Bookshop.org enables BookTrust to provide reading support to over 1,000 extra families

Through their charitable initiative Read It Forward, launched last February in partnership with BookTrust, Bookshop.org have raised money to support over 1,000 families, bringing books to children who need them the most.

The first collaboration between Bookshop.org and BookTrust, Read It Forward encouraged all parents, teachers, guardians and educators to purchase children’s books from Bookshop.org throughout the month of February, with 10% of the sales of each children’s book sold via the platform to be donated to the UK’s largest children’s reading charity. Alongside the charitable initiative, Bookshop.org continued to support its affiliated independent bookshops, by generating incremental revenue as per its mission.

The charitable drive received incredible support from authors, illustrators, publishers, influencers and beyond, with authors of the likes of Katherine Rundell, Frank Cottrell Boyce, Sarah Crossan, David Baddiel, Sufiya Ahmed, AF Steadman, Jasbinder Bilan, M. G. Leonard, Rashmi Sirdeshpande and many more backing the initiative.

The initiative also drove increased sales of children’s and YA titles from Bookshop.org. While children’s book sales were down by 9% in volume and 6% in value in the first part of the year compared to 2023 (Nielsen BookData, March 2024), Bookshop.org registered a double digit year-on-year increase on sales of children’s’ books in the first part of the year.

The range of children’s books sold on Bookshop.org during Read It Forward is once again a testament to the platform’s humanly-curated approach to recommending books, rather than relying on an impersonal algorithm. The best-selling children’s books for the month of February on Bookshop.org were:

  1. Dim Sum Palace by X Fang (also Children’s Book of the Month for February)
  2. Miss Cat: The Case of the Curious Canary by Jean-Luc Fromental and Joelle Jolivet
  3. Impossible Creatures by Katherine Rundell
  4. Strong Like Me by Kelechi Okafor and Michaela Dias-Hayes
  5. Paper Dragons: The Fight for the Hidden Realm by Siobhan McDermott
  6. Superhero Animals by Chris Packham and Anders Frang
  7. Fantastically Great Women Who Changed The World by Ms Kate Pankhurst
  8. Feather by M. G. Leonard
  9. Greenwild by Pari Thomson and Elisa Paganelli
  10. People Need People by Benjamin Zephaniah and Nila Aye

BookTrust are a Bookshop.org affiliate, so choosing them as your assigned ‘shop’ when you shop on the platform will give them a 10% commission on every sale, with a matching 10% to independent bookshops.

Louie Stowell, Bestselling Author the Loki: A Bad God’s Guide series, said: “It was great to see the impact of the Read It Forward initiative, with children’s authors, publishers and independent bookshops sharing the recommendations for a really diverse range of children’s books. Not only does that make a difference to authors, it will really help BookTrust in making a lasting difference to families that need the support the most.”

Lizzie Catford, Director of Children’s Books at BookTrust, said: “We’re delighted by the success of our first partnership with Bookshop.org. The money raised will help over 1,000 children from low-income backgrounds access books to support, or perhaps even start their reading journeys. This collaboration underscores our joint mission to nurture a love of reading and ensure every child can enjoy the magic of books, whilst also supporting much-valued independent bookshops. Our huge thanks to everyone who played a part, from the authors and publishers to the educators and supporters who all made it possible.”

Nicole Vanderbilt, Managing Director of Bookshop.org UK, said: “We are thrilled by the incredible results of our first collaboration with BookTrust. We were delighted to see how Read It Forward made authors, parents, influencers, teachers, educators, and more join forces, not only to help under-resourced families benefit from the joy of books, but also to financially support the independent booksellers on the Bookshop.org platform. We see this as the beginning of a great partnership and we look forward to working with BookTrust again in the future.”

Each year, BookTrust reaches millions of children with books, resources and support for families to get every child reading regularly and by choice. A research-led charity, their specially designed programmes and products help children from all backgrounds experience the many benefits of shared reading.