World Book Night confirms US launch

World Book Night will launch in the US in 2012, with the States confirmed as the event's first international partner.

HarperCollins vice-president retail marketing Carl Lennertz has been appointed chief executive to the US division of WBN, taking up the post on 1st September. WBN US will aim to give away one million books across the country, with Lennertz supported by a cross-industry steering committee currently being set up.

Lennertz said: "I have loved everything about my time at Harper . . .  I am very sad to leave, but I couldn't pass up this chance to be a part of such an exciting venture as World Book Night in the US. Building on the wonderful success of the first World Book Night in the UK, we are just at the beginning of our planning here. There will be much more to report in September."

WBN chief executive Julia Kingsford said: "I'm thrilled to welcome the USA as the first international partner for what we very much hope will become a global celebration of books and reading . . . It is so exciting that in 2012 we'll be able to build that community internationally and spread a love of reading around the globe."

WBN will be taking place in both the UK and US on 23rd April 2012.

WBN in the UK will announce the chosen 25 titles for 2012 on 12th October at 1 p.m. at the Frankfurt International Book Fair, with the titles ultimately selected by a committee chaired by author and WBN patron Tracy Chevalier.