Buy Books for Syria campaign a 'great success'

Buy Books for Syria campaign a 'great success'

Waterstones has said its 'Buy Books For Syria' campaign has already been a “great success” after first few days.

While the company could not yet give sales figures for how many titles customers had been bought under the appeal, Sandra Taylor, head of PR and events at Waterstones, said it company was “delighted” with the “enthusiastic reaction” to the campaign from customers.

“The first few days of the Buy Books For Syria campaign have been a great success,” Taylor said. “The media coverage last week was fantastic and this, combined with the generous social media support from both publishers and their authors, helped raise awareness and #BuyBooksForSyria trend on twitter for a few days.”

She added: “Since the Buy Books for Syria books have arrived in the shops, all have put in table displays and many have dedicated window space to the campaign. We are delighted with the enthusiastic reaction to  the campaign from customers and are looking forward to continuing to sell these brilliant books in a bid to reach our £1 mill target for Oxfam's Syria Crisis Appeal.”

Last Thursday (1st October) Waterstones launched an industry-wide campaign to raise £1m for Oxfam’s Syria Crisis Appeal by selling books stickered with ‘Buy Books For Syria’. The full retail price of the title is donated to the cause, for which publishers have donated titles.

Titles in the charity appeal include Karen Joy Fowler's We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves (Profile), War Horse by Michael Morpurgo (Egmont), Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie (Vintage), One Day by David Nicholls (Hodder), The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (Bloomsbury), Philippa Gregory’s The White Queen (Simon & Schuster) and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (Quercus/MacLehose), among others. Publishers have provided between 1,000 and 2,000 copies of all the titles to be sold for the appeal.

Support from UK publishers includes Atlantic Books, Bloomsbury, Canongate, Egmont, Faber, Granta, Hachette, HarperCollins, Pan Macmillan, Penguin Random House UK, Profile, Scholastic, Simon & Schuster and Usborne.
Other authors involved in the appeal include Mark Haddon, Matt Haig, Robert Harris, Khaled Hosseini, Max Hastings, Marian Keyes, Lynda La Plante, Andrea Levy, Hilary Mantel, Peter May, Alexander McCall Smith, Caitlin Moran, Michael Morpugo, JoJo Moyes, David Nicholls, Ian Rankin, Tom Rob Smith, Salman Rushdie and Jacqueline Wilson.

When the campaign launched, James Daunt, Waterstones’ m.d, said: “In desperate times like these, everyone feels the need to do something, to help in some way. We are doing what we do best: bookselling, and it only feels right that every single penny of each book sold will go straight to Oxfam. We are proud to be able transform the generosity of authors and publishers into such a substantial contribution to Oxfam’s work.”


Picture from Waterstones Deansgate