World Book Night Gets High Marks

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Book givers rated their World Book Night experience at a 95 percent satisfaction level, according to the results of a survey released this week by World Book Night U.S. Executive Director Carl Lennertz. In addition, 97 percent of respondents said they would be givers next year and would enthusiastically tell others to try WBN in 2013.

During the April 23 celebration of World Book Night, more than 25,000 book givers went out into 5,800 communities throughout the U.S., from Florida to Alaska, to put great books in the hands of new or infrequent readers.

“I am thrilled with the positive response, and the survey results are proof that it was all well worth it,” said Lennertz. “This feedback tells us that the giver box shipping went extremely well, thanks to Ingram and UPS, and that the booksellers and librarians were the campaign’s perfect ambassadors to the public. I am deeply grateful to all of them, as well as to the publishers, authors, and book manufacturers.”

Thanks to grassroots efforts by booksellers and librarians, local print stories about World Book Night reached more than 7.1 million readers and local TV coverage had a combined viewership of 1.2 million people. “That eight million local media figure is much higher than our original estimate,” Lennetz said. “And if you add those great local figures to the substantial USA Today, Associated Press, andHuffington Post stories, the Good Morning America mention, and the phenomenal social media reach, we made quite an impression our first year — over 35 million impressions, in fact, about the event and, more important, about books and reading.”

To ABA members, he added, “As I said at Wi7, WBN was local and grassroots, and that the local media would be key, and it would come from the great connections all the indies have to local media. It was extraordinary! And I am very, very grateful!”

The giver and media surveys will be available at BEA, along with a promotional video produced by Rob Simon of Burst Marketing. “Rob is tasked with capturing the enthusiasm and passion we saw daily, even hourly, on Facebook and elsewhere throughout April,” Lennertz added. “We are also considering nine regional videos — we have that much amazing material.”

ABA members will be able to meet with Lennertz in the ABA Booksellers Lounge (Javits Room 1E07/08) at BookExpo America to discuss their experiences of this year’s event and to share ideas for 2013.

Till June 11, booksellers can also send in one to four title suggestions to be considered for next year’s WBN giveaway. An e-mail is going to each store’s WBN coordinator, but Lennertz said that any bookseller can send an e-mail to [email protected] with paperback titles, for middle grade readers and up, that they would like to see considered. E-mails should include the book’s title, author, and publisher.