British authors donate book profits to Syrian refugees

British authors donate book profits to Syrian refugeesimage

28 Sep 2015

Britain’s best-selling authors, including Jacqueline Wilson, Ian Rankin, David Nicholls and Marian Keyes, are backing a campaign to raise £1 million for Syrian refugees through sales of their most popular books.

From Thursday, the full retail price from selected books sold at Waterstones will go to Oxfam’s Syria Crisis Appeal.

All major UK publishers are involved, donating books by dozens of authors.

Writers lending their support to the cause include Prof Mary Beard, Alan Bennett, William Boyd, Bill Bryson, Tracy Chevalier, Lee Child, Julia Donaldson, Neil Gaiman, Mark Haddon, Matt Haig, Robert Harris, Khaled Hosseini, Max Hastings, Victoria Hislop, Marian Keyes, Lynda La Plante, Andrea Levy, Peter May, Alexander McCall Smith, Caitlin Moran, Michael Morpurgo, JoJo Moyes, Philip Pullman, Ian Rankin, Tom Rob Smith, Salman Rushdie, Ali Smith and Jacqueline Wilson.

The books will be grouped together in stores with ‘Buy Books for Syria’ identifying them as part of the campaign.

In order to raise the £1 million, the retailer estimates it will have to sell around 125,000 books. Oxfam said the sum would deliver clean water to 150,000 people in Syria, or support tens of thousands of refugees in Jordan over the next year.

James Daunt, managing director of Waterstones, said: “In desperate times like these, everyone feels the need to do something, to help in some way. We are doing what we do best – bookselling – and it only feels right that every single penny of each book sold will go straight to Oxfam.

“We are proud to be able to transform the generosity of authors and publishers into such a substantial contribution to Oxfam’s work.”

Tom Weldon, CEO of Penguin Random House UK, added: “We often speak as an industry about the power of books to change lives. Our aim with this campaign is to use the power of books to save lives.

“I’m humbled by the way publishers and authors are collaborating to support Waterstones and Oxfam in this initiative. I hope that together we can make a difference.”

    Books include:

  • Michael Morpurgo – War Horse
  • Karen Joy Fowler – We are All Completely Beside Ourselves
  • Robert Harris – Imperium
  • Salman Rushdie – Midnight’s Children
  • Salman Rushdie – Midnight’s Children
  • Caitlin Moran – How To Be a Woman
  • Stieg Larsson – The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
  • David Nicholls – One Day
  • Neil Gaiman – The Graveyard Book