Jeffrey Archer and Barbara Taylor Bradford have written Quick Reads titles for the first time for the February 2014 list.
The short, specially written books are designed to reach adults who do not usually read, with research indicating that one in six adults struggles to read and more than a third of people never read for pleasure. The six-strong list for next year also features books from Lindsey Davis, Lynda La Plante, Harriet Evans and Emily Barr.
Project director Cathy Rentzenbrink said: “Having authors like Barbara Taylor Bradford and Jeffrey Archer on board is fantastic. Barbara is passionate about supporting literacy, and we are looking at ways she can continue to support us. Jeffrey experienced first hand what literacy levels are like in prison and has been keen to help people ever since.”
Archer’s title Four Warned is made up of four short stories described as page-turners, with the shortest coming in at only two pages. Rentzenbrink said Quick Reads was looking at the option of releasing the shortest story as a download and making it available for institutions to use an an introduction to reading.
Taylor Bradford said of her book, Hidden: "I really enjoyed writing the book and hope that it will make a real difference in introducing people to the pleasure that reading can bring."
The Quick Reads covers have been redesigned this year to offer a branded look and further book recommendations for readers. Research has shown that 68% of people who read a Quick Read will attempt another book. Rentzenbrink said: "From our feedback, we know people want to move on other things the author has written, and now we're asking their publishers to suggest other books they might enjoy."
The scheme, sponsored by Galaxy and supported by Arts Council England, has been running since 2006 and distributed 4.3m books. It is is chaired by its founder Dame Gail Rebuck, chair of Penguin Random House UK.