Worldreader’s mission is to make digital books available to all in the developing world, enabling millions of people to improve their lives. Digital technology is sharply reducing the cost and complexity of delivering reading material everywhere. We are developing the systems and the partnerships to get e-readers – and the life-changing, power-creating ideas contained in e-books – into the hands and minds of people in the developing world.
Every day, millions of children struggle to get even subsistence access to reading materials. Worldreader uses e-readers, existing mobile phone infrastructure and declining technology costs to put a huge range of digital books in their hands.
The results are staggering. As of recently, Worldreader has wirelessly distributed more than 75,000 African and international e-books to children in Ghana, Kenya and Uganda, and the children spend up to 50% more time reading than before, with some reading up to 90 books in a single year.
Worldreader is a great program that allows books of all types and kinds to be distributed for free to children in Africa and elsewhere (South America, etc). It costs publishers and authors nothing to join the program — we simply have to authorize Amazon to push our books to the specific Kindles used by Worldreader. That’s it.
When I heard about this program, I immediately thought, “This is something we need to be involved in.” Not because it will make us look better, or sell more of our books (eventually) or give me a warm fuzzy… but rather, for the most important reason of all: to get kids reading. Some of these kids are reading 90 books in a year. NINETY.
Try finding more than a handful of kids across the US who read that much. Or even close. I dare you. And it’s not just kids, either. The program administrators, teachers, and other personnel also get free copies. How could this possibly be a bad thing for anyone involved?
So I checked with my authors, and as I suspected, none of them had any objections whatsoever to our participation. I then signed the contract, allowing Amazon to push not only our current titles (including all our short stories), but all our future titles as well, for as long as the agreement lasted, through renewal after renewal.
It’s not very often that you get to do something good on such a monumental scale. One of the things I hoped to do with Grey Gecko Press was to change the world, if only in a small way. Well, I think we’ve gone beyond that, and I couldn’t be happier!