I have been seeing some interesting statistics lately. Depending on the statistic, I either get discouraged or encouraged. Here are two opposite statistics. One encourages me, the other discourages me.
- Americans bought 751,729,000 books in 2010, down from 2009 and 2008, but up from the 650 million purchased in 2005.
- Children are more likely to own a mobile phone than a book—85% own a phone while 73% own a book.
The decline of reading and a growing illiteracy rate in the United States often makes the news. Authors and publishers should get involved in literacy efforts to boost reading. After all, readers buy books, and making and selling books is our business.
I recently read about one author’s (Sean Cummings) efforts in this area. Sean has started a campaign to increase reading and save publishing. The name of his campaign is:
Save Publishing! Read a Book at Bedtime.
This Save Publishing campaign is issuing a 10 minute challenge. It is encouraging people to unplug at bedtime and read for 10 minutes before going to sleep.
I think Sean’s idea is brilliant because it is simple and easily executed.
To promote this 10 minute bedtime reading campaign, Sean has created a website and a Facebook page. The website, www.savepublishing.org, has ideas for how to promote reading as well as free downloads such as web badges, postcards, and a poster to encourage people to take the 10 minute reading challenge.
Save Publishing’s Facebook page has over 800 fans and continues to grow as the challenge gets promoted.
If you want to continue to thrive as an author or a publisher, I encourage you to join the Save Publishing! Read a Book at Bedtime challenge. Do it yourself. Then, become a fan of the Facebook page, and help spread the word about this simple campaign to increase reading.