The author Holly Bourne has come up with a neat way for authors to support indie bookshops this Christmas, in a year when those shops have been forced to shut for months on end and even more business than usual has been going to the online giants. Holly is encouraging authors and illustrators to supply free, signed bookplates to any customers who purchase one of their books from an independent bookshop. If you check the #SignForOurBookshops hashtag on Twitter you'll find a lot of big names have already pledged their support, so if you're planning to give books as presents, or just buy a big old stack of them for yourself, this is a nice way to personalise them.
Naturally Sarah McIntyre and I wanted to get involved, so Sarah has designed 100 exclusive Reeve&McIntyre bookplates. They feature Kevin, the roly-poly hero of The Legend of Kevin, Kevin's Great Escape and Kevin and the Biscuit Bandit, but all our characters share the same universe so they'll look just fine in any of our earlier books too. If you'd like one, and you're in the UK, all you have to do is send me a message in the comments below or as a Direct Message on Twitter - which might be best, as I'll need your postal address (I'll open my Twitter DMs for the duration so we won't need to follow each other). Send me proof that you've purchased one of our books from an independent bookshop (or a UK high street chain like Waterstone's, Blackwells, or Daunts - anywhere but the big A, basically) and I'll send you a bookplate. It may take a while, as I only really go near a post box about once a week at the moment, and I'll be using second class stamps - so get in early if you want to be sure of bookplates by Christmas!
I also have 100 blank bookplates which I'll happily sign, dedicate, and scribble small doodles on for anyone who wants to stick them in a copy of Mortal Engines, Railhead, or another of my solo books: all the same rules apply.
If, like me, you live a fair way from your nearest bookshop, or it isn't able to supply books during the present emergency, there's a new way to support them online via bookshop.org Most of my local bookshops have a page on there, and if you buy a book through their page a cut of the profits goes to them - it's probably not as good as shopping with them in person, but it's definitely better than nothing. (I've also set up my own page there, which is a useful thing to link to while I wait for my new website to be built, but you'll probably want to support your own favourite bookshop.)
So: 100 Reeve & McIntyre bookplates, 100 blanks, Twitter DM or leave a message below. First come, first served, and sadly I'll have to restrict it to the UK.