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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. When is World Book Day 2019?
  2. Is World Book Day a government initiative?
  3. How can my school get material?
  4. How long is the Book Token’s redemption period?
  5. Where can I get ideas for activities and events for World Book Day in my school?
  6. My children are educated at home. Are they entitled to receive £1 WBD Book Tokens?
  7. Are pre-school children entitled to World Book Day Book Tokens?
  8. I work at a British School abroad; do we qualify to receive a copy of the Schools’ Pack free of charge?
  9. I work at an international school and would like a copy of the Schools’ Pack. Is the pack free of charge or is there a fee?
  10. Who is responsible for sending information to the Republic of Ireland?
  11. I am calling from a school and cannot get hold of certain £1 books. Can you help?
  12. Can you provide me with a list of participating bookshops in my area?
  13. I am a BFPO school, am I entitled to a pack free of charge?
  14. Which types of establishments may be sent materials?
  15. Which organisations are not entitled to Book Tokens?
  16. What is the charge for additional copies of the Schools’ pack?
  17. I’m a teacher—can I purchase the £1 books to give away to my pupils?
  18. I’m a Librarian, can I get a stock of the £1 books and accept the £1 book tokens?
  19. Can I get stock of the £1 books for display or loan?
  20. What impact does World Book Day have?
  21. How is World Book Day funded?
  22. How are the £1 books chosen?
  23. Why have you included so many celebrity authors?
  24. How much of World Book Day is about dressing up?   
  25. Is World Book Day just one day a year or is there engagement all year round?
  26. Why are supermarkets involved?
  27. Why isn’t the Newcastle event on the Biggest Book Show on Earth free like the other events? How has the ticket price been decided?
  28. What have you done to address diversity in the list of authors, illustrators and titles?
  29. Why are there no £1 books for teens? How is World Book Day appealing to that audience?
  30. Why were the YA titles announced later than the initial World Book Day titles? Was it a responsive addition?
  31. What is Sir Chris Hoy’s involvement? Why didn’t you use a non-celebrity author?
  32. How has the adverse weather affected World Book Day?

Q1. When is World Book Day 2019?
A. World Book Day was designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and is marked in over 100 countries around the globe.

In the UK and Ireland World Book Day is on Thursday 7 March 2019. This date came about after serious thought and lengthy discussion to ensure that we were making the best decision for all participants and our supporters. We take into consideration religious holidays, school terms and potential conflict with other charitable activities.

In other countries World Book and Copyright Day takes place on 23 April. Celebrations take place all over the world to recognize the magical power of books – ‘a link between the past and the future, a bridge between generations and across cultures.  By championing books and copyright, UNESCO stands up for creativity, diversity and equal access to knowledge…’

For international information on World Book Day, please visit: www.unesco.org

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Q2. Is World Book Day a government initiative?
A. No – World Book Day Ltd is a small, registered charity. The financing of World Book Day comes mainly from contributing publishers, the generous sponsorship of National Book Tokens Ltd, some literacy partnerships and other supporters, as well as the participating booksellers who fund the entire cost of the Book Token redemption.

The collective decision-making process around the annual campaign, strategy and governance is done via an Executive Committee and a Board of Trustees, both of which are composed of senior representatives from bookselling, publishing, the Booksellers and Publishers Associations, The Reading Agency and an acclaimed author. 

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Q3. How can my school get material?
A. A comprehensive mailing list is used to distribute material. However, if you would like to double-check that all your school’s details are correct, including contact name and roll numbers, please contact the World Book Day Helpline: wbd@education.co.uk

Primary Schools – All primary schools will be automatically mailed as in previous years; there is no need to register. However, if you have previously requested to not receive any mailings from The Education Company, WBD’s mailing house, you will not receive any WBD material. To rectify this situation, please contact the Helpline.

Secondary Schools – Since World Book Day 2004, secondary schools in the UK have been required to register to participate. For 2018, secondary schools should re-register and re-confirm their requirements. Schools who are not yet registered are also welcome to do so. Please see the secondary school registration section on this site for all details and to check your registration status. There is a £30 administration fee payable.

Pre-Schools – In 2004 we extended the reach of the World Book Day initiative into the preschool sector. For further information on this activity please visit the registration section of this site where establishments can register their details. If your nursery or pre school cannot be found please email with full establishment details, Contact number, Head of establishment and pupils on roll so we can add your establishment to our system.  Individuals and childminders are ineligible for this service, due to the potential cost.

