World Book Night Announces U.S. Board

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Title selection process nears completion

Plans for the April 23 celebration of World Book Night in the U.S. are being guided by an 11-member Board of Directors whose members were announced today. Book industry leaders joining World Book Night (WBN) U.S. Executive Director Carl Lennertz on the board are:

  • Molly Barton, Vice President Digital Publishing, Business Development & Strategy, Penguin
  • Patricia Bostelman, Vice President, Marketing, Barnes & Noble
  • Morgan Entrekin, Chief Executive Officer and Publisher, Grove Atlantic
  • Dennis Eulau, Executive Vice President, Operations, and Chief Financial Officer, Simon & Schuster
  • Josh Marwell, President, Sales, HarperCollins
  • Madeline McIntosh, President, Sales, Operations and Digital, Random House
  • Phil Ollila, Chief Content Officer, Ingram Content Group
  • Michael Pietsch, Publisher, Little, Brown and Executive Vice President, Hachette Book Group
  • Jeff Seroy, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Publicity, Farrar, Straus & Giroux
  • Oren Teicher, Chief Executive Officer, American Booksellers Association

Lennertz said that he was “thrilled by the ideas and energy of the board,” which held a major meeting to discuss strategies and responsibilities before this month’s Frankfurt Book Fair.

Grove Atlantic’s Entrekin noted that the WBN “board of directors for the U.S. includes industry leaders in bookselling, sales, editorial, marketing, publicity, digital, distribution, and finance, all of us working together with everyone in the publishing, bookselling, library, and author community to promote the goals of this important campaign here, in conjunction with our friends in the U.K.”

ABA’s Teicher added, “It’s extremely gratifying to see the substantial progress World Book Night is making here under Carl’s direction and with the growing participation of the U.S. book industry.”

With the board announcement, Lennertz extended a sincere thank-you to the people who served on a WBN formation board earlier this fall.

“Along with Madeline [McIntosh], Oren [Teicher], and Morgan [Entrekin], Scott Moyers of Penguin, Maya Mavjee of Crown, and Tina Jordan of the Association of American Publishers were instrumental in guiding the early planning of the many-layered campaign that is World Book Night in the U.S.,” Lennertz said.

News of a 35-person World Book Night publishing and bookseller advisory council will be forthcoming.

Earlier this week, Lennertz announced that the selection process for the 25 titles to be given away during the April 23 U.S. event was nearing completion.

A bookseller and librarian panel is taking part in several rounds of voting to choose the titles from a list of books derived from 10 years’ worth of Book Sense/Indie Next Reading Group Picks, Barnes & Noble Discover Picks, ALA Best Book Picks, and Pulitzer and National Book Award winners, which have been cross-referenced with several years of’s most requested guides, as well as the Mystery Writers of America all-time top 100, the Goodreads top 100 adult and top 100 YA, and Above the Treeline’s top paperback bestsellers.

The goal is to announce the final list of 25 books, which will be a blend of fiction and nonfiction as well as books for teens and young readers, by December 1.

“The selection committee is being careful not to create another ‘best-books-of-all-time’ list, but, instead, to choose books that they know readers will be passionate about personally sharing with others,” said Lennertz. “We believe this will inspire a fun and resonant celebration of books and reading across our country.”

The inaugural World Book Night was launched in the U.K. last April, and though both the U.S. and the U.K. will celebrate World Book Night on April 23, 2012, each will have their own unique list of titles to give away. “Our friends in the U.K. have been wonderful in sharing their blueprint and excitement,” Lennertz said. “We know their book selection has been underway; we started later and with a different process and are close to a final list of books to match the quality and accessibility of the one they’ve just announced.”

On April 23, 50,000 book givers will hand out 20 copies of one of the 25 World Book Night picks in communities across the U.S. Over the course of the night, a total of a million paperbacks will be given away. Bookstores and libraries will be encouraged to put up displays of the books in their regular editions. As well as generating widespread publicity for the value of books and reading, the U.K.’s first World Book Night saw book sales of the picks soar.

Based on conversations he and ABA staff members have had with booksellers at this season’s regional trade shows, Lennertz said, “Everyone is psyched about promoting reading — as well as more visits to bookstores! The World Book Night displays next April will be a key part of the measure of success of the campaign, and that the imminent WBN website for the U.S. will have an indie bookseller information and tools section.”

World Book Night in the U.S. is a 501(c)3 charitable organization, supported by publishers, Barnes & Noble, the American Booksellers Association, the Association of American Publishers, and Ingram.