Big Bad Wolf has already shipped millions of English language books this year for its 24/7 11 day flash sales, each attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors.
Indonesia, the Philippines, and Myanmar are already behind us – although most of those will be having multiple repeat events this year, such has been the demand.
Malaysia is running its second Big Bad Wolf event of 2019 right now in Johor – it finishes March 31. The first 2019 Malaysia event ran February 28 through March 10. The third Malaysia sale starts April 25 in Kuching and there will be many more, culminating the giant Kuala Lumpur Big Bad Wolf event at year’s end.
In 2018 Big Bad Wolf shipped over 30 million books to these mega-sales in Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia and also to Thailand, Sri Lanka, Taiwan and the United Arab Emirates.
All those will be happening again this year, at least once, but Big Bad Wolf also has a raft of debuts lined up – Myanmar was the first – and next in line is the first-ever Big Bad Wolf event for Pakistan.
I million books will be stacked high in Lahore from April 19 through 29 and as usual the event will be open 24 hours a day.
Just a few months ago in December the Karachi International Book Fair drew a crowd of 600,000 as Pakistani booklovers thronged to a book event in a country where regular books stores, online bookstores and ebook stores are in desperately short supply..
And just last month the four day Lahore International Book Fair pulled in 300,000 visitors, while the Adab Festival debuted. No confirmed numbers for Adab yet, but 200,000 were expected.
Pakistan will be the second time Big Bad Wolf has ventured onto the India sub-continent (BBW has already been to Colombo in Sri Lanka), and will be the third South Asia country (along with Myanmar), leaving the big question: will Big Bad Wolf hit India, Bangladesh or Nepal this year?
I’d be very surprised if Andrew Yap and Jacqueline Ng were not making plans. Each country is desperately underserved by the traditional retail book sector, but as the numbers show, books are in big demand,
In February the annual Amar Ekushey Boi Mela in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka saw books worth $10 million sold.
In India it sometimes seems like there’s a book fair or festival happening every day, and the numbers can be jaw-dropping.
My guess is Big Bad Wolf Pakistan will be a sell-out event, and if and when Big Bad Wolf debuts in India we’ll see records broken.