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Q4. How long is the Book Token redemption period?
A. The Book Token redemption period is: Thursday 28 February – Sunday 31 March 2019 (inclusive).

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Q5. Where can I get ideas for activities and events for World Book Day in my school?
A. The Resource Pack, mailed to schools with the £1 Book Tokens from early January 2019 contains lots of ideas for events and activities you can organise in your school or library, even if you are making arrangements at the last-minute. You can also find an online version of the packs on the WBD website which you are free to download.

The events listing on this site will tell you what other schools, bookshops and libraries in the UK and Ireland are planning and you may get ideas from this list that you can apply in your school. The main objective for World Book Day is to have fun and enjoy reading and sharing books together, so please feel free to use these ideas as a starting point and add other ideas you have yourself.

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Q6. My children are educated at home. Are they entitled to receive £1 WBD Book Tokens?
A. Registered Childminders, Home Educators, and other registered individuals should send in a stamp-addressed envelope to receive tokens. The outer and inner return envelopes must have valid stamps for the correct value. The outer envelope should be addressed to:

EdCo – World Book Day SAE
PO Box 105
Rochester
ME2 4BE

Please write the number of tokens you require in the top right-hand corner of your return envelope. If you do not enter a value we will only send you 1 token.

You must fix the correct value, 1st or 2nd class stamp to both the outer and your return envelope.

Envelopes which do not have the correct payment on the outer envelope will not be delivered to us by Royal Mail. If there is no stamp on your return envelope, unfortunately we cannot process your request. Postage on your return envelope must be enough to cover the weight of the number of tokens sent, otherwise you may incur a surcharge from Royal Mail. Each token weighs 2 grams.

Any request received up to the 31st January will be stored and despatched after that date. For requests received after the 31st January, please allow up to 14 days for this process.

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Q7. Are pre-school children entitled to World Book Day Book Tokens?
A. In 2004 we extended the reach of the World Book Day initiative into the pre-school sector. For further information on this activity please visit the registration section of this site where establishments can register their details. Individuals and childminders are ineligible for this service, due to the potential cost.

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Q8. I work at a British School abroad; do we qualify to receive a copy of the Resource Pack free of charge?
A. Unless a school book club used by your school has made prior arrangements there is a charge for a copy of the Resource Pack, and Book Tokens will not be sent overseas. You can download the resource pack for free on our website or to order a Resource Pack, please contact the World Book Day Helpline (details given above). Charges start from £15 for packs sent overseas and increases depending on the number of tokens and destination.

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Q9. I work at an international school and would like a copy of the Resource Pack. Is the pack free of charge or is there a fee?
A. Please contact the World Book Day Helpline (details given above) to find out if your school is on the existing mailing list. Otherwise there will be a charge for the Schools’ Pack. The charge is £6 plus carriage for packs sent overseas. NB. Book Tokens will not be sent overseas. International schools may register to access the World Book Day Portal for information and resources.

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Q10. Who is responsible for sending information to the Republic of Ireland?
A. Material, including Euro Book Tokens, is sent in bulk to Ireland and is despatched to schools by the Irish Department of Education. We would like schools in Ireland to help ensure that the list used for dispatch is completely up to date. Please visit the site registration section or contact the main Helpline at wbd@education.co.uk.

The Irish Helpline operates for a limited period around World Book Day – please contact it on: worldbookdayireland@gmail.com

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Q11. I am calling from a school and cannot get hold of certain £1 books. Can you help?
A. Bookshops will have limited quantities of the £1 books exchangeable for the WBD £1 Book Tokens, and are neither obliged nor able to supply large quantities of £1 books in exchange for bulk quantities of Book Tokens. You are urged to bear this in mind when making arrangements for your pupils to celebrate World Book Day, as any misunderstanding can lead to disappointment.

Early contact with your local bookseller is recommended to find out what their plans are for £1 Book stock. If your school is in an isolated position, you may wish to consider contacting your nearest bookshop to find out if they might be able to help you. You may also wish to organise a book club or fair; please note that Book Clubs and Fairs do not stock the £1 Books.

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Q12. Can you provide me with a list of participating bookshops in my area?
A. Please visit www.booksellers.org.uk/bookshopsearch. Details are given so that you can check before travelling to make your purchase. All major supermarkets – Asda, Tesco, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Marks & Spencer and most large bookshop chains – WH Smith, Waterstones, Eason etc and hundreds of independent booksellers are participating, as are a number of school book clubs – Scholastic and Usborne Books At Home.

