News

WBN aims for international expansion

World Book Night founder Jamie Byng has said there is a "very good chance" the book donation event will take place in "dozens" of countries by 2013/14.

The Canongate m.d.'s ambition for major expansion of the event's international reach was declared at a Downing Street reception last night (6th December), alongside the news that half of the one million books to be given away in the UK in 2012 (April 23rd) will be distributed directly to prisons, hospitals and disadvantaged communities.

World Book Night is already set to take place in the US as well as the UK next year.

Byng said the aim for the UK event in 2012 was to "expand the reach and take it to a new level", with a priority to "take books to some of the hardest to reach potential readers particularly within UK prisons, libraries and hospitals, care homes and homes for the elderly".

The remaining 500,000 books will be distributed by 20,000 volunteer members of the public to donate and share as happened at the inaugural event earlier this year. The date to apply to be a donor has been extended to the end of January 2012. World Book Night will work with The Reading Agency to ensure all library authorities receive full sets of books, including prison libraries and hospital libraries, for outreach work, and the event will also link with The Reading Agency's Reading Groups for Everyone campaign, encouraging recipients and givers to set up groups.

Byng said World Book Night had already signed up over 20% of its aimed-for "World Book Night 50"—50 individual donors, each giving £5,000 to support the event—with a "tremendous response" to the fundraising initiative.

Leading figures from the literary world, the arts, and the literacy sector were present at the reception, which was hosted by Frances Osborne, author of The Bolter and wife of chancellor George Osborne.

 

 

 

Photo credit: Richard Stonehouse.
 

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Love the idea! Puts the emphasis back on getting folks reading and not on commercial gain.

However how this translates into something positive for the folks providing the books is beyond me? Why give 50% of your books to those who can easily share very little, due to the fact they are incarcerated or restricted to a care home or hospital? The ability to create a 'chattering stimulus' has surely changed?

However I must congratulate the 'out of the box' thinking as this is what historically moves mountains!

Yeah, cos those library users are really tough potential readers to reach.

Cue invasion of the Bookseller comment threads by dozens of WBN 'giver' bores, amazed at the industry's reaction to what 'can only be a good thing'. Sigh.

Last year they sent books to Ireland. This year they have excluded us from being able to give away books. This is not the type of expansion that I'd expected especially as so many people that I'd given books to last year were looking forward to it.

It's a great idea and I wish them success but I do hope Ireland won't be ostracised next year.

Can't wait for books to be given away so people don't have to come in to bookshops like mine and actually buy them!

I'll freely admit that I was fairly skeptical on the sales benefit to World Book Night's million book giveaway. But, as I think we've shown in our extensive feature on WBN sales www.thebookseller.com/feature/what-did-world-book-night-do-us.html the event has, broadly, been an effective sales tool: a 25% sales boost for WBN titles from Feb to March 2011 through BookScan; 20 of the 25 WBN titles had sales lifts comparing March 2011 and March 2010.

I could go on, but there are tonnes more tasty stats in the piece. But one I would stress is that the public library service 'gives away' about 350 million books a year in issues (given current a.s.p. of £7.21 that's a potential £2.5bn loss to booksellers), yet one doesn't measure libraries' worth to industry in terms of lost sales. The trade should take WBN for what it is - a promotion - and harness it as best it can.

Libraries do fantastic work to engage new readers. I think the give-away line here was "for outreach work".

Very bad judgement holding a reception hosted by Frances Osborne. Is she trying to make amends for what her husband is doing to library services? I don't think so and therefore, don't want to be associated with WBN.

Why was Canada not chosen? Seems rather: cart v.v.horse, isn't it? Considering that Canada is a Commonwealth country...

Love the idea! Puts the emphasis back on getting folks reading and not on commercial gain.

However how this translates into something positive for the folks providing the books is beyond me? Why give 50% of your books to those who can easily share very little, due to the fact they are incarcerated or restricted to a care home or hospital? The ability to create a 'chattering stimulus' has surely changed?

However I must congratulate the 'out of the box' thinking as this is what historically moves mountains!

Yeah, cos those library users are really tough potential readers to reach.

Libraries do fantastic work to engage new readers. I think the give-away line here was "for outreach work".

Cue invasion of the Bookseller comment threads by dozens of WBN 'giver' bores, amazed at the industry's reaction to what 'can only be a good thing'. Sigh.

Last year they sent books to Ireland. This year they have excluded us from being able to give away books. This is not the type of expansion that I'd expected especially as so many people that I'd given books to last year were looking forward to it.

It's a great idea and I wish them success but I do hope Ireland won't be ostracised next year.

Can't wait for books to be given away so people don't have to come in to bookshops like mine and actually buy them!

I'll freely admit that I was fairly skeptical on the sales benefit to World Book Night's million book giveaway. But, as I think we've shown in our extensive feature on WBN sales www.thebookseller.com/feature/what-did-world-book-night-do-us.html the event has, broadly, been an effective sales tool: a 25% sales boost for WBN titles from Feb to March 2011 through BookScan; 20 of the 25 WBN titles had sales lifts comparing March 2011 and March 2010.

I could go on, but there are tonnes more tasty stats in the piece. But one I would stress is that the public library service 'gives away' about 350 million books a year in issues (given current a.s.p. of £7.21 that's a potential £2.5bn loss to booksellers), yet one doesn't measure libraries' worth to industry in terms of lost sales. The trade should take WBN for what it is - a promotion - and harness it as best it can.

Very bad judgement holding a reception hosted by Frances Osborne. Is she trying to make amends for what her husband is doing to library services? I don't think so and therefore, don't want to be associated with WBN.

Why was Canada not chosen? Seems rather: cart v.v.horse, isn't it? Considering that Canada is a Commonwealth country...