Although it has been on our minds since March (if not earlier) these last two weeks before Leeds IMC always come with a great rush of activity and excited anticipation. There’s a lot to do but there’s no denying it, the IMC is exciting and great fun. There, I’ve said it: the biggest medieval studies conference in the world is four days (five including set-up) of great fun. (I expect that with this admission I will now see the time deducted from my annual leave entitlement.)
Impressions: the utter joy of finding my city hotel through the labyrinthine road network; the glorious hall in the Parkinson Building (love that floor); the patient looks of customers as we wave around the credit card machine, divining for a network signal; arriving early enough each morning to grab a coffee and pastry from over the road and get settled before the book fair opens again; the sudden surge on Monday evening as wine starts flowing (hence the coasters); and seeing so many faces, friendly and familiar though we meet just once a year.
This year, of course, is a little bit different, possibly even more fun: it’s Boydell & Brewer’s 50th anniversary. We’re celebrating throughout the year, in our modest, low-key, cost-effective way and I hope that many readers have picked up on it, following Boydell in 50 Pictures on Instagram or our Boydell in 50 Books offer on Facebook.
But what about Leeds? We have lots of things to bring: last year’s very popular coasters have been given a colourful make-over (they double has bookmarks too, by the way, just make sure they’re dry first); our stand will be bedecked in lovely anniversary bunting (mustn’t forget to bring something to pin it up with); our special giveaway will be Dr Richard Barber’s delightful Boydell’s Medieval Alphabet booklet which some of you may have seen at Kalamazoo; and we will bring our brand new, limited edition travel mugs, which will be free to anyone spending over (or very, very close to) £100.
And most importantly, we’ll have over 200 books there: all recently published or new in paperback alongside some established classics. The discount on display copies is 40%! Be sure to visit us as early as you can though. Titles can sell erratically: a number of copies might sit untouched for days and then all disappear within a lunchbreak. Sometimes it seems inexplicable but medieval studies can work in mysterious ways….
We’ll be posting lots about the IMC now and while it’s on, showing some of the books we’re taking, and some of the goodies, and asking lots of questions to learn what you think about it, what you’ll be doing and what your recommendations are. Do please let us know. (My favourite Indian restaurant has closed and I need an alternative. Really.)
Authors, editors, contributors, readers, please come and say hello, we’re always delighted to meet you. Although we’ll only have a small team manning the stand, we are happy to talk about marketing with our authors and editors and to discuss the list and any requirements with journal and review editors. If you would like to book a very short, informal meeting please email [email protected].
And with that I must banish all thoughts of Leeds and return to working through the latest to-do list. But it won’t be long now. We all hope to see you there!