Please check before making a journey that your local store is participating.

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Q13. I am a BFPO school, am I entitled to a Resource Pack free of charge?
A. Unless a BFPO has made an arrangement with a Book Club or supplier in advance we will not be sending packs out separately. If they have made an arrangement with Usborne Books At Home, then this will already be covered as the main contact for UBAH has already made a substantial request for Euro book tokens for BFPO schools. If the BFPO school would like to receive a pack from us we will need to make a £6 charge, cheque payable to “The Education Company”. Please contact the Helpline with your details: wbd@education.co.uk

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Q14. The following types of establishments may be sent material:
Registering pre-school establishments – see the pre-school section on this site
Exclusion Units/Individuals educating excluded children
Hospitals/Hospices etc educating children in long term care
Immigration and asylum units that educate children internally

Q15. The following are not entitled to Book Tokens, as this would involve duplication:
Sunday Schools, after-school clubs, school reading clubs, Brownies, Cubs, Scouts, Guides etc.

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Q16. What is the charge for additional copies of the Resource Pack?
A. You can download the resource pack for free.  If you do require an additional schools’ pack it will cost £15. Cheques should be made payable to “The Education Company” and sent to: Dept .WBD, The Education Company, Riverside House Sir Thomas Longley Road, Rochester, ME2 4FN.

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Q17. I’m a teacher—can I purchase the £1 Books to give away to my pupils?
A. No, you need to purchase them through a bookseller who is a member of the Booksellers Association – but this is a brilliant way to make contact with your local bookseller. Find your local bookshops here.

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Q18. I’m a librarian—can I get stock of the £1 Books and accept the £1 book tokens?
A. No, World Book Day book tokens can only be redeemed by children in participating bookshops and you should direct children to your nearest participating bookshop. You can search for participating bookshops here

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Q19. Can I get stock of the £1 Books for display or loan?
A. If you contact your local bookshop or library supplier, they may be able to help you. Books are supplied to bookshops at a cost of £5 per 50-copy pack, so you would need to buy the books from the bookseller at cost price, if they can supply them. If you intend to source the books for loan you would need to service them yourself.

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Q20. What impact does World Book Day have?
A. From research conducted for World Book Day’s 20th anniversary via the National Literacy Trust’s 2016 Annual Literacy Survey:

  • 89.5% of KS2 pupils are aware of World Book Day
  • Six in ten KS2 children said they were also inspired to read more by our campaign
  • The book that 1 in 4 children (1 in 3 for those receiving school meals) ‘bought’ with their 2016 £1 book token was the first they have ever personally owned

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Q21. How are the £1 books chosen?

A. Each year, World Book Day hold a selection meeting, where publishers put forward a number of titles to the World Book Day team and a selection panel consisting of independent booksellers, Waterstones, WHSmith, supermarkets and a libraries representative. The aim is to create a list of books that will appeal to the widest number of children and young people possible, ensuring there is a representative list with something to appeal to all ages and stages. Publisher representation also has to be balanced.

Getting the right mix of the £1 books (€1.50 in Ireland) is key, as they drive children and parents into bookshops to redeem their book tokens and pick up their free book – or many choose to use theirs to get £1 off a full-price book instead.

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Q22. How is World Book Day funded?

A. The charity is funded by a wide selection of publishers, as well as a sponsor, National Book Tokens and booksellers nationwide, who fully fund the cost of the book token redemptions.

It is run by a very small team and supported by volunteers, all of whom are dedicated to getting books into children’s hands.

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Q23. Why have you included so many celebrity authors?

A. On this year’s list there is a mix of names that children will already know and love, as well as those that World Book Day hope they will discover for the first time. There are lots of hugely loved authors, brands and characters on the list, from Mr Men to Paddington, to the Oi! series, as well as newer stars like Pamela Butchart – and there are celebrity writers on the list, all of whom have written their own titles. If recognising a name is the catalyst to encouraging a non-reader to pick up a book and starting a nationwide conversation about reading, then everyone will benefit.

The fact the World Book Day campaign is, in part, down to getting the reading message out to so many different people’s fanbases – awareness of World Book Day has grown exponentially over the last few years with 89.5% awareness amongst KS2 pupils*.

