World Book Night

A cantora Madonna, acredite, declarou ser "O Alquimista", do brasileiro Paulo Coelho, um dos seus livros prediletos

A cantora Madonna, acredite, declarou ser "O Alquimista", do brasileiro Paulo Coelho, um dos seus livros prediletos

Rock Your Life - Rudolf Schenker

Rock Your Life - Rudolf Schenker

local authors at World Book Night at Guildford Library

local authors at World Book Night at Guildford Library

Tonight is World Book Night, a million books are to be given away.

Twenty-five titles including: The Alchemist, Pride and Prejudice, The Player of Games, A Tale of Two Cities, Rebecca, Small Island, The Book Thief.

Sharing is what we do with books, it is part of our book reading culture: We lend them to our friends, we donate them to charity shops.

Margaret Atwood:

Books without readers are like musical scores without players. And unless people are introduced to the joys of reading, reading books will disappear. World Book Night allows passionate readers to share the books they adore. And it’s a gift … gifts make powerful statements.

There are though a few killjoys: What all those books being given away, look at all the lost sales.

The same criticism has been levied at bookcrossing, a great idea, shame about the crap website.

Neil Gaiman:

Anything that gets people reading, anything that gets people back into the habit of reading, anything that reminds people how much pleasure they can take in a book is a good thing.

I don’t see this as millions of lost sales for bookshops; I see it as, potentially and with luck, hundreds of thousands more customers for bookshops.

We hear the whining from the global music industry: People sharing music is destroying our business.

If people no longer visit bookshops, the bookshops have only themselves to blame, that and the greedy publishers offering heavily discounted books to chain stores to try and turn around a quick buck.

World Book Night is not just a national event. Guildford Library tonight is open until midnight to celebrate local authors. Authors who will be at Guildford Library include Irene Black. Sadly the whole point of World Book Night appears to have been missed, that of giving books away.

World Book Night is not just a national event. This year the UK has been joined by USA, Ireland and Germany. In Germany copies of Rock Your Life will be given away.

In total, across all participating countries, 2.5 million books will be given away.

Writers write to be read, musicians play to be heard.

Unless we share, how do we find new books, new music?

I am pleased to see three of the participating authors are personal friends.

World Book Night: Stephen Fry joins million giveaway
Nothing is as good at being a book as a book is
Bookshops in Bassano del Grappa
Steve Lawson on books, music, communication and sharing

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4 Responses to “World Book Night”

  1. Irene Black Says:

    It was a very good night, Keith. Two of my books were given away as prizes and I was delighted when a lady came to me for signing, saying she had chosen my book, The Moon’s Complexion, above others. It works both ways though and I suggested she might like to leave me an Amazon review – every little helps. Yes, it’s great to donate books, but it’s great to get something back – if not a royalty from a new book, then a kind review will do nicely, thanks. It is invaluable in promoting our books.

  2. keithpp Says:

    I am pleased to hear World Book Night at Guildford Library (World Book Day as called elsewhere) was a success, I only learnt of the Guildford event looking in the library at Guildford Institute, but I feel the whole point of giving books away had been lost.

    It would have been reasonable for ten books for each of the authors. People would have taken the books away, either to read themselves or to give away as gifts to others. They would also have had a story to tell as to how they came by the book, and I assume got it signed by the author.

    The biggest threat facing any creative artist, be they musician or writer, is not piracy or lack of royalties, it is obscurity.

    Writers write to be read, musicians play to be heard.

    Reviews on Amazon are a pointless exercise. The only people who see it are the people who already have found the book.

    Reviews have to be elsewhere, then people discover the book.

    But most reviews are crap, the reviewer either having not read the book, or if they have, have not understood what they have read.

    Thus even reviews are at best of little value.

    We listen to music because someone has shared it with us. We read a book because someone has given it to us or leant it to us or recommended that we read it or maybe we went to a talk or met the author.

    It is to state the blindingly obvious but we cannot read a book until we are holding it in our hands.

    Paulo Coelho, Neil Gaiman, Rudolf Schenker, have all recognised, more people read your books if you give them away.

      Rock Your Life – Rudolf Schenker – Germany
      The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho – UK

    Paulo Coelho was quite happy to see one of his books on frostwire, you can download for free.

    Bass player Steve Lawson has most his albums on bandcamp, listen on-line, download pay-what-you-think-is-fair, and it is easy to share his music with others.

    The talk Steve Lawson gave on sharing, books, music and communication is worth watching as are the many articles and talks Paulo Coelho has written and given, even at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

    Effective use of social media helps. Good examples are Paulo Coelho, Steve Lawson, Rudolf Schenker and Imogen Heap.

    If you have something interesting to say, people will drop by, pass on to others, engage, they may even be tempted to buy a book, listen to some music.

    Stuart Olds is a relatively unknown author who languishes in obscurity, and yet he sells a surprising number of copies of Hope’s Truth. He goes around the country, sets up his little stall. But he does not simply sit there, and hope a passer-by will pick up a book, he engages them in conversation, talks about the book, himself, how Hope’s Truth came to be written.

  3. keithpp Says:

    One in a Million

    Open Book on World Book Night looking at the experience of four people who gave away free books on World Book night a year ago.

  4. stuart olds Says:

    Many thanks keith on posting news of Hopes Truth ,

    best wishes

    Stuart Olds

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