World Book Day titles to revert to single books

Jacqueline Wilson and Roald Dahl are among the high-profile authors selected for the 2012 £1 World Book Day books, which will revert to the single-book format for the first time in four years. The teen WBD titles will also go online for the first time following a pilot this year.

The changes were announced at the Book Industry Conference this morning (17th May).

Last year’s £1 World Book Day flipbooks sold almost 600,000 copies overall but organisers hope next year’s line-up, which includes Big Day Out by Wilson and Dahl's Wondercrump World Book Day will outstrip this by focusing on leading brands and bestselling authors as part of WBD's 15th birthday celebrations.

Specially commissioned stories by big brand authors will also be made available for the first time in e-book format. The books will be supported by a separate campaign directed entirely at teenagers, and created with teen input and ideas. More details are to follow.
 The move follows research for WBD which revealed that some 93% of teachers believe that the promotion should be providing content on a range of platforms including e-books and digital downloads.

Francesca Dow, PA Children's Group chair, said: "WBD is for everyone and we weren't properly reaching or engaging our big and potentially hungry teen audience. Building on this year’s pilot exercise, WBD 2012 aims to rethink entirely how we publish and market to teens, with a fantastic range of e-books by favourite teen authors and, most important, an exciting campaign which reaches teenagers where they are, rather than expecting them to come to us."

WBD organisers said that the value of print advertising equivalent reached a record high at £4.4 million this year, up some 19% as a result of widespread celebrity support, ranging from the Duchess of Cornwall to boyband JLS’ Oritsé Williams. Media coverage included a front page flash on the Sun and a post on the Hollyoaks Facebook site, which has over one million fans.

More than 50,000 educational establishments received information about WBD and almost half a million students visited the Story Time Online site. Overall visits to the WBD site were up 29% on 2010.

Rachel Russell, WBD 2011 chair, added: "We are privileged to have a promotion of such scale, awareness, support and participation in children’s books."

The 2012 WBD £1 books:
 
Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks What the Ladybird Heard songbook (Macmillan)

Valerie Thomas and Korky Paul Winnie the Witch story (OUP)

Martin Handford Where’s Wally Now (Walker)

Holly Webb Magic Molly: The Clever Little Kitten (Scholastic)

Roald Dahl Wondercrump World Book Day book (Penguin)

Cressida Cowell How to Train Your Dragon Story (Hodder Children’s Books)

Derek Landy Skulduggery Pleasant story (HarperCollins)

Jacqueline Wilson Big Day Out (Random House)