Today we are sharing the news that after 12 brilliant years, three of those with The Reading Agency, Quick Reads will not be publishing a new list in 2019.
When we took over the running of Quick Reads in 2014 from World Book Day, the programme had funding from a variety of sources, including from its headline sponsor, Mars Galaxy. In 2016, Mars announced that they would be concentrating their CSR strategy on supporting the producers they work with in Africa and India. For the past 18 months, we have sought on-going support for the programme, but in this difficult funding climate, we have sadly been unable to secure the long-term investment needed to continue the scheme. We would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the generosity and commitment of the writers, publishers, funders and all other partners who have made this extraordinary and unique endeavour possible.
Since the launch in 2006, over 100 Quick Reads titles have been published; the books have been loaned more than 5 million times through libraries and over 4.8 million books have been distributed. The initiative has established a reputation for publishing top quality bestselling authors, including Andy McNab, Jojo Moyes, Jeffrey Archer, Malala, Roddy Doyle and many more. This year's brilliantly varied list featured books by Dorothy Koomson, Tammy Cohen, Kit de Waal, Vaseem Khan, Mark Billingham and Fern Britton; all the authors helped us launch the books at a fantastic event in Foyles, central London on 1 February.
Looking to the future
Our goal now, along with the publishers of the books, is to make sure that the backlist continues to be available to those who struggle with reading and to those who are fans of the authors and want to read all of their books. We're currently working on this legacy plan with our publishing partners, many of whom will continue offering much of the backlist in ebook and audio formats. Quick Reads will continue to be used by prisons, colleges, NHS hospitals, adult learning organisations, trade unions and other partners, and publishers will also make titles available for purchase in bulk quantities to learning providers. The books will remain available for anyone to borrow from public libraries.
World Book Night, another one of our programmes dedicated to emergent adult readers, will be celebrated next week and we're delighted that over 1000 copies of one of the 2018 Quick Reads titles, The Beach Wedding by Dorothy Koomson, will be sent to organisations across the country working with people who struggle with reading. The Reading Agency remains wholeheartedly committed to supporting adult emergent readers through this and our Reading Ahead programme, and with publishers and public libraries through Reading Partners. We're incredibly proud to have been custodians of a scheme that has benefited so many, for so long.
CEO, The Reading Agency