Following the high profile announcement of World Book Night one week ago, the nationwide campaign which is set to boost the profile of books and reading in a spirit of collective celebration is gathering huge momentum.
World Book Night has processed 10,000 applications through the website from members of the public in one week. The site has had over 81,000 individual visitors worldwide since the launch, of which over 90% are UK based. Visitors have looked at in excess of 350,000 pages on the website. Just over 10,000 people have nominated the book they want to give away, and behaviour on line would suggest they already know the book they want to nominate. WBN is targeting 20,000 givers who will give away 1,000,000 books in their communities on March 5, 2011.
Members of the public are invited to apply to be one of 20,000 book givers. The full list of titles is below, including our own Fingersmith by Sarah Waters and The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood. The World Book Night website will serve as the primary means through which individuals can apply to be a giver. As part of the selection process, people will be asked to say in up to 100 words why they want to give away a particular book from the list, and the sort of people to whom they envisage giving it. Applicants will be asked to state their name, age (minimum age 17), gender and address.
In selecting the 20,000 givers World Book Night will take into account the 100 word statement and also grade applicants against clear guidelines to ensure that givers reflect a number of diversity criteria. The final list of givers will then be audited by an independent committee to ensure that these guidelines have been followed and statistical analysis will be made to ensure this. The 800 givers for each book will then be confirmed by the end of January.
More responses to the World Book Night enthusiasm:
Jamie Byng, Chair, World Book Night says:
“A week ago today we launched World Book Night and the response to the initiative has been overwhelming. Not only have we been inundated with heartfelt and creative applications from members of the public wanting to be givers but these have come from an incredibly wide range of people and places. We may have reached a half way point, but we still need thousands of passionate readers to continue to apply to participate. The deadline for applications is January 4th 2011 and I would encourage everyone to spread the word with us.”
Mark Bell, BBC Commissioning Editor, Arts says:
“I am proud on behalf of the BBC to be associated with this remarkable project. It is wonderful that World Book Night has already struck a chord with so many people and we look forward to helping make the event on 5th March a great success all around the country.”
Endorsements for World Book Night:
“This is a brilliant response to an inspired and inspiring idea. We will be supporting WBN in our stores with all sorts of events and celebrations, with some stores staying open very, very late indeed! We will be welcoming givers, readers, authors and anyone else through our doors for this trade-wide, countrywide opportunity to show off the best of British bookselling.”
Dominic Myers, MD Waterstones says:
"Big ideas get the public going; it’s brilliant to see libraries leap on this opportunity. Libraries are the perfect place for book givers to make World Book Night come alive.”
Miranda McKearney, CEO, The Reading Agency
“Reading a wonderful book often means you want it never to end, but it does and the only cures for missing it are to start reading another book and to encourage everyone to share your delight. World Book Night is a dramatic and imaginative way to get at least a million people to start or re-start on that path of discovering and sharing the profound pleasures of reading. I know that my colleagues and authors from all the Hachette publishing houses join me in supporting WBN and offering our books on the selected list with the warmest best wishes to all who receive them.”
Tim Hely-Hutchinson, CEO Hachette UK
“We launched World Book Day to give children across the UK a special day on which to celebrate books and reading. It is terrific that World Book Night now gives adults an opportunity to join the celebration by sharing their passion for their favourite book or by being the lucky recipient of one of the million books to be given away. It is a truly innovative campaign with industry-wide support and we at Random House are proud to have five terrific books selected and will be doing everything we can in collaboration with our authors and staff to make WBN the resounding success it deserves to be. The publicity to date has already started a nationwide book conversation and March 5th will remind everyone of the unique power of books and passionate recommendation.”
Gail Rebuck, CEO The Random House Group
“World Book Night has launched in a hail of unmissable publicity. At Penguin plans are afoot to encourage staff, authors and friends to become givers and we are thrilled that five of our titles have been selected to be part of the million copy handout on March 5th. It is great to see the industry working together so collaboratively on this hugely ambitious project. WBN is going to be a massive celebration of the passion people feel for books they truely love. I have no doubt that it will make a big cultural impact.”
Tom Weldon, Deputy CEO, Penguin
“The new World Book Night initiative is a perfect extension of the already hugely successful World Book Day. The industry as a whole has been looking for ways to broaden the appeal of the largely children's focused WBD and this enormously high profile way to get people sharing the books they love is surely it. At HarperCollins, we are very excited about our three books on the list and have huge plans to throw ourselves into the big event on 5th March.”
Victoria Barnsley, CEO and Publisher of HarperCollins UK and International
“World Book Night is set to be an extraordinary celebration of reading, writing and the power of books. Its generosity reflects this power, as giving any one of these books to someone who hasn't encountered it before will be a life-enhancing act. We're entirely supportive of WBN at Faber, and staff and authors are already excited about participating and contributing any way we can to its success.”
Stephen Page, CEO Faber and Chair, Independent Alliance
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