World Book Night launch

Philip Pullman, John le Carré among those promoting book giveaway

Brainchild of publisher Jamie Byng, World Book Night will see one million books given away in the UK and Ireland by members of the public. A special launch takes place on March 4, the eve of the event, in Trafalgar Square. Among the notable guests (including some recent Folio authors and introducers) who are sharing the platform with host Graham Norton will be Margaret Atwood, John le Carré, Alan Bennett, Philip Pullman, Sarah Waters and Nick Cave, before an audience of 5,000 'Givers' and 5,000 members of the public.

The World Book Night website explains the idea behind the initiative:

'The book give-away will comprise 40,000 copies of each of the 25 carefully selected titles, to be given away by 20,000 ‘givers’, who will each distribute 48 copies of their chosen title to whomever they choose on World Book Night. The remaining books will be distributed by World Book Night itself in places that might otherwise be difficult to reach, such as prisons and hospitals. The twenty-five titles were selected by a wide-ranging editorial committee, chaired by James Naughtie.'

Interestingly, an article in the Daily Telegraph reports that sales of the 25 books on the list have rocketed, despite the fact that 1,000,000 copies of these titles are going to end up in people's hands for free! It appears that, even before it occurs, the event is having the desire effect. You can read the full Telegraph article here!

last modified: Mon, Sep 12th 2011Bookmark and Share
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