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Q24. How much of World Book Day is about dressing up?   

A. World Book Day want to create a ‘Christmas morning’ feeling around books and reading, encouraging children to use their imaginations and engage with the world of books in as creative a way as possible, and by dressing up and bringing their favourite book characters to life, they are doing just that. Children and young people are welcome to dress up and take their favourite books to school to celebrate the books and characters they love and the fun of reading. They can do this in any way they like, and World Book Day encourages them to get creative, by making their own inexpensive props or costumes at home or at school and, if possible, to make a £1 contribution to Book Aid International, too, to enable them to send books to children in other countries.

World Book Day is principally about encouraging children and young people to read and love books and the book tokens allow us to spread that joy.  Last year over 1.2 million £1 book tokens were redeemed, enabling 1 in 4 KS2 children (1 in 3 for those receiving free school meals) to ‘purchase’ their first ever book. Research by the National Literacy Trust* has indicated that 89.5% of children aged 8-11 are aware of World Book Day and that, in 2016, 60% of children were inspired to read more by the celebration.

Alongside activity on World Book Day itself, the organisation create and run many activities which promote the fun and joy in reading for pleasure and bring books to life for children of all ages, like our national tour of author/illustrator events, The Biggest Book Show on Earth and the incredibly successful World Book Day Award (WoBoD).

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Q25. Is World Book Day just one day a year or is there engagement all year round?

A. Alongside activity on World Book Day itself, the charity will be running both a national tour of author/illustrator events around the country in ‘The Biggest Book Show on Earth’, throughout the week of World Book Day, and bringing back the incredibly successful World Book Day Award (WoBoD) in January, in partnership with Piccadilly Press, Sir Chris Hoy, Joanna Nadin and Claire Elsom’s Flying Fergus series in 2018. In 2017, the Award involved over 76,000 children, their families and communities, created ‘mass hysteria’ around reading for pleasure. This year £20,000 worth of books are up for grabs, a life-changing library for any school. The line-up for the tour and more details about this year’s Award can be found on our website here.

We also have our exciting new movement, BOOKCLUBBING, aimed at young people. Working with booksellers, publishers, authors and influencers, we’ll be targeting teenagers in their own spaces, online as well as making sure we can give them real offers, ideas and choices in bookshops and at home and school too.

In addition, the World Book Day website www.worldbookday.com is constantly updated with reading recommendations, ideas, resources, activities and competitions for children of all ages all year round.

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Q26. Why are supermarkets involved?

A. We have a wide number of retailers on board as partners now, to help us to extend the reach of our campaign, and give children and young people the opportunity to redeem their token if they don’t have a local bookshop or they are not regular visitors to their local bookshop. The tokens can be redeemed in Asda, Tesco, Morrisons, Waterstones, WHSmith and Marks & Spencer, as well as hundreds of independent bookshops nationwide.

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Q27. Why isn’t the Newcastle event on the Biggest Book Show on Earth free like the other events? How has the ticket price been decided?

A. For the first time we’ll be holding a Biggest Book Show on Earth event open to the public, allowing families to attend together on the weekend following World Book Day. This event is of a larger scale than the usual set-up and as it is being hosted at Theatre Royal Newcastle it has a cost attached. As ever, the authors and illustrators in the line-up are not being paid a fee.

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Q28. What have you done to address diversity in the list of authors, illustrators and titles?

 A. Over the past 20 years, World Book Day UK has distributed over 290 million £1 book tokens (€1.50 in Ireland) to children and young people across the country. Looking towards the next 20 years, we must continue, as an organisation and an industry, to present books where readers can see the world they live in reflected between the pages and in a way that will make children and young people actively want to read them. In partnership with the publishers, we have taken direct action to address the need for as representative a list as possible, with a list featuring household names and family favourites, and this will continue to be an area of focus in the coming months and years. Our list is representative through the author, illustrations, an inclusive message or a wide assortment of characters.

As well as celebrating the joy of reading, the themes of this year’s books celebrate inclusivity and diversity. This year’s key ‘Share A Story’ theme encourages children, young people, adults and parents to participate by reading and sharing stories and books with family, friends and colleagues alike.

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Q29. Why are there no £1 books for teens? How is World Book Day appealing to that audience? 

