Here's how World Book Night works:
Each year, 30- 35 books are chosen by an independent panel of librarians and booksellers. The authors of the books waive their royalties and the publishers agree to pay the costs of producing the specially-printed World Book Night U.S. editions. Bookstores and libraries sign up to be community host locations for the volunteer book givers.
After the book titles are announced, members of the public apply to personally hand out 20 copies of a particular title in their community. World Book Night U.S. vets the applications, and the givers are chosen based on their ability to reach light and non-readers. The selected givers choose a local participating bookstore or library from which to pick up the 20 copies of their book, and World Book Night U.S. delivers the books to these host locations.
Givers pick up their books in the week before World Book Night. On April 23rd, they give their books to those who don’t regularly read and/or people who don’t normally have access to printed books, for reasons of means or geography.
And now World Book Night US is reporting (In the May 12, 2014 Publisher's Lunch) that year-to-date sales of the titles they gave away this year are up 8 percent over last year. Executive director Carl Lennertz writes:
"Sales is not one of our key metrics, but it's still great to see. It shows us that the WBN editions are going to non-book-buyers and with no negative impact on sales; only positive."
The marketing implications are fascinating!
Illustrate and Write On,