About BookBlast® Diary

BookBlast® Limited was founded by Georgia de Chamberet and friends, in 1997, with the aim of breaking translation and new writing from the margins into the mainstream by any means necessary.

Since 2015, we have showcased independent trade publishing and world writing in translation with a focus on France via The BookBlast® Diary, along with a selection of key writing and ideas created by the distinguished writers and artists, Lesley Blanch, George Elton Mayo and Gael Elton Mayo, whose literary estates BookBlast® manages. 

Christopher MacLehose, MacLehose Press — “Excellent and eloquent.”

Claire Armitstead, The Guardian — “Excellent work.”

Les Fugitives — “The BookBlast Diary is great — as I’m sure many writers, readers and publishers have told you before.”

The first BookBlast® 10×10 Tour showcased independent trade publishing around the regions, in association with the national bookshop chain, Waterstones, in 2018.

Our response to enforced confinement due to the Covid-19 pandemic, in 2020, was to create and release a special 15-part podcast series, Bridging The Divide: Translation & The Art of Empathy, championing independent publishers along with their authors and translators.

Contributors include Andrew McDougall who translates from Portuguese and Spanish; 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;  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.

Original content includes exclusive in-depth interviews and podcasts with a wide range of authors, poets, translators, publishers and entrepreneurs at the heart of the independent publishing community. Our reviews that give context can be savoured as slow reads. Spotlight features focus on the book-industry and translation; articles about awards and award winners; Top 10 reads for independent minds and Top 5 reads for Francophones, are an inspiration resource for anyone with a keen interest in world writing and ideas.

We are not influenced by fame or hype, but are curious, enthusiastic and scrupulous about making choices. Our audience of book industry insiders, influencers, booksellers, librarians, journalists, bloggers, writers, book lovers and book buyers is based in the UK, US and France.

We also include evocative journalism and extracts from books reissued by the digital-only imprint BookBlast® ePublishing which focuses on fiction and non fiction by trailblazing women writers of the 1950s. Lesley Blanch and Gael Elton Mayo paved the way for others: living proof that when a woman believes she can do anything, has an unshakeable sense of self, and keeps playing until she gets it right, she can carve out a  meaningful place in the world.

BookBlast® Celebrates Independent Publishing

Building on the success of The BookBlast® Diary online journal, a carnival of authors, poets, translators and publishers travelled to major cities across the nine regions of England in Autumn 2018, showcasing some of the finest independent-spirited literature and poetry being published today.The inaugural BookBlast® 10×10 Tour in association with Waterstones was a surprise success.

The 10×10 Tour featured books which went on to be longlisted for the 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).

On 14 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 includes 6 of the 10 publishers on the inaugural 10×10 Tour.

The BookBlast® 10×10 Tour — Testimonials

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.”

BookBlast® Ltd | Est. 1997

The BookBlast® Diary is part of our current portfolio of literary businesses which includes French-English translation and editing services for publishers, authors and translators; and managing the literary estates of distinguished writers. The income from this contributes towards the running costs of The BookBlast® Diary and Podcast.

BookBlast® is a registered trademark.

© 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.

The lead image of the cafe at MERCI 111 boulevard Beaumarchais 75003 Paris and of Balzac’s desk at his home in Passy are copyright material and may only be used for associated reports about this post. It is not permitted to change them, to add to them, reproduce or modify them in any other way. In case of violation, we reserve the right to withdraw the right of use.

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