Hachette UK has set up a new website to offer NHS workers across the country free e-books to thank them for their dedication during the pandemic.
The website, which is powered by ebooks.com, went live this morning (15th April) and will initially be available until the end of May.
The idea was inspired by author Mari Hannah and her editor, Francesca Pathak, at Orion, after a nurse began emailing Hannah about the respite her books were providing.
Books are now being made available across Hachette UK’s divisions, including Orion, Little, Brown, Headline, Quercus, Hodder & Stoughton, John Murray Press, Hachette Children’s Group and Octopus Publishing Group.
David Shelley, c.e.o. of Hachette UK, commented: "We owe a massive debt of gratitude to everyone in the NHS who is working on the frontline to keep us safe and this is our way of saying thank you. Reading can provide one of the best distractions when you need a moment of respite and we appreciate books can be difficult to access during the lockdown, so we wanted to play our part in making them more easily available to those who need them most. It’s the first of a few emergency response initiatives we’re launching to do our bit to help key workers and the wider community over the next few weeks."
Hannah said: "When a frontline NHS worker wrote telling me that my books were keeping her spirits up during the COVID-19 crisis, I was moved to tears. When the correspondence with this nurse and her team became a daily thing, I felt compelled to share it with my Orion editor, Francesca Pathak. I’m thrilled that Hachette UK are taking the initiative to recognise the bravery and commitment of all NHS staff. I’m so proud to have played a small part in showing gratitude for their selfless dedication."
Work from a wide range of Hachette UK authors will be available, including from Sarah Millican, Ian Rankin, Martina Cole, Victoria Hislop, Beth O’Leary, Sandi Toksvig, Mike Gayle and Mick Herron, as well as children’s books from Cressida Cowell, Francesca Simon, Dermot O’Leary and Enid Blyton.
To claim their e-books, NHS workers need to enter their NHS email address, choose a book from the selection available, then validate using the link sent to their @nhs.net email address and create an account.