Welcome to Carl’s Blog! Check here for news, updates, and more from our intrepid leader—Carl Lennertz, Executive Director of World Book Night U.S.
April 23rd is almost upon us. We have a few last-minute instructions for givers, as well as some good news about World Book Night events.
Givers, you should have heard from the bookstore or library you designated as your pick-up location; if not, we apologize. It's time. Please go in and pick up your box this week. (A note: The big Giver sticker on the box has a reminder not to hand out books 'til April 23. That's for you, the giver, but last year, some store or library staff thought it was meant for them. Boxes ARE for picking up this week and weekend.) When you pick up your books, you should also be given a letter from us, a thank you certificate and a "I am a Book Giver" sticker. If not, no worries; you can download them from the Resources page on our website. Even if you do receive all of those items from your pick-up locations, we recommend you visit our Resources page and check out the other printable items we've posted there.
This year, we're happy to announce 28 World Book Night kick-off and day-of events. We only mustered up two last year, so that's progress. More next year. If you're near one, try and attend. To see a map and list of the 28 events, please visit the Events page on our website. And, of course, these are in addition to the hundreds of bookstore and library giver receptions happening this week.
Peace to all, and thank you for all you do every day.
With only two weeks left till World Book Night 2013, things are shaping up nicely. Participating bookstores and libraries are receiving the shipments of books for givers, and we've emailed all of the givers with reminders of the pick-up locations they selected. If you're a giver this year, please do not inquire about your box at your store or library yet. Not all store or library staff will be up-to-speed on WBN until the week of April 15; they have very full days and a lot on their plates already.
If you haven't yet, visit our Resources section and check out WBN 2013 book quotes we're highlighting on Facebook and Twitter this week. You can even nominate your favorite line from one of this year's books!
In the meantime, we're finalizing all of the last-minute details of some really cool event and publicity news around the country. We can't wait to share it with you next week!
There are three weeks left until World Book Night 2013 - and things are shaping up nicely.
Over the next ten days, givers should be hearing from their pick-up locations with information about when they'll be able to pick up their boxes of books. All box pick-ups will be during the week prior to April 23rd (from Monday, April 15 through Monday, April 22).
In the meantime, don't forget to check out all of the downloadable items in the Resources section on our website. We have templates there for everything from bookmarks to stickers to our logo, for those folks who are especially crafty and want to make a t-shirt. We also have brief descriptions of every book, some giver tips, and a recipient feedback letter to print off and put in the books before handing them out.
As always, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates and other information. This week, we're posting regional maps of givers across the country--four new ones each day!
While World Book Night is completely focused on the 25,000 volunteers and getting you the books and materials, supporting the bookstore and library host locations, and the 500,000 future book recipients, we DO want to get publicity for World Book Night, of course. We want to support your efforts as you go out on April 23, and we want to increase awareness of the value of reading and community.
To that end, we’ll have news of confirmed national and local media coverage soon, but one thing we can control is the planning for official Kick Off events around the country with the authors whose books were chosen as WBN picks.
We are holding over a dozen open-to-the-public events around the country on Monday, April 22. Why the night before? With WBN on Tuesday, we have Monday eve to properly hold events, vs. last year, when WBN on Monday left us with Sunday for kick-off, which is difficult. Also, events the night of WBN are kinda anticlimactic. AND, we want givers to attend, so events the night of might conflict with your giving time. With a kick off the night before, givers can come by, meet some authors, and even come up the mic and talk about where they are going. (Of note: There aren’t any free WBN editions available at April 22 events, of course.)
These are not normal readings, but looser, more fun events, so we hope you can make it if you live near one. If not, there will be, of course, hundreds and hundreds of Giver-only Receptions being held the week of April 15 at bookstores and libraries across the country! Come, share, enjoy.
We’ll continue posting news of the April 22 Kick Off events as the times get set. AND follow us on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates about a few Poetry Nights, a Theater Night in Chicago, and Book & Rose events.
Lots to come!
With only four weeks left until World Book Night 2013, we're still working to make sure everything is coordinated between over 2,000 bookstores and libraries, and for the thousands of passionate volunteer givers.
We've uploaded a LOT of downloadable items to the Resources section on our website, everything from our logo to signs to bookmark templates. This year we've also added, by giver request, short and printable descriptions of all of this year's picks. You can find all of those items here.
In the upcoming weeks, we'll be sending out additional information to everyone participating in this year's World Book Night. This will include reminders about givers' selected pick-up locations and important dates, as well as events and publicity news.
