Pope Francis is addressing the impacts of the pandemic, including devastating loss and uncertainty, in a new book coming from Worthy on September 27. A Gift of Joy and Hope features the Pope’s thoughts and reflections on the current challenges of today—including attitudes that exclude others, deep dissatisfaction, pessimism, fear, and doubt, according to the publisher. “It is an invitation to embrace authentic beauty and a reminder to be open to encountering God, even in the midst of challenges,” Worthy says.
Worthy Book’s editorial director Beth Adams and publisher Daisy Hutton pre-empted world English rights in a joint deal with Katherine Venn, editorial director of Hodder Faith in the U.K. The rights were brokered by Italian agent Luigi Bonomi, working on behalf of the Julianne Roderer Literary Agency, Piengiorno Italy, and the Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Hodder Faith first published the book in Italy in 2020 under the title The Gift of a Smile. To date, it has sold over 40,000 copies, according to the publisher.
Speaking to PW about A Gift of Joy and Hope, Adams and Hutton at Worthy say the world needs the leadership of Pope Francis at this time. “We rarely experience events so sweeping that they impact every single one of us, regardless of our nationality, economic status, and culture,” the pair say. “The past three years have brought unprecedented encounters with uncertainty, fear, and grief, and there is no figure more universally positioned than our Pope to offer words of comfort and to call us to hope and healing.”
Adams notes that the book is geared toward readers who are feeling disoriented, disheartened, or disappointed. “It's an inspiring book that doesn’t downplay the difficulties of life, but challenges readers to look for beauty and glimmers of hope in the midst of it,” she adds.
A Gift of Joy and Hope will be published in hardcover in the U.S. and Canada on September 27, and in the U.K. two years later. The marketing and publicity campaign includes organic and paid social media promotions, influencer and blogger promotions, early promotion to book reviewers and media, ad placements in Catholic media outlets such as America, U.S. Catholic, and Crux, and a customized product page as well as a keyword campaign on Amazon.com.