Yes, I know it was almost a month ago now, but hear me out.
The Reading Agency's World Book Night took place on 23rd April this year. Their drive was to reach out to people in the UK who do not normally read for pleasure - and therefore 187,500 copies of 15 specially printed books - including titles from Ann Cleeves, Amanda Prowse and Sarah Hilary, to name a few - were distributed by reading enthusiasts. That included me.
Sometime last year, I filled out an online registration form as to why I wanted to be involved, how I would distribute the books and choose the title I would like to receive. I didn't actually think I'd get chosen, but I did. I was given 16 copies of Ann Cleeves' short story, Too Good To Be True. It wasn't the book I had requested, but I was pleased, because what better way to ease a non-reader in than with a short story.
Now, I know what some of you must be thinking: why the hell am I distributing books that I haven't written? Or perhaps, because I'm an indie author, should I be promoting this? And honestly, I got involved with World Book Night because I'm a reader myself first and foremost. It was my passion for books that put me on the path to writing my own! So the idea of reaching out to people who do not usually read for pleasure was something I really wanted to be a part of.
For me, it was actually a good ice-breaker. The recipients of the books I gifted would ask me why was I doing this, or what was I reading etc. And it meant I could promote my own books and writing journey to them freely, without feeling like I was forcing it on them. Not only was I encouraging them to read with a free book, but I was able to have a free-flowing, non-computer type chat with them.
|My nan and her free book|
So, I wasn't delivering copies of my own books this World Book Night, but isn't just encouraging people to read in general a great stepping stone? I hope so.