In the meantime, there's nothing you need to do other than read your book, check out our online Resources, and--if you haven't already--follow us on Facebook or Twitter for updates and other information.
We’ve had several requests for mixed cartons, whether 1’s of 20 titles, or 10s each of a book in English and Spanish.
I truly wish we could mix books in cartons, but on our budget and time schedule: printing 500,000 books at 10 different binders and getting them packed and shipped in boxes of 20 to our distributor, who has to reship 25,000 boxes with the giver’s name on it and for the right book….and well, we just physically can’t time- or work-wise.
As for why we originally decided philosophically that each giver would get 20 of the same book, it was integral to your passion as you hand out the book. We would much, much rather the interaction be: “I love this book and hope you do, too.” vs. “Here’s a book for you.”
We don’t require that you’ve read your book, but it would help…and you will have time in March to read it if you haven’t already! Most of our books choices are readily available at bookstores and libraries.
So, we did debate 1’s of 20 titles in the early days of WBN planning, but the logistics and cost were just too much.
One thing: If you attend a pre-WBN reception at your local store or library, yes, you can trade some books with each other before going out on April 23.
So, we’ve been asked when will you hear if you’ll be a giver. We know you are eager and anxious, and I don’t blame you. You all applied with such enthusiasm and it must be torture to wait.
We will contact you all in mid-February and here’s why:
Just please understand that we have to wait until after the Jan. 25 deadline, and even then we’ll need a few weeks to read all those last-minute ones.
We have been reading applications steadily each day since Nov. 9 . . . 250 - 500 applications a day. And just not read them, but we note in separate columns categories of where people are going, so we can analyze later what the approximate breakdown by types of locations. We’ve also made notes of particularly amazing ones to share with the authors and the media later.
Two things of note:
1) I would say that fewer than 5% of the applications were not up to snuff; they’ve really mostly all been wonderful!
2) In the final analysis, it WILL matter if you applied earlier vs. later, especially in the likelihood of getting your first choice.
So, again, thank you so much and bear with us. We are also involved in getting all the books printed, arranging national media, and preparing resource materials for you for April, and even working on fundraising next year, so we can keep this wonderful campaign going!
Hello, WBN friends:
Here I am! I've been hunkered down reading thousands of wonderful World Book Night giver applications!
But I emerge for air today, like the WBN groundhog (yes, I know I’m early), and I predict more applications to come, applications that express such a depth of feeling for your fellow citizens. It’s an emotional rollercoaster some days, reading about how many Americans are in need of so many things, be it love, food, or, yes, the gift of a good book. And you and we do our part, do what we can to alleviate some of the suffering for a day, to elevate one’s spirits, to be able to see to the horizon.
One of my favorite books of all time is Frank Herbert’s Dune. A very wise book. At one point, the rider of the sand worm observes how, when one is in the trough of a wave, all is hidden and the future is uncertain. But on top of the wave, one can see ahead, see new possibilities.
That’s what books do, that’s what you do, and for that, we are all very thankful.
We are also very thankful for one of our new sponsors, FedEx! Very happy news.
Our publisher partner friends are going to start printing some of the special WBN editions soon.
And our bookstore and library partners, over 2,000 strong, have signed up and are psyched for tons of WBN activities next year.
Best wishes to you and yours during this holiday season, and I’ll be back in the new year with accounts of some amazing outreaches some of you are doing.
And hey, take your Vitamin D. You know?
On this Thanksgiving, we give thanks to all who help make World Book Night happen: the volunteer givers, all the participating booksellers and librarians, the authors and publishers, and the book printers and shippers.
We thank all of you who give of your time and passion to spread the joy of reading to those who may not have received this gift in their lives. Until now.
Hello, World Book Night U.S. friends:
I have more wonderful news to share with you!
The honorary chairpersons of World Book Night 2013 will be best-selling novelists Ann Patchett and James Patterson. Patchett's novel, Bel Canto, was on the list last year, and Patterson's kids' book, Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life, is among the 30 titles to be given away this year.
I’m not the only one excited about the relationship. James Patterson said: “In my experience, when people like what they are doing, they do more of it. This is the genius of World Book Night — it gets people reading by connecting them with amazing, enjoyable books. I’m honored to be a part of it.”
“I’m very proud to be a part of World Book Night,” Ann Patchett added. “As both a writer and a bookseller, I’m all in favor of getting books into the hands of people who might not otherwise have access to them.”
I am over the moon with happiness that Jim and Ann have agreed to join our wonderful cause! I know that booksellers, librarians, and our volunteer book givers will be thrilled to have these two beloved authors support our reading and literacy effort in the United States in our second year.