Plans revealed for WBN 2012, Kingsford to head

World Book Night organisers have unveiled future plans for the event, which is scheduled to take place on 23rd April 2012. Foyles marketing manager Julia Kingsford has been appointed WBN chief executive.

A board has also been set up, with artistic director of London's Southbank Centre Jude Kelly to chair, and other members including Little, Brown c.e.o. Ursula MacKenzie, poet Lemn Sissay and BBC presenter James Naughtie.

WBN founder Canongate m.d. Jamie Byng confirmed that WBN will be annual from now on. Kelly added the change of date from March was partly "a way of distinguishing between World Book Night and World Book Day, because each of those has its own story".

Byng told delegates at the European Booksellers Federation yesterday (10th April) at its annual conference that early plans for next year's event include a competition to be launched on 25th June, National Reading Group Day, with entrants to suggest 10 books they would most like to give away during WBN 2012. At the end of August, the 100 most popular choices will be revealed.

The 25 WBN titles will be announced at this year's Frankfurt Book Fair—including one by this year's Nobel Prize in Literature winner. Byng added that on 22nd April 2012, a WBN collection of 25 of Shakespeare's sonnets will be published, including short personal introductions from "notable" people; around 10m will be printed and sent to households under the proviso they are passed onto someone else. A £9.99 hardback edition will also be available for sale in bookshops.

Finally to coincide with World Book Day, organisers plan to produce four to six £2.99 WBN editions of out-of-copyright titles which appeal to both adults and children, such as Treasure Island, Great Expectations and Alice in Wonderland.

Byng added: "One of the aspects of WBN 2012 will be spreading it beyond these shores" and that although no concrete partnerships had yet been formed, organisers were working to make WBN a global event with publishing industry figures from Canada and Italy already expressing an interest, and more conversations set to take place at LBF.

On Kingsford's appointment, Byng said: "We are delighted to have Julia Kingsford joining World Book Night in this crucial position and at this exciting stage in its development. She has great experience, diverse skills, enormous energy and an infectious passion for books and reading. There is no one I would rather have in this role and we all feel even more confident about where we can take World Book Night as a result.”

Kingsford added: "I was extremely proud to be involved in WBN from the start. 2011 was an extraordinary event and I am absolutely thrilled at the opportunity to be able to shape and develop for 2012 and beyond. It's a passion for reading and books that lies at the heart of the industry and being able to spread that through WBN is very exciting.”

Miriam Robinson will take on the role of Foyles marketing manager immediately after Kingsford¹s departure on 21st April, with Foyles chief executive Sam Husain saying: "The management team and I are sorry to lose someone of Julia's capability but wish her success in her new position. I would also like to add my personal thanks to Julia for her commitment, dedication and contribution to marketing and the development of Foyles over the years".

WBn can be contacted at: 2012@worldbooknight.org.
 

LBF Daily: Day 1