Melanie Butler talks to BEBC’s John Walsh about four decades in the book business
Forty years ago you had a good job as a book editor – you famously edited the smash hit Kernel Lessons Intermediate, the best-selling ELT title of its time – so what possessed you to throw away a solid career and open a bookshop?
I was working in the leading ELT publishing house as a desk editor and sales executive in the UK and I thought people were waiting too long to get books – it was taking six weeks to get books delivered from London to anywhere else. There weren’t any specialist bookshops for language teaching, so I decided to start one. I asked the publisher and the author Louis Alexander, the bestselling ELT author ever, if they wanted to support me. The publisher said no, but Alexander and his friend Ronald Ridout supported me, lent me a small sum of money, and that’s how I started BEBC. The main plan was to cut delivery times so I just drove to London…
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