BookBlast® Diary celebrates and promotes international literature. Its growing community of devotees love reading and genuine good writing that is the antithesis of soundbite culture. They number book industry insiders, influencers, booksellers, book buyers, librarians, journalists, bloggers, readers, writers and educators based in the UK, France and US.
BookBlast® Diary was launched in 2015, and is an integral part of the portfolio of the book businesses of BookBlast® Limited, founded by Georgia de Chamberet and friends in 1997. The BookBlast® portfolio also includes BookBlast® Legacy Agency which manages the Literary Estates of three distinguished deceased authors, each a celebrity influencer in their own way half a century ago; BookBlast® ePublishing, the company’s digital publishing arm producing and publishing books via amazon, kobo, apple, google books; BookBlast® Podcast for writers, translators and curious readers who want a behind-the-scenes snapshot of the world of publishing, translation in particular; alongside periodic special events, tours and series. The overall mission was, and is, to foster cultural understanding by breaking or relaunching quality writing and diverse voices from around the world into the mainstream.
A Haven for Book Lovers
Think of BookBlast® Diary as a virtual book club where readers can discover new authors and explore different genres, from fiction to non-fiction, poetry, memoirs, young adult, high-quality kids’ books and more.
Christopher MacLehose, MacLehose Press — “Excellent and eloquent.”
Claire Armitstead, The Guardian — “Excellent work.”
Les Fugitives — “BookBlast Diary is great — as I’m sure many writers, readers and publishers have told you before.”
Turn the page, travel the globe: explore all things books & translation
Our topical, contextual Reviews are savoured as slow reads. Podcasts with authors, translators and publishing entrepreneurs offer authoritative insights into their work, and a passion for good writing. Spotlight features, Reading Lists and Reads From France provide an eclectic resource to inspire further reading and reflection. Encounters between authors, translators, publishers and readers are facilitated in a variety of ways.
The contributors to BookBlast Diary include: Sharif Gemie, retired lecturer in Modern & Contemporary History, whose book, The Hippie Trail: A History, co-authored with Brian Ireland, is published by Manchester University Press; Andrew McDougall who translates from Portuguese and Spanish; C. J. Schüler, journalist and cultural historian specialising in European fiction in translation, travel and the arts; Henrietta Foster, freelance producer/director at BBC TV; Philip Marsden (award-winning author of a number of works of travel, fiction and non-fiction); Philip Mansel, author and historian; Lucy Popescu, writer, editor and arts critic with a background in human rights; and Georgia de Chamberet, editor, writer, translator and founder of BookBlast Ltd, with thirty years of experience in independent publishing and literary translation. Journalism from the BookBlast® archive is also included, notably features originally written for words without borders, 3:AM magazine, and the traditional press.
BookBlast® Events — Highlights
The BookBlast® Celebrates Independent Publishing campaign was launched in 2016 to promote and celebrate independent publishers and their authors. Independent trade publishers play a crucial role in promoting a plurality of voices and perspectives, and in fostering a vibrant literary culture. Our aim is to also connect them and their authors with readers and help them reach a wider audience.
In 2020, our response to enforced confinement due to the Covid-19 pandemic was to create and release a special podcast series, Bridging The Divide: Translation & The Art of Empathy, championing independent publishers alongside their authors and translators.
Find out more about the authors & translators showcased in the podcast series.
Catherine Fuller, Projects Manager, Society of Authors — “It was good to discover indie publishers I did not know about thanks to the 10×10 Tour.”
Eric Lane, Dedalus Books — “We recommend BookBlast for their commitment and energy.”
Kevin Duffy, Bluemoose Books — “The tour increased our profile due to good PR.”
Ra Page, Comma Press — “The enthusiasm and social media posting were good. BB’s dedication to supporting and platforming indies and bringing us all together nationally in this way was a good idea.”
Susan Curtis, Istros Books — “It was great to be part of an international campaign and some useful new contacts were made.”
Meike Ziervogel, Peirene Press — “Well done! The podcasts give longevity to the talks and the tour as a whole.”
Sam Jordison, Galley Beggar Press — “The tour got our authors into a shop we’ve never been able to do an event in. It got our books in the window of the shop. There was some great publicity beforehand (being on the local BBC was excellent for us.) The event itself went really well, was enjoyable for our authors and brought a big crowd to our books.”
Rosemarie Hudson, HopeRoad — “The tour added value by way of PR and visibility, it is good someone is out there giving indie publishers a helping hand.”
Elizabeth Briggs, Saqi Books — “It was wonderful to connect with other indie publishers and local audiences, something which we are rarely able to do ourselves, and we increased online visibility.”
Roh-Suan Tung, Balestier Press — “I found the campaign inspirational and great value. BookBlast has a passionate team, and has done excellent help for independent publishing.”
Michael Schmidt, Carcanet Press — “The tour fostered a real sense of community and involvement between independent publishing and the public. We had increased sales: event stock and further online sales in response to the marketing.”
Steven Cooper, Head of Events, Waterstones HQ — “The 10×10 Tour brought authors into our shops who would never normally have visited and, as such, brought new customers into our shops. It helped us to build relationships with indie publishers and hopefully showed them that Waterstones is open to collaboration. Georgia’s vision and enthusiasm drove this project, both in terms of its conception and placing, and also in promotion and selling tickets.”
In December 2018, The Bookseller news team announced a new prize category, “Small Press of the Year” in the British Book Awards 2019 (aka The Nibbies). The shortlist announced by Natasha Onwuemezi on 22 February 2019 included 6 of the 10 publishers on the inaugural 10×10 Tour.
Some of the books featured in the BookBlast® 10×10 Tour went on to be longlisted for the 2019 EBRD International literary prize (No. 3 Shatila Stories translated by Nashwa Gowanlock, Peirene Press) and the Republic of Consciousness Prize for Small Presses 2019 (Lucia by Alex Pheby, Galley Beggar Press; and Doppelgänger by Daša Drndić, translated by Celia Hawkesworth & S. D. Curtis, Istros Books).
Using crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter to support cultural promoters and small presses is an essential remit in today’s funding mix. We successfully raised funds to support the travel costs of the authors and translators on the 10×10 tour participating in talks in London and across England; and towards the recording and creation of associated podcasts.
BookBlast® is a registered trademark class 35 and 41 UK0002504188 & US3,714,430
BookBlast® Limited, a limited company registered under number 03314906, is in no way associated with or endorsing the practices of any other companies attempting to pass off as being affiliated with us. Any claims of association made by such entities are false and misleading. We strongly disassociate ourselves from their actions and emphasize that they are operating independently and without our consent or authorization.
© 2015. The copyright to all the content of this site is held either by BookBlast® Ltd and/or the individual authors and creators. Q&A format(s) copyright © BookBlast® Brief quotations and links may be used provided that the use is fair dealing, and full and clear credit is given to BookBlast® Ltd and www.bookblast.com/blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original author and creator. Any enquiries, contact us via twitter DM @bookblast or email bookblastdiary [at] gmail [dot] com Original post of 14 February 2015 updated April 2016; August 2017; May 2019; October 2023.