News

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

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I can only assume that the rampant cover price inflation on back list p/b's is being engineered to give publishers a fighting fund to finance WBN.

I was a WBN giver this year and have just one small critisim. As i had to rely on someone else for transport i had given away half of my books before i received the email with the identifying numbers. Otherwise it was a very rewarding and fun experience and people were very grateful to receive their free books.

I was a WBN book donor this year and would love to do it again . It would be nice next year to receive some posters and leaflets along with the books as it would help setting up in a more professional and informative way. Apart from that I truly enjoyed the experiece, thank you.

I was a book giver this year and arranged a huge event at 'the Shed' Creative studios in Gateshead to give away all 25 titles, all the books didn't arrive on time but we had an amazing event and gave away all the books we had (800 copies). I'd love to be involved again next year and I'm glad to see WBN are giving them self a bit more time to prepare for the next one.

I too was a giver and handed out my books with no problems at all.
I agree with some of the contents spoken by other contributors. It does need it's profile raising and some posters or leaflets would be really helpful.

I loved handing out my copies of Agent Zigzag and hope that I can be a giver next year!

Stuart - Bristol, UK

As a bookseller who by nature is a joiner-inner(!) I found WBN to be a "parson's egg" experience, ie. good in parts. I submitted my official form commenting on the event and the point I made there was that the majority of givers who collected their books from my shop were almost without exception white and middle class; and they were almost all going off to hand out their books in their local area which is predominantly white and middle class. I thought this was a missed opportunity and I also thought that the majority of people who would be receiving these books would either have already read them or not need to be given books but would be perfectly able to buy said books themselves. We also have four boxes of uncollected titles which we now have to dispose of in a principled way to try and remain in the spirit of WBN. This is a pain. I really liked Nicola Morgan's suggestion for WBN which was the Spanish model which encouraged people to go and buy one title from their bookshop and give it to somebody. This model ensures that every published author gets to potentially participate, every bookshop gets rewarded and every publisher too. And it really is not too much, in my opinion, to ask people to put their hand in their pocket to the tune of the cost of an average paperback. I also worry that handing out free books devalues them yet again.

My WBN event was a great success; a supper which raised money for local charity, combined with a copy of the book for each household attending. My chosen book was "Dissolution", as I had read others in the series and knew them to be terrific. Everyone I have since spoken to has said how much they enjoyed it and many said it was a book they would not normally have looked to purchase and have bought others in the series. Hopefully I'll get to be a giver again in 2012.

As always no consultation with booksellers to see how we feel about one million books being given away and so reducing our sales. We are struggling enough already .This initiative was supposed to raise the profile of books yet book sales for March are at their lowest for years!

Independent Bookseller. I was a giver this year and hope to do the same next year. However, I had never read Northern Lights - one of the books on the list - so went out and bought it (and The Subtle Knife and the Amber Spyglass). I also know one of my recipients enjoyed the book I gave her so much she has determined to read all the other books on the list and has already bought one of the titles. It may take a while to filter through but encouraging people to read can only benefit you.

stop being so miserable, this is a great way of raising the profile of printed books. We now have a full 12 months to plan/scheme/prepare/ dazzle and enchant the book-buying people of this world.

daveg

I can only assume that the rampant cover price inflation on back list p/b's is being engineered to give publishers a fighting fund to finance WBN.

I was a WBN giver this year and have just one small critisim. As i had to rely on someone else for transport i had given away half of my books before i received the email with the identifying numbers. Otherwise it was a very rewarding and fun experience and people were very grateful to receive their free books.

I was a WBN book donor this year and would love to do it again . It would be nice next year to receive some posters and leaflets along with the books as it would help setting up in a more professional and informative way. Apart from that I truly enjoyed the experiece, thank you.

I was a book giver this year and arranged a huge event at 'the Shed' Creative studios in Gateshead to give away all 25 titles, all the books didn't arrive on time but we had an amazing event and gave away all the books we had (800 copies). I'd love to be involved again next year and I'm glad to see WBN are giving them self a bit more time to prepare for the next one.

I too was a giver and handed out my books with no problems at all.
I agree with some of the contents spoken by other contributors. It does need it's profile raising and some posters or leaflets would be really helpful.

I loved handing out my copies of Agent Zigzag and hope that I can be a giver next year!

Stuart - Bristol, UK

As a bookseller who by nature is a joiner-inner(!) I found WBN to be a "parson's egg" experience, ie. good in parts. I submitted my official form commenting on the event and the point I made there was that the majority of givers who collected their books from my shop were almost without exception white and middle class; and they were almost all going off to hand out their books in their local area which is predominantly white and middle class. I thought this was a missed opportunity and I also thought that the majority of people who would be receiving these books would either have already read them or not need to be given books but would be perfectly able to buy said books themselves. We also have four boxes of uncollected titles which we now have to dispose of in a principled way to try and remain in the spirit of WBN. This is a pain. I really liked Nicola Morgan's suggestion for WBN which was the Spanish model which encouraged people to go and buy one title from their bookshop and give it to somebody. This model ensures that every published author gets to potentially participate, every bookshop gets rewarded and every publisher too. And it really is not too much, in my opinion, to ask people to put their hand in their pocket to the tune of the cost of an average paperback. I also worry that handing out free books devalues them yet again.

My WBN event was a great success; a supper which raised money for local charity, combined with a copy of the book for each household attending. My chosen book was "Dissolution", as I had read others in the series and knew them to be terrific. Everyone I have since spoken to has said how much they enjoyed it and many said it was a book they would not normally have looked to purchase and have bought others in the series. Hopefully I'll get to be a giver again in 2012.

As always no consultation with booksellers to see how we feel about one million books being given away and so reducing our sales. We are struggling enough already .This initiative was supposed to raise the profile of books yet book sales for March are at their lowest for years!

stop being so miserable, this is a great way of raising the profile of printed books. We now have a full 12 months to plan/scheme/prepare/ dazzle and enchant the book-buying people of this world.

daveg

Independent Bookseller. I was a giver this year and hope to do the same next year. However, I had never read Northern Lights - one of the books on the list - so went out and bought it (and The Subtle Knife and the Amber Spyglass). I also know one of my recipients enjoyed the book I gave her so much she has determined to read all the other books on the list and has already bought one of the titles. It may take a while to filter through but encouraging people to read can only benefit you.