A. For many young people, World Book Day is associated with primary school, so for the very first time, participating bookshops are offering teens the choice of FIVE full-length books, instead of  two mini books, giving them a point of difference, greater choice and five fantastic authors to discover.  These will be available for purchase for £2.50 or £1.50 with a £1 book token. YA authors are John Green, Taran Matharu, Benjamin Zephaniah, Penny Joelson and Francis Hardinge.

This year we’re also developing an exciting brand new initiative aimed specifically at engaging young adults both on and offline, as part of the World Book Day campaign. Teenagers are different to our younger readers, and the way they consume literature is ever-changing. We want to ‘age up’ World Book Day for them, reflected in the way we cater, engage and speak to them. Our exciting new movement BOOKCLUBBING intends to do just that. Working with booksellers, publishers, authors and influencers, we’ll be targeting teenagers in their own spaces, online as well as making sure we can give them real offers, ideas and choices in bookshops and at home and school too.

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Q30. Why were the YA titles announced later than the initial World Book Day titles? Was it a responsive addition?

A. We had always intended to develop a different plan around YA for 2018 and we wanted to make sure we got it right. We know this age group are different to our younger readers, and the way they consume literature is ever-changing. For many, celebrating World Book Day is something they did in primary school, so we want to reflect this in the way we cater, engage and speak to them. As a result of that and in acknowledgement of their different needs and different ways of enaging with the world, we have tailored a list of full-length titles specifically aimed at them to sit alongside our £1 WBD books, as well as creating an exciting new movement –  BOOKCLUBBINGboth on and offline.

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Q31. What is Sir Chris Hoy’s involvement? Why didn’t you use a non-celebrity author?

A. The World Book Day Award (WoBoD), returning for the fourth year, gives schools the opportunity to win life-changing libraries of books. In 2017, the WoBoD competition involved over 76,000 children, their families and communities, working with Oliver Jeffers, Sam Winston and Walker Books, and for the previous two years, it was sponsored by James Patterson, in conjunction with Penguin Random House. This year, World Book Day are excited to partner with Piccadilly Press, theming the award around the Flying Fergus series of books by Sir Chris Hoy, Joanna Nadin and Clare Elsom. All three will join the judging panel, with £20,000 of books to be bought in local bookshops to be won. For the first time, every single child that enters will also receive a certificate signed by the Flying Fergus team and the winning school will be visited by Chris Hoy, Joanna Nadin and Clare Elsom to receive their prize.

We are excited to work with different role models on the award, whose work inspires children, teachers and schools in different ways and opens the opportunity to win brand new libraries of books, purchased with the expert advice of a local bookseller, to as many schools as possible. This year the themes for the award include are teamwork and dedication, tallying with Flying Fergus series’ overarching messages.

We’re thrilled that Chris, Joanna and Clare have been able to come on board with the Award, and feel that children will be too, driving them to take part in the competition and engage actively with reading. Taking part, and of course, winning and benefitting from such an amazing prize could, potentially, ignite a passion for reading in a young person for life.

* The National Literacy Trust’s Annual Literacy Survey, 2016

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Q32. How has the adverse weather affected World Book Day?

A. Don’t let the weather get you down on World Book Day. Carry on celebrating, here’s how:

We are aware that there have been school closures due to the inclement weather conditions across the country and expect these to continue tomorrow, on World Book Day. We’re so pleased that children are looking forward to going to school to celebrate World Book Day but strongly encourage event organisers to be safe and practical as they make decisions regarding changing plans.

World Book Day is about encouraging children and young people to read and love books and, whatever the weather, 15 million £1 book tokens are already with Schools and will be distributed to children across the UK and Ireland, allowing them to visit their local bookseller to choose one of ten exclusive World Book Day books for free or to receive £1 off a book of their choice, including the £2.50 YA selection. We will be extending the token redemption period beyond 25 March to ensure that everyone is able to use them, the extension period will be confirmed depending on the weather in the coming days.

We know a great deal of children and young people will have put effort into activities for tomorrow. We’re encouraging schools to Share a Story and celebrate World Book Day as and when they can, in whatever way they can, so that children can celebrate reading, share stories with their teachers and peers, and so time and effort spent on costumes does not go to waste.

In the meantime, if you find yourself snowed in tomorrow, go ahead and celebrate World Book Day anyway, dress up if you’d like to, but most importantly, find time in the day to share a story, to read, to enjoy books. You can participate on social media with #shareastory and tune in to our to online book shows on the website here.

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