so dressing up in funny costumes for World Book Day holds no fear.  
The idea that you can be surrounded by books and talk about books all day for a living is her dream, especially if they involve a good murder. There are always challenges, but there is never a dull day in bookselling and fellow booksellers are always there to help and guide in the friendliest way.



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Dan Johns
PADSTOW BOOKSELLER
Dan has been around bookselling his whole life, as part of Mabecron Books, a family business incorporating three shops, Falmouth Bookseller, St Ives Bookseller and Padstow Bookseller, which Dan manages.

As well as the shops Dan works on the growing publishing company, Mabecron Books, contributing on design, technical assistance or simply lifting books around.  Dan previously ran the University Bookseller in Plymouth and was Chair of the BA Academic Group.

Dan believes that bookshops and booksellers are the most important source of creativity, enjoyment, knowledge and community on the High Street.


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Emma Corfield-Walters
BOOK-ISH
Emma has owned Book-ish in the market town of Crickhowell, Mid Wales for nine years. Previously the owner of a Building Surveying company in Brighton, which she sold in 2010 to pursue her childhood dream of opening a bookshop. Emma is passionate about High Street rejuvenation, bookshops as community spaces and she is the co-director of Crickhowell Literary festival.
 


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Gill Edwards
The Little Ripon Bookshop
Gill opened The Little Ripon Bookshop in 2009 and expanded to double its size in 2018, having started in bookselling at Books for Students in Warwick and then moved to the buying teams at WHSmith where she completed an MBA in Retailing and Wholesaling. After a career break she moved to Yorkshire and decided to open an independent bookshop with her husband.   “Bookshops add colour and culture to the high street and bring joy to so many people.”
 


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Jessica Paul
Max Minerva’s, Bristol
Jessica set up Max Minerva's with husband Sam Taylor in 2019, to bring back the beloved neighbourhood bookshop to a community that had lost its longstanding successor a few years prior. 

Jessica's background is in Digital Advertising and Marketing.
 


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John Keane
EASONS
John is the General Manager of the Eason flagship store in Dublin and Chair of Bookselling Ireland. He sits on the BA Council in order to represent the Irish trade in general.

John joined the book industry in the last three years and he loves the determination, drive and passion from booksellers, publishers and authors alike. 


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Kate McHale
Waterstones
Kate McHale is the Campaign Manager at Waterstones.  She has been at Waterstones for 12 years, starting in 2008 as a bookseller in London and then joining the Books Team in 2011, where she has looked after a variety of genres and worked on some of the most exciting projects and book campaigns during that time. One of the highlights of her year is always reading for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize.
 


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Kieron Smith
BLACKWELL
I’ve been in the trade for over twenty years with one brief stint outside working as Head of Online for video games retailer GAME. I’ve worked for WHSmith Retail, Ottakar’s, Book Club Associates, Methven’s, Waterstones, BookRabbit, MD of The Book Depository and now as Digital Director at Blackwell’s. I’m going for the full book industry experience.

Bookselling for me is a craft: it may sound clichéd but I believe we have a huge and valuable purpose in providing social spaces, in defending free speech and in connecting people with all of human knowledge (and the latest blockbuster).


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Lucy Swinburn
Head of Books, WHSmith
Lucy joined WHSmith in 2005 and has a wealth of experience working across many categories, spending much of her career at the retailer sourcing and developing their Own Brand Stationery ranges. In 2015 Lucy assumed responsibility for the Children’s Books category and in 2019 became Head of Books: heading up the Buying team and setting the strategy behind WHSmith’s successful Books proposition covering: the ever popular Richard and Judy Bookclub, Adult Fiction, Adult Non Fiction, Children’s Books, special buys and Education. As a mother to two young children, Lucy’s passion firmly sits within Children’s literacy: she lives and breathes the impact of reading with and encouraging children to enter the exciting world of books. One of the highlights of this year has been driving literacy awareness to the nation through a campaign in partnership with Marcus Rashford, PanMacmillan and the National Literacy Trust.
 


