’Tis the season for buying, giving, and donating books. Penguin Random House is embracing that spirit of generosity with the launch of #GiveaBook, a social media campaign that promotes books as holiday gifts, and also serves as an avenue to donate books to U.S. children in need via the aid organization Save the Children. Each time the hashtag #GiveaBook is used on Facebook and Twitter before December 25, Penguin Random House will donate a book to Save the Children, up to 25,000 times.
#GiveaBook kicks off on November 29 – the traditional Saturday after Thanksgiving, now touted as “Small Business Saturday,” encouraging support of local/independent retailers – and runs through December 24. The idea for the campaign grew out of brainstorming sessions by Penguin Random House sales reps, but the effort is meant to include books and authors from all publishers for readers of all ages.
To extend its reach, the campaign also includes a #GiveaBook video challenge that encourages people to create a video of themselves naming a book they are giving to someone and why, and challenge three friends to craft their own #GiveaBook videos to post using the hashtag. Authors are getting in on the act, too. Jacqueline Woodson, who won the National Book Award last week for Brown Girl Dreaming, recorded one of the very first author videos supporting #GiveaBook, and it has been posted with a growing roster of others on the campaign’s Facebook page.
Booksellers are joining the push in various ways, by creating #GiveaBook challenge videos and sharing them through their store websites, newsletters and social media accounts, as well as developing in-store displays. Retailers can find downloadable marketing materials here.