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Lynne O’Neill
John Smith & Son
Lynne joined John Smith & Son as an academic bookseller in the Glasgow flagship store and has worked in the Higher Education Sector ever since, managing Glasgow University Bookshop for 15 years.  Lynne is currently Book Product manager for JS Group and also responsible for supplier relations.  She has served on the Advisory Council once before and is also past Chair of the Academic Booksellers Group.

“There are very few occupations where you are paid for doing something you love, sharing that knowledge and developing such deep links with your customers.  It’s still a joy to see someone’s reaction when you are introduced as “a bookseller”.

Bookselling and booksellers make a unique contribution to our society and specifically in supporting a thriving High Street - it’s a great honour to represent them.”
 


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Mairi Oliver
Lighthouse – Edinburgh’s Radical Bookshop
Mairi runs Lighthouse: Edinburgh's Radical Bookshop, which won Scottish Bookshop of the Year 2019 at the Nibbies. She has been in the book trade over a decade; having worked as a bookseller at Constant Reader in Sydney and Topping & Company Booksellers in St Andrews, she opened Lighthouse as a queer, feminist,
anti-racist community bookshop in 2017. Lighthouse, which is a reincarnation of the radical Word Power Bookshop that first opened in 1994, continues to host and organise Edinburgh's annual Book Fringe and Radical Book Fair.


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Maria Dickenson
DUBRAY BOOKS
I’m Managing Director at Dubray in Ireland, a family-owned chain of eight stores.

I love the collegiate nature of the book trade, the shared passions and the fact that thanks to our ever changing product we are always learning and our work is never, EVER dull.


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Marie Moser
The Edinburgh Bookshop

Marie took over The Edinburgh Bookshop in 2012, after a 20-year career in retail marketing.  The shop was crowned UK Children’s Bookseller of the Year in 2014 and has won the Scottish Bookshop of the year three times.  
Like many independent bookshops, The Edinburgh Bookshop is a local cultural and community hub, offering an environment where everyone is welcome.  We are particularly passionate about Children's Bookselling and the importance of reading for pleasure.




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Richard Drake
Drake the Bookshop
Richard Drake is a maths and PE teacher turned bookshop owner and has been running DRAKE -The Bookshop in Stockton since September 2015 alongside his partner Melanie and their son, Matthew. 

Starting out in a space just 12 metres square, the bookshop is a driving force on all things Indie in Stockton, with a special focus on engaging with the community and schools in some of the most deprived parts of the country. 
 


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Sheryl Shurville
Chorleywood Bookshop
My first career was in nursing and midwifery which I did for over 20 years and my qualification for joining the Chorleywood Bookshop was my love of reading and books.  Chorleywood Bookshop will be 50 years old in 2023, and it has been a joy to be part of it for the last 19 years.
In 2010 we bought the Gerrards Cross Bookshop, both businesses continue to go from strength to strength and are at the heart of their communities.  I founded the Chorleywood Literary Festival in 2006 and we now run events all year round which continue to be very popular.  We work closely with schools encouraging reading and literacy with our extensive schools programme. I am very proud of our charity work particularly our Gift a Book Scheme.
I am so lucky, I love what I do and the people I meet.
 


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Yahya Thadha
Plodit
Yahya has been in the book industry for over ten years, having grown his small family run business from a small bookshop to a wholesaler and publisher; he is also an author.

Currently the business specialises in books box gift sets with a focus online and stocks the largest range of slipcase boxset collection in the UK.  With experience of running an online book club Yahya has established himself with online  brands on www.thebookbundle.com.

Yahya has volunteered on various community and charity boards and in 2000, along with the community organisation that he helped to set up, received the Queen’s Jubilee award for outstanding community contribution and self-sustainability.
 


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Nigel Wyman
Co-opted by the BA Council
GARDNERS
I have been a member of the BA Council for nearly four years and in that time I am have been amazed at how much work the Council puts into supporting the wider book community.   This varied and historic industry we work in keeps me hooked and intrigued. Bookselling is in a good place right now and that is down to the hard work all within this industry put in. 

This has resonated recently with the economic reports showing how much income bookselling brings to the UK and Ireland!  I am proud to be part of this great community.